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Sculptured buttress on the east side of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.

Sculptured buttress on the east side of the Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid.

Photographer: Oakeley, Richard Banner

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: Photo 959/(31)

Item number: 95931

Genre: Photograph

An albumen print by Richard Banner Oakeley of 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 photographer wrote of this image, '...The amount of labour and time which must have been bestowed in covering this buttress with its lace-like tracery is truly astonishing. It is richer than the richest of the many sides of this wonderful Temple. The delicacy and minuteness of the carving of this buttress, far excels the elaborate fa├žades of York Minster, or of the Cathedral of Amiens'.

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