20 March 2016

Lakshminarayana Temple at Hosaholalu near K.R. Pete

In August 2015, we were on a full day trip on a weekend in Hassan district. After covering Nuggehalli in morning/afternoon, we had been to Mavinakere post lunch and had planned to wind up the day at some Hoysala temple at Krishnarajapete(K.R. Pete). While getting there, the google maps navigation took us in an optimized route but unfortunately the roads were not in that great condition and by the time we reached K.R. Pete it was already dusk time. We were so unprepared for exploring the place that we didn't have the exact name nor the co-ordinates of the temple on our fingertips. Initially thought that we would be able to manage with a quick enquiry with the locals. Later we figured out that the temple which we are planning to visit is in Hosaholalu which is 2 kms from K.R.Pete.

Lakshminarayana Temple at Night time
Hosaholalu was an agrahara built by Hoysalas and was enclosed within a fort during the Vijayanagara rule. The Lakshminarayana temple is a fine example of ornate 3rd generation among Hoysalas temples. Constructed in 13th century, it's a trikuta temple on stellate plan. 

On the exterior, the temple stands on a high raised platform with conventional mouldings. The stellate corners of which are provided with sculptures of elephant denoting ashtadiggajas. 

Sculptures on two and half fee high platform. Stellate Corners with Sculptures of Elephants.
The images carved on the walls are about two and a half feet high. The sculptures of Panduranga, Govardhandhan, Sarasvati, Madhava, Dhanvantari, Dakshinamurti and Mohini are significant amongst the wall sculptures. The friezes and scroll work and the railing panels on the adhishthana are of much interest. 

Carvings of Padmanabha(Gadha, Chakra, Padma, Shanka) and Garuda carrying Lakshmi+narayana

Backside of the temple. The multi-tier structure of which is also prominent in Chennakeshava temple, Belur.
The images revolving around the chaturvimshati(24 names) aspect of Vishnu and other deities are interrupted by double-storeyed chariot-like shrines at west, north, and south of the stellate garbhagriha.

Shikara of the temple with cloudy backdrop
The sides and mahanasa of the sukanasa are also well carved. A closed mandapa built of granite blocks towards east which is later addition of 17th century, disturbs the original layout plan of the temple built of soapstone(chloritic schist).

Dwaja sthambha and Front facade. The additional construction in front spoils the charm of original architecture elements.
Only the main shrine of Laskshminarayana facing east has a sukanasi, a navaranga and a superstructure. The pillars of the navaranga are lathe-turned and well polished. Dancing female sculptures in different mudras adorn the capitals of these pillars. The other two shrines of Venugopala and Lakshminarasimha which are lateral do not have any special feature. Due to low lighting condition in garbhagriha, I could not capture decent photos apart from the part of the ceiling click from my mobile :)

Interior Ceilings of Garbhagriha

Unlike fully protected ASI temple which closes early at 6 pm, this temple maintained by priests and locals is open till 8 pm.
Other interesting thing note was presence of several elderly and educated locals with their grandkids at the time of mahamangalaarthi on Sunday evening. It was good to see older generation imparting values of heritage, culture to the future generation.
Glimpse of Hosahalalu hamlet around the temple
Since we could not explore the temple during our first visit due to darkness, we had plans of revisiting the Hosahalulu with sufficient homework. Fortunately, it materialized within two months when we were on the way back to Bangalore from Coorg. We took a detour from Hunsur and reached Hosaholalu through Krishnarajasagara and Bherya. 

A little bit of drizzle during makes exploration pleasant. But on the day of our second visit, the drizzle got converted into heavy spell of rain and driving on partially waterlogged Hassan-Bangalore highway was a nightmare !
Driving back to Bangalore after second visit was almost close to a nightmare. Due to heavy rains on that day, we decided to return via Nagamangala, Yadiyur to be on safer side. But the drive on NH-48 was not easy, especially on the stretches where it was partially waterlogged.



  1. Sandeep, You seemed to have picked the knack of finding architectural wonders, exploring lesser known Hoysala temples!

    Regarding google map showing the way, I usually refer to the maps and apply my knowledge of the roads and make a decision as Google by default shows up shortest by time route disregarding the condition of the roads off late!

    You mentioned "the stellate corners of which are provided with sculptures of elephant denoting ashtadiggalas." Should not they be "ashtadiggajas"?

    In the last paragraph, words at the end of each line seemed to have cut off!

    1. yes .. and in these temples you won't have ASI guides for walking you thru the architecture elements .. and you end up doing additional personal research in order to explore things on your own!

      regarding Google maps, there should be some feedback mechanism for rating down bad stretches of the road so that it doesn't show-up in navigation when some else tries navigates between same locations.

      thanks for pointing out the mistakes. In order to break lull period I missed out doing proof-read in last paragraphs :)

  2. Amazing place....well covered in your write up. It would be good to update raj bhattaru contact info here. We witnessed his daily pujay and he also narrated the rich sculptural details that you enlisted