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Kedareshwara Temple

About Kedareshwara Temple:

Sri.Kedareshwara temple is beautifully located with entrance facing the East. It's a Trikuta temple, dedicated to Shiva in the form of Kedareshwara. This temple is built during 1220 AD under the Hoysala rule.

Kedareshwara Temple is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, India. It was built in the 12 century during the Hoysala empire. This temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Like the other several temples built by the Hoysala empire, this too has a star-shaped outer  platform on which temple constructed. This platform also acts a convenience to walk around and admire the various intricate sculptures on the temple walls; and plenty of them there are.

Kedareshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, depicted in the form of a Shivlinga of Krishnashila, a black stone. Built with Chalukyan style of architecture, this temple was built in 1319 AD. The basement of the temple features sculptured friezes which depict The Ramayana, The Mahabharata and The Bhagavad Gita (Hindus).

History of Kedareshwara Temple:

Kadareswara Temple was built by Veer Ballala II, a Hoysala King and Ketaladevi, his Queen around 1220 A. D. The stunning structure has traditional Hoysala style architecture in soapstone and has enchantingly intricate carvings, relief work and sculptures depicting the legends of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. According to art historian Adam Hardy, the temple was constructed before 1219 A.D and is constructed with Soap stone. The usage of Soap stone was first popularised by the Western Chalukyas before it became standard with the Hoysala architects of the 12th and 13th centuries. The temple stands on the platform called jagati which is typically five to six feet in height and which can be reached by a flight of steps. According to historian Kamath, this is a Hoysala innovation. Hoysala temples normally don't provide a path for circumambulation (pradakshinapatha) around the inner sanctum (garbhagriha). However, the platform provides this convenience in addition to giving the onlooker a good view of the wall relief and sculptures. The outlay of the main shrine (Vimana) is star-shaped (stellate) with two smaller shrines that have perforated windows (called Jali, literally, "sieve") on the sides. According to the art historian Gerard Foekema, star-shaped or "staggered square" (or cross in square) temple plans are quiet common among Hoysala constructions creating multiple projections and recesses in the outer walls. In these projections, the Hoysala architects created repetitive decorative sculptures and reliefs called "architectural articulation"

Since the temple has three shrines, it qualifies as a trikuta, a three shrined structure. Often in trikutas, only the central shrine has a tower while the lateral shrines are virtually hidden behind the thick outer walls and appear to be a part of the hall itself. Despite being a Shiva temple (related to god Shiva) it is well known for its friezes and panel relief that bare depictions from both the Shaiva and Vaishnava (related to the god Vishnu) legend. The three sanctums are connected to a "staggered square" (indented) central hall (mahamantapa) by individual vestibules called sukanasi. A porch connects the central hall to the platform. The base of the temple wall (adhisthana) around the common hall and the two lateral shrines consist of mouldings, each of which is treated with friezes in relief that depict animals and episodes from the Hindu lore (purana). Historian Kamath calls this "horizontal treatment". The image of the deity of worship is missing in all three sanctums and the superstructure over all three shrines are lost. Some noteworthy pieces of sculpture worthy of mention are the dancing Bhairava (a form of Shiva), Govardhana (the god Krishna lifting a mountain), the god Vishnu as Varadaraja, (Indian god) and a huntress.

Best Time to Visit:

October to February are the best months to travel Kedareshwara Temple. The dance festival of Hoysala Mahotsava during March along with Mahashivratri and Diwali can also make your experience festival and all the more enjoyable.

Features:

The entire temple is in Star shaped and its beautifully studded with images of Lord Shiva, Vishnu Brahma, Lakshmi, Mahishasura Mardhini, Saraswathi, Krishna, Varaha, Ganesha, etc., etc., Each of these images are carved with great importance given to their Bhava and accordingly each image hold asthra (weapons) in different postures. The prabhavali is amazing and is completed in most cases. The upper part of the images above the Prabhavali is left blank, probably they intended to decorate but haven't done.

You can find four Star shaped pillars on either side of entrance towards Navaranga, which are again masterpiece of Hoysala art and provokes you to think the kind of technology used to carve such pillars (such pillars are also found in Hosaholalu Lakshmi Narayana Temple as well). As you see further you see the Navaranga with four bell shaped pillars, on the top you can make out that the ceiling of the Navaranga Mantapa is well decorated. Also you can find deities on the either side of the main Garbhagriha. The main Garbhagriha contains the main deity in the form Shiva Linga.

Timing for Darshan at Kedareshwara Temple:

The Kedareshwara temple complex is open from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm.

Location:

Kedareshwara Temple is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, India

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