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ARCHITECTURE

Belur and Halebidu: Eloquence in stone

The filigreed carvings of the magnificent monuments of Belur and Halebidu in Karnataka bring alive mythology, and the mores of the Hoysala period.

 

The Hoysaleswara  temple, Halebidu.
The Hoysaleswara temple, Halebidu.
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The Chennakeshava  temple, Belur
The Chennakeshava temple, BelurPhoto: credit
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Kartikeya  seated atop his ‘vahana’, the peacock, holding different objects in his six hands. The next sculpture shows Ganesha on his mouse ‘vahana’, on the outer wall of the Halebidu temple.
Kartikeya seated atop his ‘vahana’, the peacock, holding different objects in his six hands. The next sculpture shows Ganesha on his mouse ‘vahana’, on the outer wall of the Halebidu temple.
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Narasimha  tearing out the entrails of the demon king Hiranyakasipu, Halebidu.
Narasimha tearing out the entrails of the demon king Hiranyakasipu, Halebidu.
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Elephant,  lion and horse friezes, Halebidu.
Elephant, lion and horse friezes, Halebidu.
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Vishnu  in Varaha avatar saves goddess earth, and holds her high up as he tramples Hiranyaksha, Halebidu.
Vishnu in Varaha avatar saves goddess earth, and holds her high up as he tramples Hiranyaksha, Halebidu.
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Siva  with his consort Parvati, on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara temple.
Siva with his consort Parvati, on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara temple.
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Depiction  of Gajasurasamhara, the slaying of the demon Gajasura by Siva, at the Chennakeshava temple.
Depiction of Gajasurasamhara, the slaying of the demon Gajasura by Siva, at the Chennakeshava temple.
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Arjuna  poised to pierce the eye of a fish in this depiction on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara temple.
Arjuna poised to pierce the eye of a fish in this depiction on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara temple.
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The pillars   inside the Hoysaleswara temple are so perfectly shaped that architecture experts believe these were turned in a lathe.
The pillars inside the Hoysaleswara temple are so perfectly shaped that architecture experts believe these were turned in a lathe.
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Garuda carrying   Vishu and Lakshmi, Hoysaleswara temple.
Garuda carrying Vishu and Lakshmi, Hoysaleswara temple.Photo: CREDIT
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Fauna of the  Hoysala period depicted in a frieze on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara temple.
Fauna of the Hoysala period depicted in a frieze on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara temple.
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Darpanasundari.   A bejewelled Madanika looking into the mirror, Chennakeshava temple.
Darpanasundari. A bejewelled Madanika looking into the mirror, Chennakeshava temple.
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Scroll work  on the east wall of Chennakeshava temple showing musicians, dancers and others.
Scroll work on the east wall of Chennakeshava temple showing musicians, dancers and others.
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Depiction  of a battle scene, Belur
Depiction of a battle scene, Belur
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Madanika  on a pillar, Belur.
Madanika on a pillar, Belur.
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Intricate work  on a ceiling panel, Halebidu.
Intricate work on a ceiling panel, Halebidu.
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  A relief  above the doorway of the Chennakeshava temple depicting Narasimha slaying Hiranyakashipu seated on Garuda and flanked by two profusely carved ‘makaras’ .
A relief above the doorway of the Chennakeshava temple depicting Narasimha slaying Hiranyakashipu seated on Garuda and flanked by two profusely carved ‘makaras’ .
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Garuda  fighting two nagas (serpents), Halebidu.
Garuda fighting two nagas (serpents), Halebidu.
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Monolithic  Nandi, Halebidu.
Monolithic Nandi, Halebidu.
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