An albumen print by Richard Banner Oakeley of a pillar 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). It is an exemplar of the lavish Hoysala style and is encrusted with continuous bands of sculpture, unsurpassed in its detail and vibrancy. This 12-foot high monolithic pillar, square at the base, has inscriptions on all four sides, with carved figures and circular section above. Oakeley records that he discovered it partly buried and covered with vegetation, and 'I employed thirty men to set it up'. All four inscriptions were later photographed by William Henry Pigou, an officer of the Bombay medical service who was appointed official government photographer to the Bombay presidency in 1856.