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Old 3rd November 2016, 23:47   #46
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Default Re: Guide To The Lesser Known Hoysala Era Temples (Vol 2)

ARALAGUPPE

Name: Chennakeshava Temple
Wiki Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenna...le,_Aralaguppe
How To Get There: Type 'Chennakeshava Temple' in Google Maps and select 'Chennakeshava Temple, Aralaguppe' from the drop down list.
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/mSW3qnTW1HH2
Distance from Hassan: 89 kms

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-screenshot_20161103234418.jpg

Unlike other destinations, village road to Aralaguppe is not in a good condition:

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-20161031_151713.jpg

Approach road to the temple:

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Front view:

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Aralaguppe was guarded by a somewhat unfriendly cop. He took down visitors name, address and phone numbers in a book. Absolutely no photos allowed. Reason? Spate of idol robberies in Hoysala temples. Some of these 900 year old idols are worth up to Rs. 2.5 Crores in the international market.

A walk around the temple:

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Last edited by smartcat : 3rd November 2016 at 23:56.
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Old 4th November 2016, 00:12   #47
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Default Re: Guide To The Lesser Known Hoysala Era Temples (Vol 2)

TURUVEKERE (Vishnu Temple)

Name: Chennakeshava Temple
Wiki Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenna...le,_Turuvekere
How To Get There: Type 'Sri Channakeshava Temple' in Google Maps and select 'Sri Channakeshava Temple, Turuvekere' from the drop down list.
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/yWPGagi16472
Distance from Hassan: 91 kms

Tip: Avoid going to Turuvekere on Monday - it's a 'flea market' day and there will be thousands of people on the road.

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-screenshot_20161104000758.jpg

Approach road to the temple:

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-20161031_171315.jpg

Shrine is open only in the morning. Front view:

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-20161031_171305.jpg

A walk around the temple:

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Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-20161031_171144.jpg

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-20161031_171105.jpg

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-20161031_171251.jpg
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Old 4th November 2016, 00:18   #48
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Default Re: Guide To The Lesser Known Hoysala Era Temples (Vol 2)

TURUVEKERE (Shiva Temple)

Name: Moole Shankareshwara Temple
Wiki Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moole_...le,_Turuvekere
How To Get There: Type 'Mule Sankaresvara Temple' in Google Maps and select 'Mule Sankaresvara Temple, Bediswaste' from the drop down list. Just 250 metres from Chennakeshava Temple.
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/g523Vsfa5K12
Distance from Hassan: 91 kms

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-screenshot_20161104001605.jpg

Unfortunately, we could not even enter the temple complex. One shot from outside the temple compound:

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-p_20161031_172203_1_p.jpg

Last edited by smartcat : 4th November 2016 at 00:30.
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Old 7th November 2016, 13:43   #49
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

Thank you for your perseverance. Its not easy to go on endeavors like this, especially with ones family and kids. I am reasonably sure that even Govt of Karnataka (or their tourist dept) may not be aware of these places in such a comprehensive manner. I appreciate your efforts in bringing such places into light, to the delight of T-BHPians.
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Old 7th November 2016, 14:25   #50
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
Thank you for your perseverance. Its not easy to go on endeavors like this, especially with ones family and kids.
Thanks. It helps if the wife likes saying 'Hello' to Gods at various locations, and husband likes to say 'Hello' to the road. The kids are fine as long as they get to stretch their legs every 1 to 1.5 hours.

Quote:
I am reasonably sure that even Govt of Karnataka (or their tourist dept) may not be aware of these places in such a comprehensive manner. I appreciate your efforts in bringing such places into light, to the delight of T-BHPians.
To be fair, I think the Government and tourism authorities have done quite a bit.

- The sites are clean, safe and green
- Approach roads are in good condition.
- There is almost always an official/unofficial guide or a priest (who doubles up as a guide).
- 32 page PDF document about many of the Hoysala temples from Govt of India
http://www.hassan.nic.in/pdfs/touris...lden%20Era.pdf
- Belur/Halebid/Somnathpur visitors are given a large colourful brochure which lists 10 or 12 Hoysala temples.
- There is that unique Karnataka Tourism yellow board sign pointing to Hoysala temples from the main highway. Example:

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However, these signboards are there are pretty much all temples - and there are literally thousands of temples all over Karnataka. Perhaps the Government should put up a unique signboard for ancient architecturally beautiful temples. And I guess they should get in touch with national and international tour operators and ask them to sell 'Hoysala Packages' (lack of toilets at site might be an issue though).

