A Jain temple near Hullabeed. [Halebid]
Photographer: Neill, Andrew Charles Brisbane
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a Jaina temple near Halebid in Karnataka, taken by Andrew Charles Brisbane Neill around 1857, from 'Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore'. Halebid (ancient Dwarasamudra), a small town in the Hassan district, was once the capital of the Hoysala dynasty of the southern Deccan which flourished from the 12th to the 14th century. Invasions by armies of the Delhi Sultanate led to its decline by the mid-14th century. The Hoysalas were prolific temple builders and the site is renowned for the remnants of architecture and sculpture fashioned out of the chloritic schist in the region. Jainism always remained a significant force in this region and the various dynasties of the Deccan such as the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Gangas, Kadambas and Rattas also patronised the Jaina religion. With the result that there are many Jaina temples at numerous medieval sites of Karnataka. Halebid has some Jaina temples called Bastis, dating from the 12th century. Legend states that the Hoysala dynasty came to power with the blessing of a Jaina ascetic. One of the greatest of the Hoysala kings, Bittiga (or Vishnuvardhana, ruled c. 1106-1142) was earlier a follower of Jainism before converting to Vaishnavism under the influence of the sage Ramanuja. However it appears that his queen, Shantala Devi, remained Jaina and helped in construction of many Jaina temples. The Jaina temples at Halebid are small temples, exteriorly unadorned with pilastered walls and basement mouldings. Inside they have lathe-turned columns.