March 8, 2021

Hoysala Temples with Pavan Srinath

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This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Pavan Srinath, a policy researcher and host of Pragati podcastThale Harate podcast and BIC Talks podcast, as he takes us around our home state of Karnataka, exploring the temples of the Hoysala kingdom!

Today's destination: Hoysala temples of Karnataka!

Nearest Airport: Kempegowda Airport, Bengaluru (BLR)

Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore railway station (SBC)

Prerequisites - Dress according to the weather, some temples might need you to dress appropriately.

Packing - n/a

Time of the year - Round the year, except summers

Length of the itinerary: Weekend itinerary or an Ex-Bangalore itinerary

Itinerary Highlights:

- Pavan walks us through the origins of the Hoysala empire and the rise from being cheiftains in the Malenadu region to being rulers of a majority of the Karnataka region, spread over a period of 300 years
- The rise of the Hoysala empire also coincides with the Bhakti movement and vaishnavite form of Hinduism in the region primarily influenced by Jainism.
- The most popular ruler of Hoysalas was King Vishnuvardhana, who also started the work for one of the most popular temples of the era - the Chennakeshava temple in Belur, devoted to Lord Vishnu and built over a period of over hundred years.
- Pavan discusses the intricacies of the Hoysala architecture as well as the key characteristics of the temple, including short Vimanas, raised platforms and intricate carvings on the panels. We also discuss the use of soapstone in the construction of the temples as well as the characteristic black sheen of the structures.
- Halebidu has the other set of popular temples that succeeded the Belur temple complex, with the Hoysaleshwara temple being the most significant of the lot. Halebidu was later the capital of the Hoysala kingdom before being ransacked by the raiding Sultanate armies.
- Besides the temples in Belur and Halebidu, other significant temples in the region include the temples in Belavadi - primarily Veeranarayanaswamy temple built by the Hoysala king Veera Ballala II

Other important Hoysala temples include, but are not limited to
- Chennakeshava Temple (Somanathapura near Mysore)
- Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple (Nuggehalli near Hassan)
- Lakshmi Narasimha Temple (Javagal near Hassan)
- Lakshmi Devi Temple (Doddagaddavalli near Hassan)
- Nageshwara-Chennakeshava Temple (Mosale near Hassan)
- Lakshminarayana Temple (Hosaholalu near Mysore)
- Amrutesvara Temple (Amruthapura near Shivamogga)


Links to Pavan's podcasts:
Pragati podcast -
Thale Harate podcast
BIC Talks podcast -

Links to Pavan's social media:

Battle music:
Sota War ( by YleArkisto ( is licensed under CC by 3.0 (

Image Credits - The Musafir Stories Podcast
Leaf Circle Vectors by Vecteezy

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