Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hoysala temples of Nuggihalli

Nuggihalli is a village 50km from Hassan. The Lakshminarasinha temple found here is a temple completely covered with sculpture. The temple dates from 1246 AD. There is a second temple in the village, called Sadasiva temple, that has no sculptures but is very interesting from the architectural point of view: it is a Hoysala Nagara temple.

North-West view of the Lakshminarasinha Temple, Nuggihalli

The plan of the Laksminarasinha temple is a common one: Three shrines are situated around a common hall, the central one with tower and nose, the lateral ones without tower and without nose. Thus, in the inside, the two lateral cellas are directly connected to the hall, and only the central one has a vestibule forming the connection. Although the plan is a trikuta, only one shrine is easily recognizable, and seen from the outside the temple looks like an ekakuta

The spacious compound with a old well and several other mantaps. The new structure seen towards the front of the Lakshminarasinha temple

South-West view of the Lakshminarasinha temple

View of the main gopura through a small mantap

Snail through the gopura
However, only in this temple, modern towers are found topping the lateral shrines. They do not belong there but, nevertheless, they clarify the plan of the temple. 

I absolutely loved the rear view of the temple climbing up the wall. It looks very spacious and beautiful with the sculptures. The wall-images here number about 120 and they mainly show Vaisnava icons, but also a Bhairava and Bhairavi. In the southern half of the temple they are sculptured by a sculptor named Baichoja. His images are beautiful and they all have the same character, a character of dignity and peace. In the northern half of the temple the images are by the hand of another sculptor, Mallitamma. His sculptures are more lively and show more variation in character, but the quality of his work is less constant.

Northern wall of the Lakshminarasinha temple

Panoramic view of the Lakshminarasinha temple. West view.

Inside the temple, especially the four pillars and the ceiling of the hall are beautiful. The three cellas each contain form of Visnu: Venugopala, Kesava and Lakshminarasinha

The Sadasiva Temple, situated to the north of the village, is an ekakuta of very exceptional architectural design. As in the two royal temples in Belur, the projections of the walls are not framed by long and slender pilasters, and they also miss any other reference to architecture in wood; consequently the walls have a typically severe look. 

Simple and Elegant design on the walls of Sadasiva temple

Main gopura of the Sadasiva temple

North-West view of the Sadasiva Temple, Nuggihalli
Although entry view of this temple is almost blocked by the compound wall and the village backdrop, the view from the corner of the compound inside is spectacular. The design is simple and elegant. It does not pierce into your eyes but attracts with its beautiful linear type of design. I only wished if the authorities had given more space to this temple so they would have a bigger compound which would make it look more beautiful. 

North-West corner of the Sadasiva temple

The Hoysala symbol on the gopura

Text taken from the book 'A Complete Guide to Hoysala Temples' by Gerard Foekema.

Photographed on 2012 January 26, Thursday. 
© Srikanth Parthasarathy


Sudhi said...

Nice pics with good description !

Narasim said...

The time when you took the photographs have given you the magical effect of light and shade.

The photographs are powerfully evocative. Of course, they technically excellent.

The brief text gives a good context.

sumitra said...

Lovely photographs! It's awesome the way you've analyzed and described the architecture. Loved reading this post.