Our next destination in search of the most awesome, historic architecture of India was to the Belur and Halibedu in Karnataka. Home to the famous Chennakesava temple and Hoysaleswara temple, these towns attracted our attention with what can only be described as a monument of architectural wonders. We planned a short 3 days trip, which we knew would be jam-packed if we wanted to capture all of these age old monuments.
The great Chennakeshava temple in Belur took almost 103 years to build by 3 generations of kings and craftsmen and it is evident why when we experience the true brilliance of the 12th century shrine dedicated to Vishnu. The walls are adorned by massive sculptures of uniquely minute details that seem unachievable even with today’s advanced tools. We cannot miss appreciating the richness of culture, brotherhood and level of acceptance between the people from various beliefs that the people of ancient Hoysala empire nourished. The day spent photographing the brilliance of Belur cannot have gone by sooner, lost in the sheer magnitude of this treasured monument.If we were awestruck by the wonders of Chennakeshava temple, then the Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu totally blew our minds. The temple is said to be left in ruins by constant attacks by the Delhi sultanate back in the 14th century and even what was left of it was enough to leave us dumbstruck by what it could have been if not for the attacks. Sanctioned by the same King, around the same time as the Belur temple, this structure was dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shantala Devi mainly but also includes shrines for the sun god, Surya Bagavan. The temple is known for its extremely detailed miniature sculptures. A hub for devotees, students of architecture and fashion looking for inspirations, tourists and photographers alike, this is a place that will truly inspire people of all walks. Photographing the breathtaking pieces of work in both the sites was a unique experience of the advancement of the lost ages and skills of our country. It is doubtful if we can dream of such craftsmanship at this age and time.
Shot with Sony A7III, Sony 24mm GM f1.4 and Samyang 14mm f2.8 , Dec 2018