The Hoysaleswara Temple was built during the 12th century by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire. The construction started in the 1120s and continued for several decades.
The temple is a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture and is renowned for its intricate carvings and sculptures. It is a fine example of the Hoysala style, known for its detailed and ornate workmanship.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The name "Hoysaleswara" means "the lord of Hoysala," indicating its association with the ruling dynasty.
The Hoysaleswara Temple is a trikuta (three shrined) temple, with three sanctums housing lingas representing Lord Shiva. Each sanctum has a vestibule that connects to a common hall.
The temple is adorned with exquisite carvings depicting various deities, mythological stories, animals, and scenes from everyday life. The craftsmanship of these sculptures is remarkable
The temple's outer walls are covered with intricate reliefs, including depictions of gods, goddesses, celestial beings, and episodes from epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Over the centuries, the temple has suffered damage due to invasions and natural disasters. It was ransacked and damaged by invaders in the 14th century. In the 20th century
The Hoysaleswara Temple complex, along with the nearby Kedareshwara Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was inscribed in 1999 as a part of "Group of Monuments at Hampi."
The temple architecture incorporates principles of astronomy. The pillars and sculptures in the temple are aligned in such a way that they allow sunlight to fall on the Shiva linga in the inner sanctum at specific times of the day
Today, the Hoysaleswara Temple is a major tourist attraction in Karnataka, drawing visitors from all over the world who are interested in history, architecture, and art.