Kedareshwara temple, Halebidu

Kedareshwara temple in Halebidu is about 400 mts away from the famous Hoysaleshwara temple.This is not as famous as Chennakeshava temple or Hoysaleshwara but the architecture and interior of the temple are quite impressive.  The quiet, peaceful aura and the area around the main shrine of Lord Shiva has such calming effect that I could have spent my entire day there.

Kedareshwara…Om namah Shivay

Like Hoysaleshwara and Chennakeshava Kedareshwara too is built on a high rise platform. The temple is star shaped. From base to upwards the exterior temple walls comprise of eight tiers. The first tier from base has elephants, second cavalory forces, third is adorned with intricately carved creepers and flowers, fourth has Hoysala emblum, fifth again has flowers, sixth displays various stories and episodes from Ramayana, mahabharata and Geeta, seventh has makara lined up and the eighth one displays elegant swans.

The tiers on exterior wall

With an east facing entrance Kedareshwara is a trikuta temple,i.e. temple having three shrines. There are four star shaped pillars on either side of the way leading to Navaranga Mandapam and then four bell shaped pillars at Navaranga. As is with most of the temples of Hoysala period the ceiling of navaranga too is well decorated.

The pillars
intricately carved ceiling.
A closure view of another portion of ceiling. does it not look like a lotus flower

The main deity in garbhagrah is Shivalinga. The area just outside garbhgraha is the most unique feature of this temple. Ceiling over this area has such structure that natural light enters inside. At the hour we were there in the semi darkness of the hall the light pouring down from above was as if establishing a connection with the Brahmand.The impact was simply beyond words.

Above the eight tiers the exterior walls of temple are adorned with ornate images of various Hindu deities, apsaras and certain images throwing light on social life of that period. The intricacy and detailing in the images proclaim the high standard craftsmanship of sculptures of that time but the bhav, bhangima, the expressions, the mudras; the postures carved by these artists tell that they were well aware of the nuances of bharat natya shatra too. How deeply steeped were these souls in their culture and arts.

Here Shiva is shown inside Gajarajas’s stomach. Look at the feet of elephant below. What an imagination and what implementation!

Prabhavali, i.e. frame around the images too are intricately carved. The corner images almost give impression of being three dimensional. More the time you spend in their company, more enriching the experience gets. There is so much to learn, the mythological episodes, the variety of musical instruments, the dance mudras, historical facts, the list is long, besides all these the most important one is the spritual experience.

This temple was built in 1199 AD by Hoysala king Veer Ballala 2nd and his queen Ketaladevi. Though except a Shivalinga no other shrine has any deity now yet such is solemnity , the aura of the place that one feels in presence of the higher one.

one of the shrine inside temple.

Nirvan rupam kedareshwara

Prayers carved on stone by the unknown craftsmen

At the end of journey with a heart full of gratitude

All the pictures @ Sunder Iyer

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