Thursday, October 20, 2011

DSC00964The Kedareshwara Temple looks similar to the Hoysaleswara Temple in its architecture and design but very small compared to the latter. Also the temple is more or less in ruins without proper maintenance. In fact, you will not find much visitors even during day time. People simply choose to ignore this for the bigger and more famous temple nearby. The current entrance to the temple complex is from its side as the main path is filled with bushes.

Veera Ballala II and his younger Queen Abhinva Ketala Devi built the temple of Kedareshwara in 1319 A.D. This temple was praised by Ferguson two centuries ago as "Gem of Indian Architecture". He expressed that if this temple had been illustrated in any thing like compleDSC00965teness there was probably nothing in India which would have conveyed a better idea of what its architecture was capable of doing. Unfortunately portions of the temple collapsed more than 70 years ago and it was not possible to bring it to its original shape.

As any typical Hoysala temple construction, you can find the the temple is on an elevated octagonal jagati. Similar to the Hoysaleswara Temple, this temple has 9 levels of friezes from the basement and you can refer to the description about the friezes here. Like the Hoysaleswara Temple, there is meshed window made of stone in some parts of the temple especially near the entrances and small pillars on the other parts.

Above theDSC00983 friezes you will find the statues of the various godly forms and mythological stories. In all, there are about 200 different sculptures above the friezes. I will not talk about them much as they are similar to the ones we have seen in the Hoysaleswara Temple Eg. Mahishasura Mardhini, Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhana Mountain, Varaha form of Lord Vishnu etc. Lets go inside the temple.

As you enter the temple, you will enter a pillared mukhamantapa with shrines in front and either sides. The architecture of the pillars is also a typical Hoysala style with 5 sections. As you see in this picture, the front two pillars are of a different style again a Hoysala mark. There are no idols in two of the shrines but you will find a small Linga on a pedestal in the shrine right inDSC00968 front. The inside of the sanctums are pretty simple with no craftwork. But one thing is evident that the shrines on either side held sculptures and not Linga. We can recognize this by the small square holes on the pedestal. A Linga is normally carved out of a single stone including the pedestal. Some locals worship the temple even if there is no priest appointed. Inside the most beautiful parts is the ceiling and the spiked pillars, which are amazing to touch and feel.

Even though this temple is much smaller than the Hoysaleswara Temple, it has all the aspects and features that the latter has. The ASI has to renovate the external sculpture so that people take interest to visit it. There was one more temple on my itinerary for the day, so had to move quickly out to my final destination, one more rarely visited place.


magiceye said...

wonderful post!

Hari Narayana said...

Thank You @magiceye!

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