Now, there are a handful of blog sites written by Hoysala enthusiasts which list a majority of the sites with detailed explanation and photos. However, they lack proper directions. On the other hand, there is this amazing website - www.templesofkarnataka.com - which has put all Hoysala temples on a map (but has little content and no photos)

Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-hoysala_map.jpg

My Team-BHP.com Hoysala blog does not have big words explaining the architecture ( ), but gives people an idea about how the temple looks (a walkaround) and directions to get there.
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Old 7th November 2016, 15:56   #51
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
To be fair, I think the Government and tourism authorities have done quite a bit.
That's great to know! Hope they use your blog/travelogue as pointers for people arriving from far. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing and your spirit of adventure as much as I appreciate or accept my incompetence on the same! .
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Old 11th November 2016, 12:44   #52
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Thanks a lot Smartcat for those amazing pictures and getting me acquainted with these lesser known jewels of ancient Indian architecture.
In addition to Orthopaedics, my other field of interest is history and Architecture, and this certainly was a treat.
I have noted down the places and names of these architectural marvels and will visit them some day soon.
It just amazes me how much skill and engineering knowledge our forefathers would have had to be able to build such grand but precision structures out of rock and granite, which stand the test of time.
Also, I am sure it would have taken them ages to carve all those intricate artwork on the stone.
Are there any decent places to stay / make a base in order to visit these temples?.
Cheerio!
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Old 11th November 2016, 15:09   #53
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

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Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
In addition to Orthopaedics, my other field of interest is history and Architecture, and this certainly was a treat.
You can read about Hoysala Architecture here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoysala_architecture
I have purchased a tabletop two volume book on Hoysala Architecture from Amazon.in. It's expensive at Rs. 6,400 but should be good. I will let you know how it is once it arrives.

http://www.amazon.in/Hoysala-Archite...ilpage_o00_s00

Quote:
It just amazes me how much skill and engineering knowledge our forefathers would have had to be able to build such grand but precision structures out of rock and granite, which stand the test of time.
This is where the Hoysalas were different. Instead of Granite, they used a rock called SOAPSTONE. Granite is hard and difficult to work with. But Soapstone (rock + talc) is relatively softer and much easier to work with. That's why Hoysala temples have such intricate art work, which is not to be seen anywhere else.

More about Soapstone:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soapstone

Quote:
Also, I am sure it would have taken them ages to carve all those intricate artwork on the stone.
The Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebid took 30 years to complete.

Quote:
Are there any decent places to stay / make a base in order to visit these temples?.
I would recommend Hotel Sri Krishna at Hassan. Reasonable price, large clean rooms, easy to locate, fast restaurant service, large parking area, North/South Indian meals and availability of Dosa/Idli etc for breakfast.

http://www.hotelsrikrishna.com/

Meanwhile, this WAS my weekend plan (Monday is a holiday):

Quote:

12th Nov (Sat)

Drive to Swati Delicacy, Yediur (85 km) for Lunch, Drive to Yoga Madhavaraya Temple, Settikere (70 Km). Drive to Kibbanahalli Cross for Coffee (17 km), Drive to Kadur (86 km) for Evening snacks . Drive to Shimoga Hotel (70 km) for the night.

13th Nov (Sun)

Drive to Balligavi Kedareshwar (75 km), Drive back to Shimoga (75 km) for Lunch. Drive to Rameswara Temple, Kudli (18 km), Drive to Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Bhadravathi (21 km), Drive back to Shimoga (20 km) for the night

14th Nov (Mon)

Drive to Shri Harihareshwara Temple, Harihar (80 km), Drive to Davanagere (20 Km) for Lunch. Drive to Bangalore (260 km)
Unfortunately, the recent surgical strike on black money resulted in some collateral damage - I cannot go on a holiday with a credit card and just ten Hundred Rupee notes.
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Old 11th November 2016, 16:12   #54
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A 100 thousand Pranams to you for such a detailed report on these heritage temples. Bravo!!!
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Old 12th November 2016, 11:28   #55
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post


This is where the Hoysalas were different. Instead of Granite, they used a rock called SOAPSTONE. Granite is hard and difficult to work with. But Soapstone (rock + talc) is relatively softer and much easier to work with. That's why Hoysala temples have such intricate art work, which is not to be seen anywhere else.
Thank you Smartcat

I have learnt something new- soapstone not granite, I stand corrected.
Thank you for the additional info, I will surely look out for the book and will wait to hear your review about it.
Surgical strike has indeed brought everything to a standstill. But, hey, a little inconvenience for the greater good.
Keep traveling.

Cheerio!
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Old 2nd December 2016, 19:19   #56
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
The Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebid took 30 years to complete.
Smartcat - how is the road from Halebeedu to Banavara via Javagal? Planning to do a day trip tomorrow and here is the route & temples that I plan to cover. https://goo.gl/maps/grS43KhLrd62
Doable with a 6 am start?
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Old 2nd December 2016, 23:19   #57
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Smartcat - how is the road from Halebeedu to Banavara via Javagal? Planning to do a day trip tomorrow and here is the route & temples that I plan to cover. https://goo.gl/maps/grS43KhLrd62
Doable with a 6 am start?
wow, those are way too many locations to cover on a day trip. Remember that most of these places close by 5:45 PM. You will have rush though, and not stay at a single location for more than 30 mins.

