Views in Mysore. Ruined temple of Hallabeed [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid]. Detail of carvings on base of eastern face 212624
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Close-up view of sculptural detail, showing successive bands of repeated motifs of elephants, horses, yalis (mythical lion-like beasts), birds and scrollwork, rising up the façade of the (mid-12th century) Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebid, a small town in Karnataka, which was once prosperous as the seat of the Hoysala rulers. The Hoysalas were energetic temple builders and their architecture was embellished with precision-carved sculptural friezes as seen in this picture. Lyon wrote 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, 'The Carvings shown are....on the east side of the temple, and will well repay the closest and minutest inspection. As before remarked, the arrangement of the parts is extremely similar to that found at Bailoor, but it is also found in other temples, and may be considered characteristic of the style. It is also worthy of remark, that in both temples, the animals carved are placed according to their size and strength, the elephant, the largest and strongest, being placed the lowest, as being better able to bear the superincumbent weight; next above comes the Shardala or lion, next the horse, and fourthly the man; while above all comes the bird, as being the weakest of all'.