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[Carved façade on the western side of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.]

[Carved façade on the western side of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.]

Photographer: Oakeley, Richard Banner

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: Photo 959/(26)

Item number: 95926

Genre: Photograph

An albumen print by Richard Banner Oakeley showing part of the temple 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 vitality. The temple is two-shrined and built on a raised platform to a star-plan. The multi-faceted walls create angles which are embellished with carved friezes as seen in this photograph. Oakeley wrote of this scene, 'A view of a portion of the western side of the Temple. An idea may be formed of the richness of the structure, from the thousands of figures which are delineated in this picture. The site of the temple is elevated above the surrounding country, and I found it very difficult to obtain views of this kind.'

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