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Hoysala Temples in Karnataka

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  • Published
    8th Feb, 2022


India has finalised the Hoysala Temples in Karnataka as its nominations for consideration in the World Heritage Sites List for 2022-23. The Hoysala temples in Belur and Halebeedu in Hassan district and Somanathapura in Mysuru district have been nominated. 

  • They were finalised by the Union Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).


About Hoysala Temples

  • The Hoysalas temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnathapur were reportedly built in the 12th-13th centuries. 
  • The masterpieces represent and attest to the creativity and skill of the Hoysala artists and architects. Hoysala architecture is the building style that was developed by architects under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries.
  • The Hoysala influence was at its peak in the 13th century and several large and small temples built during the era remain today as examples of the Hoysala architectural style. 
    • The Hoysala temples include Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura.
  • There are several other examples of Hoysala craftsmanship such as the temples at Hosaholalu, Belavadi, Amruthapura, Basaralu, Mosale, Arasikere, Nuggehalli and Kikkeri. 
    • The Hoysala architectural style reveals a negligible Indo-Aryan influence and a more distinct impact of Southern Indian style.
  • The Hoysala temples are protected monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Their conservation and maintenance is done by ASI but the Karnataka state government will ensure the conservation of state-protected monuments around these three monuments.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The ASI is the premier organisation for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the country.
  • The prime objection of ASI is to maintain the archaeological sites, ancient monuments and remains of national importance.
  • The ASI Headquarters is in New Delhi.
  • It was established in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham.
  • It regulates all archaeological activities as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • It functions under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture. 
  • It also regulates the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

 What is a World Heritage Site?

  • A World Heritage Site is a location having an “Outstanding Universal Value”.
  • According to the World Heritage Convention’s Operational Guidelines, an Outstanding Universal Value signifies “cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.”
  • The Sites fall into three categories: cultural heritage, natural heritage, and mixed heritage (cultural as well as natural).
    • Cultural heritage entails an Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of history, art or science, and includes monuments, groups of buildings, and sites which are the combined work of nature and human agency.
      • Examples include the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, and the Sydney Opera House.
  • The Sites under natural heritage are those having Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science, conservation of natural beauty, such as the Sundarbans Natural Park or the Victoria Falls.
  • Of the 1121 World Heritage Sites in the world, 869 are cultural, 213 are natural, and 39 are mixed.

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