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Views in Mysore. Ruined temple of Hallabeed [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid]. Carvings on western face

Views in Mysore. Ruined temple of Hallabeed [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid]. Carvings on western face

Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 212/6(28)

Item number: 212628

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Halebid is a site in the Hassan district of Karnataka, once famous as Dwarasamudra, the capital of the Hoysalas, from the 12th to the 14th centuries. The Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebid dates from the mid-12th century and represents the apogee of the Hoysala style of architecture, richly decorated with finely wrought carving in the grey-green chloritic schist of the region. The temple was sacred to Shiva and consists of twin structures that are linked and form a complex with two sanctuaries and two pillared halls or mandapas built on a stepped plan. 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, gives the following description of this photograph offering a close view of banded sculptural work and mouldings of the western fa├žade: '[it] shows in detail another portion of the carvings on the western side. On the centre block will be recognised another representation of the Narasinha, or man-lion, the fourth Avatar of Vishnu, which has been already depicted several times before, especially at Avadea Covill [Avudayar Kovil], in the Tanjore district, and of which an account is given when describing that temple. On the other side of the same block, is Shiva in one of his many incarnations; further on to the left, is the same god rejoicing over the slain Tripurasura, already met with several times, and to balance him on the right is Brahma, three-headed, but here represented as a young man, and beardless, which is rarely the case. All the great gods, it will be observed, have projecting canopies over their heads'.

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