One of the premiere ruling families of Karnataka, Hoysala dynasty, contributed hugely to the cultural wealth of the state particularly in the fields of architecture and sculpture between the 10th and the 14th century.
The name Hoysala brings a significant story of a “guru” (teacher) and his “shishya” (student) Sala, when he was in armed combat with a tiger. While performing the rituals in Vasantha Parameshwari temple, the tiger attacked the duo; and upon the command of Guru Sudatta Muni- “Hoy Sala” that means strike Sala, the student struck the animal in one blow. Pleased with him the guru instructed Sala to establish a kingdom and thus was born the Hoysala dynasty, with Sosevur as its capital.
The dynasty that ruled Karnataka for over 400 years is not only famous for its battles and braveries but also for the outstanding temples. Over 1,500 shrines were built during this period out of which 400 have been discovered.
Let us take a look at some of the important temples and places which must be recommended to come into recognition at tourist map apart from Belur, Halebeedu and Somnathpur temples.
Angadi temple follows the great legend of the bravery of Sala and is believed that Sala’s Sosevur is Angadi. Angadi is a small hamlet in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, where this temple of the Goddess is situated along with the ruins of more temples and Jain Basadis. The priest narrates the story and will show you the temple where Sala killed the tiger. Although, historians disapprove the myth; and believe that the Basadis here were the earliest of the monuments built by the Hoysalas. One can find the uphill of dense coffee plantations through rugged paths. A tourist can also visit Chennakesava, Patalarudreshwara and Mallikarjuna temples nearby to the Angadi temple. The surroundings are musical with the chirping of the birds among the verdant plantations.
Hulikere is not temple but a Kalyani (step-well) found in Hoysala monuments. This step well is located barely a few kilometers from the Hoysaleshwar temple in Halebeedu. The Hulikere has several shrines surrounding it and it often becomes the playground for the villagers and believe to be Queen Shantala Devi‘s private pond.
Koravangala is the amazing place near Hassan where the beautiful Hoysala temple was built. It is a 12th century Dwikuta or a temple with two towers, dedicated to Shiva called Bucheswara. The temple was built by a wealthy officer Buchi after he won the war against the Cholas, although he lost his sons in the battle. The inscriptions here indicate that Buchi vied with his brothers Govinda and Naka, whose temples lie absolutely in ruins beside a dry lake bed.
A remote village in Chikmagalur district where a tourist can find twin temples dedicated to Keshava and Siddeshwara. This village tells the story of a village chief, Poysala Muruga, who was the earliest founders of the dynasty. Today it has lost its soul and one can only find the patches of land to see the temples virtually lost to the sky and earth.