Views in Mysore. Ruined temple of Hallabeed [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid]. A portion of east face
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon, showing a portion of the east face of the 12th century Hoysaleshvara temple at Halebid in Karnataka. In Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, he writes: '....Mr. Fergusson in describing this portion of the temple, says, "On the terrace stands a frieze of elephants, following all the sinuosities of the plan, and extending to some 710 feet in length, and containing not less than 2,000 elephants, most of them with riders and trappings, and sculptured as only an oriental can represent the wisest of brutes. Above these is a frieze of Shardalas or conventional lions, the emblems of the Hoisala Bellalas who built the temple. Then comes a scroll of infinite beauty and variety of design, over this a frieze of horsemen and another scroll, over which is a bas-relief of scenes from the Ramayana, representing the conquest of Ceylon, and all the varied incidents of that epic. This, like the other, is 700 feet long. (The friezes of the Parthenon are only 550). Then come celestial beasts and celestial birds, and all along the east front, a frieze of groups from human life, and then a cornice with a rail divided into panels, each containing two figures." The stone slabs between the sculptured base and the roof are pierced through to admit light to the interior as at Bailoor, but the interstices, as just mentioned, are not so handsomely carved. The polygonal tower in the centre, marks the junction of the two porches, and is similar in design to the base of six Vimanas, which were originally intended to adorn the west side of this temple.'