Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple: Outer View

Outer View of the Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu, Karnataka, India

Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple

Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple
The image shows an outer view of the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu, Karnataka, India, captured from the north side of the complex. The larger structure is the main temple, and the two smaller structures on the left are the Nandi Shrines. Although the approach to the temple is on the north side, it is an east facing temple, with two entrances on the east side.

The Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated Shiva, one of the Trimurti (Hindu Trinity). Unlike the Belur Chennakeshava Temple, this is a twin temple with two garbhagrihas (inner sanctums), which makes it a dwikuta temple.

The structure of the temple is symmetrical about the east-west axis. In other words, if an east-west axis exists in the middle of the temple, the southern section is a mirror image of the northern section, and vice-versa. The two garbhagrihas are side-by-side in the middle part of the temple.

Although the approach to the temple is from the north, it is actually an east-facing temple. There are two entrances on the east side, one in the northern section and the other in the southern section, directly in front of the garbhagrihas.

The garbhagriha in the north section is named the Hoysaleswara Garbhagriha to honor King Vishnuvardhana. Likewise, The south garbhagriha is named the Shantaleswara Garbhagriha to honor Shantala Devi, the Pattada Rani (Queen Consort) of King Vishnuvardhana.

The temple’s unique in design is associated with a great deal of symbolism. The twin nature of the temple represents the male and female aspects of one God, as they are mirror images of each other.

Right in front of east-side entrances are the two shrines, each housing a large-sized monolithic statue of Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva, who acts as his vahana (mount) and the gatekeeper. Attached to the back of the south Nandi shrine is another shrine dedicated to Surya, the sun god. The symbolism of having Nandi and Surya in front of the garbhagriha is to show that they keep a constant watch on Shiva.

North Nandi shrine Images
North Nandi Shrine
Right side view of Nandi
Left side view of Nandi
Exquisitely carved hooves and tail
South Nandi Shrine Images
Nandi and Surya Shrine
Surya Shrine – Outer wall
Nandi Statue – Front view
Nandi Statue – Left side view
Surya, the Sun God

Hoysala Temples:
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Badami Chalukya Temples:
Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole

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