Hoysala Temples of Turuvekere

1 November 2013

I usually make a detour to some places whenever I drive to my native. One such detour was to visit the Hoysala Temples of Turuvekere.  It was during Deepavali last year when I drove to my native place.

Chennakeshava Temple, Turuvekere
There are two ways to reach Turuvekere from Bengaluru. The first option is to though Nelamangala, Kunigal and Yediyur. Take deviation to Turuvekere at Yediyur. The slightly longer route is on NH 206 towards Tiptur. At K.B Cross, take a left to reach Turuvekere. It is about 130 km from Bengaluru.

Chennakeshava Temple, Turuvekere
There are three important Hoysala Temples in Turuvekere. All three Temples are located nearby on the outskirts of the town. The first Temple we visited was Chennakeshawa Temple. Unfortunately the Temple was locked and we could not enter into the mail hall of the Temple. It was a small Temple without much carving on the walls. This ekakuta Temple is built on a small platform.

Moole Shankara Temple
The next stop was Moole Shankara Temple. The gate of the Temple was locked. The locals mentioned that the keys were with the priest of the Temple. He was at Gangadeshwara Temple nearby. The Temple was also in the list and hence we went to Gangadeshwara Temple. A big crowd had assembled at the Temple who was creating a ruckus in the Temple.

The differentiating features of the Temple are a big Nandi statue and a bell carved from stone. One must visit this Temple to see them.

I met the priest of Moole Shankara Temple. He asked me to wait for other people in the crowd to join.  I did not like it. When I asked the priest “Why there are so many people in the Temple? Is there any function today?” he exclaimed “Oh!! You are not part of the crowd. Let’s then immediately go to Moole Shankara Temple”. Cool!!

Moole Shankara is the best of all the Temples in Turuvekere. It is at a lower elevation that its surroundings. This Temple was built in 13th century.  The priest of the Temple explained about the Temple in detail which is similar to the explanation seen in Wikipedia. Below is the extract from Wikipedia.

“The temple has all the basic elements of a standard Hoysala temple and comprises a sanctum (garbhagriha) which is connected to a closed hall by a square vestibule (sukhanasi). The entrance into the hall from the outside is through a porch (mukhamantapa). Typically, a closed hall in a Hoysala temple has no windows. The porch consists of a awning supported by two decorative half pillars with two parapets on both sides. The shrine has a tower (sikhara). The vestibule has its own tower (also called sukhanasi) which appears like a low extension of the main tower over the shrine. For its appearance, art critic Gerard Foekema calls it the "nose" of the main tower. From the outside, the walls of the vestibule are inconspicuous and appear like a short extension of the shrine wall.The ceiling of the closed hall is supported by four lathe turned pillars. This is a norm in all Hoysala temples. These pillars divide the ceiling into nine highly decorated bays. The porch with its half pillars also serves the purpose of an open hall with a single bay ceiling.The outer wall of the hall and shrine are articulated with full pilasters. Between full pilasters, turrets and miniature towers on half-pilasters (aedicula) provide a decorative look. Below these, forming the base of the temple, are the six horizontal moldings.”

When asked about the name “Moole”, the priest gave two probable reasons. One is being at the corner of the town; it has got its name “moole”. The other reason being that “moola” being modified to “moole” in later years.

The icing on the cake of this visit was Nonavinakere. A huge lake on the way to Tiptur was an amazing sight. 


Labels: , , ,