World Heritage Nomination 2022-2023:
The Union Ministry of Culture has nominated Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas temples for consideration as a World Heritage site for the year 2022-2023.
- The sacred ensembles of the Hoysalas, built in the 12th-13th centuries and represented by the three components of Belur, Halebid and Somnathapura in Karnataka.
- All these three Hoysala temples are protected monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- The ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala’ have been on UNESCO’s Tentative list since 15th April, 2014 and stand testimony to the rich historical and cultural heritage of India.
- Earlier, the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre (WHC) had agreed to publish Hindi descriptions of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the WHC website.
Chennakeshava Temple, Belur:
- Construction of the temple commenced in 1117 AD and took 103 years to complete.
- The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu known as Chennakesava, which means beautiful (chenna) Vishnu (Keshava).
- The richly sculptured exterior of the temple narrates scenes from the life of Vishnu and his reincarnations and the epics, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.
- However, some of the representations of Shiva are also included.
Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu:
- The Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebidu is the most exemplary architectural ensemble of the Hoysalas extant today.
- Built in 1121CE during the reign of the Hoysala King, Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara.
- The temple, dedicated to Shiva, was sponsored and built by wealthy citizens and merchants of Dorasamudra.
- The temple is most well-known for the more than 240 wall sculptures that run all along the outer wall.
- Halebid has a walled complex containing three Jaina basadi (temples) of the Hoysala period as well as a stepped well.
Keshava Temple, Somanathapura:
- The Keshava temple at Somanathapura is another magnificent Hoysala monument, perhaps the last.
- This is a breathtakingly beautiful Trikuta Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna in three forms – Janardhana, Keshava and Venugopala.
- Unfortunately, the main Keshava idol is missing, and the Janardhana and Venugopala idols are damaged.