When we study the foundations of various Kingdoms, some of them that flourished with exquisite art and wealth were founded on the basis of flowered knowledge and Alchemy. Such was the Empire of Hoysalas. It reached its greatest prosperity during the reign of King Vishnuvardhana and Queen Santala as they themselves were masters of spiritual knowledge and art. King Vishnuvardhana, apart from being a valiant warrior, he also has great knowledge of architecture. He built a Shiva temple at the Hoysala Capital Halebeedu during the 12th Century.

The great temple has been carved out of Soapstone that houses the Hoysaleswara and Santaleswara. Its one of the very few temples in India that depicts Shiva directly as an androgynous being. Since it was carved out of soapstone, it allowed the artisans to bring minute detail in the carvings. The temple also houses a 7 foot tall statue of the Sun God. The temple withstood various invasions of Delhi Sultanate in the 13th and 14th centuries; as a result the main temple towers have been razed down.

However, the temple has 340 surviving sculptures that intricately depict Ramayana and Mahabharata, and there were also many other carvings that portray the daily life in the kingdom, even the Hoysalas has good relations with Chinese, Europeans and Egyptians as they’re keenly carved in the temple. All of these exquisite carvings were done on multiple layered friezes. It also has a carving of the Hoysala King fighting a Yali. What if all the temples and culture of India were to be renewed and come alive irrespective of what went before and all the obscure past has been banished? These monuments promise a divine providence in the future of this land!  

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari