Views in Mysore. Ruined temple of Hallabeed [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid]. The big stone bull
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon, showing a Nandi bull at the Hoysaleshvara temple of Halebid, a tiny hamlet in the Hassan district of Karnataka. Once known as Dwarasamudra, it was the flourishing capital of the Hoysalas from the 12th to the 13th centuries, destroyed when attacked by the Delhi Sultanate in 1350. The Hoysalas were prolific temple builders, and the Hoysaleshvara temple, built to venerate Shiva, is an example of their mature style. It was sponsored by Ketamalla, an officer under King Vishnuvardhana in 1121 but completed decades later in the reign of Narasimha I (ca.1142). Lyon wrote of this photograph in his 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, 'Exactly opposite the two eastern entrances stand the two bull porches; that in the foreground of the view is the largest and finest; but the second may be perceived, a little out of focus, beyond. Each of the bulls is cut from a single block of stone, and beautifully polished, and having, like that of Tanjore, been well rubbed with oil, they have lost all the appearance of being of stone. The pavilion in which the bull is enshrined is sixty-six feet long by about twenty in width.'