HOYSALA TEMPLES (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     19th September 2023        

Context: Recently, the Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebidu, and Somanathapur in Karnataka were granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, a development that promises to enhance their global visibility and potentially boost international tourism to these sites.

Hoysala Temples

  • The Sacred Ensembles of Hoysala were constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries.
  • 3 key components: Belur, Halebid, and Somnathpur.

Chennakeshava Temple – Belur

  • About: It is also referred to as the Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur.
  • It is a 12th-century Hindu temple in Karnataka.
  • Commissioned by: King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE, on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur also called Velapura, an early Hoysala Empire capital.
  • Devoted to: Lord Vishnu.

Hoysaleshwara Temple- Halebid

  • About: This temple referred to simply as the Halebidu temple is a 12th-century Hindu temple Dedicated to: Lord Shiva.
  • The temple was built in 1121 CE during the reign of the Hoysala King, Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara.
  • Famous for: More than 240 wall sculptures that run all along the outer wall.

Keshava Temple- Somanathapura

  • This is a Vaishnava temple on the banks of River Kaveri at Somanathapura, Karnataka.
  • The temple was consecrated in 1258 CE by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala King Narasimha III.


  • Formation: 1945, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Objective: It works to achieve peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms.
  • Members: 195 member states and 10 associate members. India is a founding member of the Organization.
  • Headquarters: Paris, France.
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