Hurulhullee. Double temple. [Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Harnahalli.]
Photographer: Pigou, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Harnahalli in Karnataka, taken by William Henry Pigou c. 1856, part of 'Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore'. The Hoysalas were a dynasty which ruled in the southern Deccan from the early 12th to the mid-14th century. Renowned temple builders, the Hoysalas have left a rich legacy of temples, particularly at the sites of Belur and Halebid, which were formerly their capitals. The name of the dynasty refers to the legend about its founder, a local chieftain named Sala. When faced with a tiger, he did not back down but spurred by the cry 'hoy, Sala!' or 'strike, Sala!', he killed it single-handed. The Vaishnava Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Harnahalli dates from 1234 and is an example of the mature Hoysala style. Characteristics of the style are multi-shrined complexes on star-shaped plans, built on tiered platforms which echo the shapes of the structures they support, bands of sculptural friezes with the stone carved as delicately as sandalwood and ivory, lathe-turned columns and perforated stone screens.