Basral is a small village in Mandya taluk and was known by its ancient name Basurivala. It was an ancient Agrahara. It is famous for the Mallikarjuna temple built in 1234 A.D., by Harihara Dandanayaka, a minister under Hoysala king Narasimha II.
The temple is a Trikuta with three Garbhagrihas, a Sukhanasi, a common Navaranga, a Mukhamandapa, a Nandimandapa and a Dvaramandapa. The temple has two entrances to the south and north. The entire temple is built of soapstone and stands on a platform of carved mouldings. The wall is in typical Hoysala style with six horizontal friezes, each measuring seven inches in height.
Above the friezes are found a large number of sculptures in various poses representing various gods and goddesses under intricately carved canopies. These sculptures represent Narasimha, Siva, Siva-Parvati, Ganesha, Lakshminarayana, Chaturmukha Brahma, Sarasvati, Bhairava, etc.
The main attraction of the interior is the large number of lathes turned soapstone pillars. Each pillar has moulded pedestal, square base, cylindrical shaft, capital, an abacus and a corbel above. The shaft of the pillars contains many grooves, flat, concave and convex moldings. They are sharply cut and polished to a smooth glossy surface.
There are two eaves, one just above the sculptures and the other at the roof level and they add beauty to the outer wall of the temple. The western Garbhagriha has a fine Linga representing Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy. The southern and northern Garbhagrihas do not have the original images now, but have loose sculptures of Surya and Naga-Nagini, placed there sometime later. The doorways of the Garbhagrihas have delicately and richly carved decorations.
There are many ceilings of the typical Hoysala workmanship. Their variety is amazing. There are many niches in the Navaranga which have sculptures of Mahishamardini, Ganesha and Sarasvati. There is also a Saptamatrika panel.
The Mukhamandapa is connected with Nandimandapa and the latter houses a Nandi ornamented with rope, pendants, bells, fillets etc. Such bulls are rare in Hoysala sculpture. This Mandapa also has a Kakshasana. Thus this temple is a typical Hoysala structure of the ornate style in Mandya.