was the capital of Hoysala rulers, built by the side of Lake Dwarasamudra
and named after it. The Hoysala established their capital here in the 12th
century, enclosing it with a wall of enormous boulders and a moat that was
connected to the Lake. Within these walls they
built another, smaller fortress to house the dazzling royal palace. When the
city was ransacked by Malik Kafur, the Muslim general, the capital was shifted
to Belur. Dwarasamudra was nostalgically referred to as Halebidu or `Old
capital,’ a name it retains till today. Halebidu has several strikingly
beautiful Hoysala temples and Jain shrines.
is a sculptural extravaganza, richly smothered with the most finely detailed
carving. Work on it was started by Ketamalla, a high ranking officer of
Vishnuvaradhana, around 1211, and though work on it continued for over 75
years, it was never fully completed. The temple has the most breathtaking horizontal
and vertical friezes. The lower portion of the temple walls has several
splendidly carved horizontal bans with remarkable details, depictions of scenes
from the epics the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagvata.
There is a striking image said to be that of king
Vishnuvardhana. Other points of interest include a pillar with a Kannada
inscription narrating how the bodyguards of King Ballala II killed themselves
in according with their death vow not to survive him. The Hoysaleswara has site
museum displaying the sculptural wealth of Hoysala art.
Kedareswara temple was restored after its recent collapse
due to age and neglect. This is a precious gem of Hoysala temple art. Much of
the carving has an exquisite jewel –like quality.