Halebid to Banavara via Javagal will take 40 minutes (for 30 kms trip) without trying too hard. You can shave 10 mins off if you work the gears quickly.

While coming back to Bangalore from Arsikere, Google Maps might ask you to take the Tumkur route back. But I think Arsikere - Tiptur - Kibbanahalli Cross - Turuvekere - Yadiyur - Bangalore route might be faster, especially since toll operators start accepting tolls from Dec 3rd.

Last edited by smartcat : 2nd December 2016 at 23:20.
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Old 3rd December 2016, 21:45   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
wow, those are way too many locations to cover on a day trip.
Did manage to cover all of these except for Halebeedu as it was quiet crowded. Will post a detailed update tomorrow as I just got back home.

Quote:
to Banavara via Javagal will take 40 minutes (for 30 kms trip) without trying too hard. You can shave 10 mins off if you work the gears quickly.
Driving on that road was such a pleasure!

Quote:
think Arsikere - Tiptur - Kibbanahalli Cross - Turuvekere - Yadiyur - Bangalore route might be faster, especially since toll operators start accepting tolls from Dec 3rd.
Did Arsikere - CR Patna bypass - Bangalore. Arsikere - CR Patna was again beautiful 2 lane & was easy to maintain 80kmph even though it was patchy. The tank just gobbled up all those patches.

Tolls were not an issue as I had fastag. But even otherwise people were giving change and line was moving.
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Old 4th December 2016, 12:51   #59
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A big shoutout to smartcat for putting this Tlog together and sharing all the required information. Smartcat - apologizing in advance for hijacking your thread but I think its better if all info can be consolidated in one thread.

Did a daytrip yesterday and covered one set of temples. Route taken. Will try not to repeat information that smartcat has shared and keep it to additional info and pics that provide a different perspective/detail.

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The weather was perfect yesterday with a mix of rain and lots of cloud cover. Hardly any sunshine, which means that the pics look a little dull and do not do justice to the beauty and effort that has gone into making these songs in stone.

Decided to go to the Mavinkere temple first as it had been a while since I drove on SH121 . More details about the temple and route here (Red Dwarf's monsoon diary - Exploring new roads of rural Karnataka in a TUV300) (not a Hoysala temple). Started from home at 6.15 am and was at Mavinkere temple at 9 am after a quick breakfast stop at Swati delicacy. Next stop - Twin temples at Mosale (Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples).

A little bit of green on the way to mosale
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-m1.jpg

A regular at the haunt
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-m2.jpg

Symmetry
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-m3.jpg

Its all in the details
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-m4.jpg

Trick shot - Need to get onto the road towards the lake for this perspective
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-m5.jpg

Koravangala was the next stop and what a beauty it turned out to be. Was a little perplexed by the layout of the temple as most hindu temples have the main entrance facing the deity. You typically enter the temple complex and run into a 'dwaja sthamba' which aligns you to the direction of the sanctum sanctorum. In this case the entrance does not align to the sanctum sanctorum but in no way does it deter from the beauty of this petite temple.

Different alignment
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-k1.jpg

The banana flower design. In a lot of temples you will see this design in the ceiling, with the center piece designed to look like a banana flower. My imagination fails when I try to estimate the time & effort required to carve something like this in stone.

Banana flower ceiling
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-k2.jpg

Request/Dedication stone - My assumption as I did see this in a lot of temples
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-k3.jpg

Doddagaddavali (Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples) was the next stop and its quiet easy to locate as Belur road has a big hoarding on your left (when coming for Hassan) indicating the turnoff.

Temple complex
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d1.jpg

Temple contains 4 deities - Lakshmi devi, Narayana, Shiva & Kali. Kalidevi is not a commonly worshiped goddess in this part of the country.

'Betala' standing guard!
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d6.jpg

Lord Shiva holding a rudra veena after tandava
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d2.jpg

Makara A mythical beast with trunk of an elephant, eye of a cat, body of a boar, legs of a bull and tail of a peacock.
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d3.jpg

8 Directions Every section in the ceiling which represents one of the 8 corners is carved with special detail. This if I remember right is Lord Varuna with his consort & Ishvara Parvati on the Nandi
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d4.jpg
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d7.jpg

A different layout Here again the temple layout is a little hard to comprehend as the temple entrance does not align with the placement of the deities. The Narayana idol was stolen a decade ago and now is in the UK(Not surprised!). Apparently PM Modi has got assurances from the brits that the idol will be shipped back to India and will be reinstalled here.
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-d5.jpg

Plan was to stop at Halebeedu if there was not much crowd but the volume of buses parked on the road completed the story. We quietly zipped by towards Belavadi.
Belavadi Veeranarayana temple (Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples) has to be my pick of this trip as the beauty of the place lies in the exquisite idols in the sanctum sanctorum. The priest informed us that the idols were made from Saligrama shila (fossilized black stone. The Balaji idol in Tirupati is also said to be made of the same stone) and when you view the idols, you cannot ignore the radiance. Veeranarayana, Gopala & Yoga Narasimha - all 3 are beautifully carved and a treat to the eye.

