Hoysala Empire ruled most of the Karnataka state and was an important period of architecture, style and fine arts in South India. Hoysala architectural style is distinct from the Tamil style, They built large and small temples under the rule of the empire in Karnataka. Here is the list of most iconic and must visit temples of Hoysala in Karnataka state with information and location.
Chennakesava Hindu temple at Belur in the Hassan district of Karnataka is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and an important pilgrimage site in Vaishnavism. The temple was built by Vishnuvardhana with artwork, sculptures, icons and friezes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
HalebiduHoysaleswara Temple was sponsored by King Vishnuvardhana and one of the numerous temple ruins of Hoysala architecture in Karnataka. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and largest monument in Halebidu, followed by near by temples of Kedareshwara Temple.
Kedareshwara Temple is located at a short distance from the Hoysaleswara Temple in the town of Halebidu and protected as monument of national importance. Hoysala era temple has three shrines and well known for its friezes and relief of both God Shiva and God Vishnu.
Chennakesava Hindu temple at Somanathapura is located close to the city of Mysore and a white model of Hoysala style of temples. The Somanathapura temple has friezes scenes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata carvings on the inner walls along with shrine dedicated to Keshava and images of God Vishnu.
Veera Narayana temple at Belavadi is located 29 km from Chikmagalur town and close to the famous temple towns of Belur and Halebidu. The ornate temple was built by King Veera Ballala II and one of the largest temples built by the Hoysala kings.
Lakshminarayana Temple at Hosaholalu is another best example of Hoysala style architecture, built by King Vira Someshwara. The temple has three shrines with the images of Venugopala, Narayana and Lakshminarasimha with frieze on the walls.
Ishvara Shiva Temple at Arasikere has one of the most complex architecture among the famous Hoysala temples of Karnataka, offering star-shaped mantapa, figure, sculpture, garbhagriha, Shikhara and image of a bull Nandi.
Amrutesvara Temple is located 67 km from Chikmagalur town and was built by King Veera Ballala II of Hoysala Empire. The temple has sanctum, shrine, hall, pillars and tower with floral designs and the walls showing scenes from the epic Mahabharata.
Brahmeshvara Temple is located in the town of Kikkeri and a protected monument of the Karnataka state, dedicated to Lord Shiva and the interiors of the temple contains sculpture and image of the Hindu god Shiva and Nandi bull statue.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Nuggehalli is located 50 km from Hassan city and a well decorated Hoysala style of temple with fine sculptures on the walls. The Sadasiva Temple and Lakshmi Narasimha temple both were built around the same time during the King Vira Someshwara.
Sadasiva Temple is another fine example of Hoysala style of architecture in Nuggehalli, located at a short distance away from Lakshmi Narasimha Temple and dedicated to Lord Shiva with more images of the navagraha, Lord Ganesha, goddess Parvati and a carved Nandi statue.
Mallikarjuna Shiva Temple in Basaralu was built by King Vira Narasimha II of Hoysala Empire in the Mandya district. The temple is one of the best ornate example of Hoysala style of architecture with decorative walls of the shrines and decorative towers.
Bucesvara Temple is located in the village of Korvangla near Hassan city and a protected Hoysala temple in Karnataka. The shrine contains a linga and temple contains images of Bhairava, Surya, goddess Saraswati and Durga, Maheshvara and Lord Narasimha.
Chennakeshava Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India of the state. Architecturally, The temple design is very simple and elegant, showing the image of Keshava, stories of Krishna from the Hindu epic the Ramayana.
Lakshminarasimha Temple at Haranhalli is located 35 km away from Hassan city and dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu, Also the shrines contain images of Venugopala, Keshava and Lakshminarasimha. The temple is very similar to the other decorative temples of Hoysala at Hosaholalu, Nuggihalli and Javagallu.
Someshvara Temple at Haranhalli was built by King Vira Someshwara, dedicated to Hindu god Lord Shiva in the universal form of the linga. The temple is more ornate and protected monument along with near by Lakshminarasimha temple, located few hundred meters from this temple.
Lakshmi Devi Temple at Doddagaddavalli was built by the King Vishnuvardhana, located 16 km from Hassan and one of the earliest known temples of the Hoysala Empire. The soapstone temple complex has nine towers, four more minor shrines and a separate fifth shrine of Bhairava.
Lakshminarasimha Temple at Javagal is located 20 km from Halebidu and 50 km from Hassan city, dedicated to Lord Narasimha avatar of God Vishnu and protected as a state monument. The temple also follow the Hoysala architecture with three shrine plan and decorative outer walls.
Twin Chennakeshava-Nagesvara temples are located in the village of Mosale and was built by veera Ballala II with all the standard features of Hoysala architecture. Chennakesava-Nagesvara temple also has same decorative features of towers, large walls with images of deities and sculptures of Garuda.
The Harihareshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Harihara also known as Shankaranarayana, representation of Lord Vishnu as Hari and Lord Shiva as Hara. The temple also follows the typical of Hoysala constructions with soapstone material, situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River and known as twin cities of Karnataka with Davangere.
God Harihara is a combination of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, with one half image as Vishnu (Hari) and other half as Shiva (Hara). There are famous temples of Lord Harihara in India such as Badami cave temples in Karnataka,Dharmaraja Ratha in Tamil Nadu, Baijnath Temple in Himachal Pradesh and Harihara Deula in Odisha.