[Kedaresvara Temple, overgrown with vegetation, Halebid.]
Photographer: Oakeley, Richard Banner
Medium: Photographic print
An albumen print by Richard Banner Oakeley of the Kedareswara 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. Two Shaiva temples are the most important of the monuments here, the large Hoysaleswara (begun in ca. 1121) and the smaller Kedareswara (ca. 1219). Both are built on raised platforms to a star-plan, and have not been provided with superstructures. The Kedareswara was built in the reign of Vira Ballala II (reigned ca. 1173-1220), but a hundred years ago it was in ruins and James Fergusson and B. L. Rice had published warnings of its potential demise. This photograph illustrates its perilous state with a tree growing out of it. It was repaired in the early 20th century and remains as testimony to the Hoysala style.