The origin of the Hoysalas is a matter of much interesting speculation and controversy. Like their distinguished contemporaries, the Seunas, the Hoysalas too claim their descent from Yadu (Lunar Dynasty) and call themselves the Yadavas. The conventional titles like, "Yadavanarayana", "Yadavakutambrad-yumani" and "Dvaravatipura-varadhisvara" are common to both the Seunas and the Hoysalas. These details are compiled from internet and by various sources by the Blogger over the years.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mallikarjuna Temple (1234 A.D), Basralu, Mandya Taluk, Mandya District.

Though a very small structure, the Mallikarjuna temple is splendour in stone, depicting the architecture of the Hoysala period. Constructed under the patronage of Harihara Dandanayaka, a commander in 1234 AD during the regime of Narasimha-II, the temple is situated at Basralu; a small village situated about 24 kms from Mandya town.

The temple was built completely in the Hoysala style, right from the mahadwara to the ashtadipalaka. The structure stands on a four-foot jagathi, and has a stallite plan like many other Hoysala temples. Though the temple faces east, the entrance faces the south direction. There are three garbagrihas of which only the central one has a shukanasi. The Mallikarjuna linga adorns the central garbagriha, and to the front is a small navaranga. In the other two garbagrihas are images of Surya and a Nagadevatha couple. But these images do not belong to these garbagrihas. If we observe the figure of Garuda carved on the pedestal of the left garbagriha, we can conclude that there must have originally been a Kesava image here.

There are four niches in the navaranga housing attractive sculptures of Ganesha, Saraswathi and Mahishamardini. One of these niches is empty. The lintel in the doorway of the navaranga has an elaborate carving of Nataraja surrounded by his attendants. There are sculptures of Shaivite dwarapalakas on either side of the rather short doorway. In front of this navaranga is a big closed porch, with a Nandi image in the centre.

The jagathi is plain, with stairs leading to the temple on either side. The bitthi, as in any other Hoysala temple, is decorated with friezes of floral patterns, horses, elephants and so on. The koshtas on this bitthi have elegant sculptures of Ganesha, manifestations of Shiva and Vishnu, themes like Arjuna aiming the Matsya yanthra and others.

There is a sculpture of a male deity on the southern wall, which seems to be peculiar. This sculpture has been identified as Shiva. But it seems to be a rare sculpture, probably of the celestial Rahu. The fourhanded image holds a trident in the lower right hand, a three-hooded serpent in the upper right hand, a battle-axe in the lower left hand and a soorpa (winnow) in the upper left hand. This winnow is mentioned as chamara (fan). But the shape and weaved portions are so clearly carved that we can conclude that it is a winnow and not a fan. However, this sculpture is not commonly seen in other Hoysala temples.

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