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[Sculptural friezes on the south-east corner of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.]

[Sculptural friezes on the south-east corner of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.]

Photographer: Oakeley, Richard Banner

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: Photo 959/(45)

Item number: 95945

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 vibrancy. The temple is two-shrined and built on a raised platform to a star-plan. Oakeley wrote of this scene, 'The south-east corner, showing elaborate representations of Battles, Sieges, Processions, and all manner of Beasts. The Temple is lighted by holes perforated in the upper portion of the walls on the eastern side only; this is a very favorite method of illuminating the Temples in India.'

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