Views in Mysore. Ruined temple of Hallabeed [Hoysalesvara Temple, Halebid]. Detail of carving on base of west face
Photographer: Lyon, Edmund David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The tiny hamlet of Halebid in the Hassan district of Karnataka was once known as Dwarasamudra, the flourishing capital of the Hoysalas from the 12th to the 13th centuries. It was destroyed when it fell to the Delhi Sultanate in 1350. The Hoysalas were prolific temple builders, and the Hoysaleshvara temple of Halebid, sacred to 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). This is a close view of part of the decorative friezes on the basement of the wall of the temple showing scenes from the Ramayana and bands of scrollwork. 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: '[it] is an enlarged portion of the base of the western façade in detail; the white patches seen on the Photograph are splashes of whitewash, carelessly left by the masons during the recent repairs. It is to be regretted also, that where they have repaired the stone, the mortar has not been coloured, which would not have so much disfigured the carvings. The subject of the bas-relief is a battle between two charioteers, with drivers and attendants; but there is nothing to enable us to distinguish who the warriors are; on the extreme left, Shiva will be observed with Parvati seated on his knee.'