General view of the black stone Harihara Temple, Harihar
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Hariharesvara Temple at Harihar, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. The town of Harihar is situated on the right bank of the Tungabhadra river. The Harihareshvara temple is located in a large compound which includes the main temple, pictured here, and several smaller temples. Outside the temple there are many inscription slabs. It seems that the temple replaced another in the reign of the Hoysala ruler Narasimha II, indicating that it was built around AD 1225. The sanctuary faces east and is preceded by a closed hall with two side entrances and porches and an open hall. The superstructure of the sanctuary is a recent addition. Within the shrine there is an image of Harihara, a divinity that represents both Shiva and Vishnu. The parapet-walls of the porches are decorated with very fine carvings of small sculptures of gods. The great open hall is built on a stepped plan. Its parapet is carved with figures of musicians and dancers. Inside it has 24 unadorned, heavy bell pillars.