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Nandi. [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.]

Nandi. [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.]

Photographer: Oakeley, Richard Banner

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: Photo 959/(40)

Item number: 95940

Genre: Photograph

An albumen print by Richard Banner Oakeley of a sculpture of a Nandi bull at Halebid in Karnataka. 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 about 1100-1350 AD. Invasions by the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century led to its decline. The Hoysalas were avid temple builders and the site is renowned for the remnants of architecture and sculpture fashioned out of the chloritic schist in the region. The most famous monument here is the twelfth-century Hoysaleswara temple dedicated to Shiva, which was built for an official of Vishnuvardhana (reigned 1108-42). Nandi, the great bull which is Shiva's vehicle, is an essential part of a Shaiva temple. The double-shrine of Hoysaleswara has two sanctuaries, attached to each is a large columned mandapa. In front of each mandapa is a detached pavilion for a Nandi image. Of this close and rather cramped view of the Nandi, Oakeley wrote, 'The original whence this picture is taken, is a vast monolith, and measures about twenty feet from the nose to the tail, and about eleven feet from the hump to the pedestal. It is situated in the small temple [seen in print 24]...Being in deep shade, it was very difficult to obtain a good photograph of this statue...'

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