Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Haranahalli is a small village near Arsikere and 35 kilometres from Hassan town. There are two temples DSC01142in this small place which are rich in their architecture but they are totally ignored by the government and ASI due to which they are becoming endangered. When i went over, they were locked and i had to get them opened. There is no proper maintenance inside the complex.

The inside of the temple is good though. We enter to a four pillared mukhamantapa from which three shrines are connected. The pillars are again typical Hoysala types with rounded DSC01158structure and 5 different parts to the ceiling. The ceiling is 5 stepped inside and has amazing design. Each step is connected with the other as a interlocked piece even though it is completely monolithic.

The remaining sections of the mantapa are carved with turrets and pillars protruding outside. There are two start shaped pillars which again is typical Hoysala signature. There are images of Lakshmi Narasimha, Chennakesava and Venugopala inside the shrines. There was not much to look inside lets talk a little bit about outside.

DSC01144This temple is a simple trikuta construction with three shrines situated around a common hall with a strong emphasis on the central shrine. In plan and execution, this temple is similar to the ones that are found in places like Hosaholalu, Javagallu and Nuggehalli, but only here no later structures have been added to the main temple. The central vimana has a star-like plan and a complete tower and its nose is also complete with an intricate design. Due to the design, this temple looks much like an ekakuta when seen from the outside.

The outside wall is carved DSC01162similar to the Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara Temples where there are friezes at the bottom followed by sculptures and pillar like structure on the top. Part of the friezes were left un-sculpted plain. I assume that the part of the stone was unsuitable for any carving because of its composition (either too hard or too soft). I say this as there is no sign of human inflicted damage to the sculpture as we see in the Chennakesava Temple, Belur or The Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu. There is an inscription on a stone slab but its unreadable now because of the exposure to weather.

DSC01165The caretaker will have a guest book over there for the tourists to write comments. When i asked about the ill-maintenance, he simply said that the local MLA visited the temple recently and assured a grant. I doubt it though as this was the same answer that one of my friends got when he visited the temple after a couple of months. I was there for about 15 minutes in this complex and moved ahead to my last pit-stop for the day, The Bucheswara Temple in Koravangala.

References: A Complete Guide to Hoysala Temples by Gerard Foekema


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