Hoysaleshvara Temple, Halebid, front view
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph of the front view of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.The village of Halebid was the wealthy capital of the Hoysala Kings of the 12th century. The Hoysaleshvara temple, built about 1150, is sacred to Shiva Nataraja (or dancing Shiva). This view shows two exuberantly decorated dvarapalas, or temple guardians, outside the main doorway approached by a flight of steps. The door lintel is carved with an icon of Shiva surrounded by arcs and makaras (semi-aquatic mythical sea-monsters), and the side stone screens in between the columns have latticework surfaces with geometric designs.