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‘The Sacred Ensembles’ of the Hoysalas

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    22nd Sep, 2023


Recently, the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas, which includes three temples in Karnataka, has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

  • With this several other sites has also been nominated to get included in the list.

About the recent nominations:

  • At the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the UNESCO has released a tentative list of sites.
  • The Hoysala Temples will be India’s 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan, the university town in West Bengal, was also included as a world heritage site.

The Hoysala Temples:

  • The Hoysala Temples, built in the 12th and 13 centuries by the Hoysala kings, are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
  • The three temples include;
    • The Chennakeshava temple, the main temple in the complex at Belur (Hassan district), located at the centre of the traditional settlement
    • The Hoysaleswara Temple on the banks of Dwarasamudra tank in Halebidu (Hassan district), and
    • The Keshava Temple at the centre of Somanathapura village (Mysore district).
Previously, two other groups of monuments of Karnataka at Hampi (1986) and Pattadakal (1987) along with the Ecological hotspot Western Ghats (2012) had the coveted status form UNESCO from the State.
  • The excellence of the sculptural art underpins the artistic achievement of these temple complexes, which represent a significant stage in development of Hindi architecture.

Hoysala Kingdom:

  • The Hoysala rulers ruled over parts of Southern India from the parts of Southern India from the 11th Century to the 14th Century.

Hoysala Empire


Area of Rule

Karnataka and  Kaveri delta in present-day Tamil Nadu.

Time Period

Between the 10th and the 14thcenturies.

Preceded by

Western Chalukyas

Succeeded by

Vijaynagara Empire


Nripakama II/Sala

Most important ruler

Bittaga Vishnuvardhana. Annexed Chola province of Gangawadi.Defeated Chalukya Vikramaditya VI


Initially Belur. Later- Halebidu


Divided into provinces: Nadu, Vishaya, Kampana and Desha

Remarkable for

Art, Architecture, and Religion. Hoysala Architecture


Kannada and Sanskrit.

Important Temples

Chennakeshava Temple, Belur; the Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu; Chennakesava Temple


Hybrid or vesara style

Learning Schools



Jainism, Vaishnavism and Lingayatism


Basava, Madhvacharya and Ramanuja in Karnataka


Mathematician who wrote Vyavaharaganita and Lilavati  during Vishnuvardhana’s reign

Last Ruler

Veera Ballala III


Verifying, please be patient.

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