Temple entrance gate & dwaja sthamba
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b1.jpg

Massive bell shaped Pillars
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b2.jpg

The orientation of the temple is so arrow straight that during the spring (vernal) equinox, first rays during sunrise fall directly on the Veeranarayana idol and light it up - as claimed by the priest. Planning to verify this by travelling there in March 2017 and witnessing the same.

Temple complex
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b3.jpg
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b4.jpg
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b5.jpg

Detailing
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b6.jpg
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b7.jpg

Hoy - Sala
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-b8.jpg

Quote:
Kannada folklore tells a tale of a young man Sala, who saved his Jain guru Sudatta by striking dead a Tiger he encountered near the temple of the Goddess Vasantika at Angadi, now called Sosevuru. The word "strike" literally translates to "hoy" in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada), hence the name "Hoy-sala". This legend first appeared in the Belur inscription of Vishnuvardhana, but owing to several inconsistencies in the Sala story it remains in the realm of folklore.The legend may have come into existence or gained popularity after King Vishnuvardhana's victory over the Cholas at Talakad as the Hoysala emblem depicts the fight between the mythical warrior Sala and a tiger, the tiger being the emblem of the Cholas
Source - Wikipedia

Javagal (Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples) & Arkere (Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples) are relatively smaller temples. Javagal temple wasn't open and we just spent a few minutes walking around snapping a few pics. Arkere is again a small temple but the highlight of this temple was the Lakshmi Narasimha idol - you dont often see idols depicting Lakshmi sitting on Narasimha's lap.

Javagal temple
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-j1.jpg

Vishnu on Adishesha
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-j2.jpg

Tank next to the Arkere temple
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-a1.jpg

Arsikere (Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples) was the last stop and we managed to get there amidst a steady drizzle. There was some crowd as the temple is well known. The exquisite dance hall outside the temple is a work of art and sitting there watching the rain was an experience

The dome like top structure on the dance hall seems out of place as most Hyosala roof structures are either step like pyramids or flat structures. Same is the case with the Nandi on the main temple gopuram - never seen anything like that before. Both seem like an afterthought or recent additions in my opinion.

Temple & Dance hall
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-ak1.jpg

Temple complex
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-ak2.jpg

Dwarf & the temple
Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples-ak3.jpg

Chronologiacal Summary
06.15 am - Ignition
07.10 am - Breakfast stop @ Swati Delicacy
09.00 am - Mavinkene temple
09.45 am - Mosale - Twin temples
11.15 am - Koravangala
12.15 pm - Lunch break at Mallige residency - Hassan
01.15 pm - Doddagaddavali
02.30 pm - Belavadi via Halebeedu
03.40 pm - Javagal
04.00 pm - Arkere
04.30 pm - Pit stop at Coffee Day outside Arsikere
05.00 pm - Arsikere Ishvara temple
06.40 pm - Pit stop at Swati Delicacy for dinner
09.25 pm - Home sweet home

I had planned the route in such a way that I can get to the next temple in 20-30 min from the previous one. Even though it was a long day and I ended up driving 520+ kms, it was not very tiring thanks to the decent roads, breaks and the sight seeing in between.

Road condition - Roads are all good and you just need to follow google maps till the village turnoffs and then ask around to get to the temple entrance. Parag had mentioned that Halebeedu - Javagal had quiet a few broken patches but the road seems to have a relatively new surface and its a bliss to drive on. Apart from the Banavara - Arsikere stretch where there is traffic, all the other roads have minimal traffic and it was just perfect given the weather. Even the Arsikere - CR Patna stretch is a good drive but you do need to keep a watch out for the usual suspects - cattle, 2 wheelers and the occasional idiot in the car.

All in all a great way to spend a Saturday! Now I need to plan the second leg.
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Old 4th December 2016, 13:14   #60
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Default Re: Guide to the lesser known Hoysala Era Temples

Drizzly/cloudy weather helped, but your photography is infinitely better than mine! Close-ups of idols and temple exteriors have come out very well too.

Meanwhile, I got in touch with architecture Professor of Malnad College of Engineering, Hassan. Mr. Subhas Basu has been to pretty much all the temples to study the architecture, and he kindly shared this ppt file (20 MB) with useful information -

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3h...ew?usp=sharing
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