Friday, April 5, 2013
Kedaresvara Temple, Halebid
Halebidu Heritage trip Part -(1)
The Kedaresvara temple is situated just few meters away from Hoysalesvara temple, though smaller in size is gem of arts. It is one of the fine structures of the Hoysala period built at their one time capital Dwarasamudra, now known as Halebid (old Capital). The elaborateness of ornamentation of this temple can be compared to embroided jewelry.
According to the inscriptions it was built by Hoysala King Ballala 2 and his queen Abhinava Ketaladevi in 1219 A.D. Some parts of this fine temple had been destroyed and some reconstruction work has taken place in this temple. Inspite of this, The temple has retained most of its originality and presents a good view of a typical Hoysala temple.
The Kedaresvara temple is built of soapstone. The temple stands on a platform of sixteen points and the superstructure is parallel to the contour of the platform. Originally this was a Trikuta or three celled temple but out of three all the two Garbhagrihas are now empty. As found in Hoysala temples the lower part of the wall has horizontal friezes.
The most important of these friezes are the scenes depicting stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas. The story of Ramayana is in great detail and culminates at the war scene showing Ravana’s death, Vibhishana’s coronation, Rama, Laksmana and Sita returning to Ayodya and Rama’s coronation.
The story of Mahabharata begins from the scene of Gograhana and ends with fight between Bhima and Duryodhana, The story of Bhagavatha begins with the birth of Krishna. There is another half freize in which is depicted probably the court of king Ballala2.
Over and above these frizes are the usual sculptures of Gods and goddesses. They are in different poses and are shown under ornamented and intricately carved canopies. Majority of these sculptures represent various incarnations of Vishnu8 such as Varaha, Vamana etc.
Other gods and goddess that are found more than once are Narasimha, Vishnu-Lakshmi, Dakshinamurthy, Gajasamharamurti, Kalingamardana, Venugopla, Tandavesvara, Mohini, Manmatha, Ravana lifting the mount Kailsa, Surya, Brahma etc.
Interior is equally fine with Lathe turned pillars and minutely carved Bhuvanesvaris (ceilings). Some of them have lotius buds kanging down in the center. The Sikhara which once adorned the southern Garbhagriha is now missing. This temple is one of the most exquisite specimens of Hoysala architecture just hidden between Hoysalesvara and Jain temple.
The Kedaresvara temple is one of the most exquisite specimens of Hoysala architecture, Fergusson says “if it were possible to illustrate this temple in anything like completeness there is possible nothing in India which would convey a better idea of what its architects were capable of accomplishing”.