India | Karnataka

Hoysala Architecture

The Hoysala architectural style is considered an intermediate between the Indo-Aryan style of the North and the Dravidian style of the South. This style of temple architecture flourished during the rule of the Hoysala Dynasty (1050 -1300 AD) in Mysore.

The temples built in this architectural style have certain common characteristics such as a star shaped base, three shrines structured around a central pillared hall, with each shrine having a tower. The pillars are made with horizontal mouldings. The grilled windows have detailed designs carved on them. The towers of the shrines are constructed in well defined horizontal tiers. The temples are almost entirely covered with delicate sculptural work and the towers are beautifully designed. A very fine grained soap stone used to construct these temples makes carving on them easy. Some of the temples of note are Chennakesava temple in Belur, Hoysaleswara temple in Halebid and the Kesava temple in Somnathapur.

Updated on 18th July, 2005

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