Lakshminarasimha Temple, Javagal
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The Lakshminarasimha temple at Javagal (also called Javagallu) is an example of mid-13th century Hoysala architecture. Javagal is located about 50 km from Hassan city and about 20 km from Halebidu in Karnataka state, India. Halebidu is historically important as the erstwhile capital of the Hoysala empire. The temple, whose main deity is Narasimha (a form of the Hindu god Vishnu), was built in 1250 A.D. by the Hoysala Empire King Vira Someshwara. This temple is a protected monument under the Karnataka state division of the Archaeological Survey of India.
The temple plan is simple and commonly found in other Hoysala temples. It is a trikuta (three shrined), though only the middle shrine has a superstructure (tower or shikhara) and a sukhanasi (nose or tower over the vestibule) The three equal size shrines are all square in plan and are connected by a common closed hall (mantapa). The closed hall is preceded by an open porch. The lateral shrines are connected directly to the hall while the middle shrine has a vestibule that connects the sanctum (cella) to the hall. Since the lateral shrines have no tower over them and are directly connected to the hall without a vestibule and its corresponding tower like projection, they do not appear like shrines at all from the outside. Rather, they appear absorbed into the walls of hall. The central shrine on the contrary is highly visible from the outside because of its tower, and the sukhanasi that projects prominently from the tower. The lower part of the shrines (below the roof) have five projections per side, these projections being visible on three sides in the case of the central shrine but only on one side in the case of the lateral shrines.
The temple stands on a platform (jagati), a feature common to many Hoysala temples. The platform, in addition to its visual appeal, is meant to provide devotees a path for circumambulation (pradakshinapatha) around the temple. It closely follows the outline of the temple, giving it a good elevated look. The tower over the central shrine and the vestibule are intact and highly decorative. Other standard features in a Hoysala temple are the large domed roof over the tower, which is also the largest sculptural piece in a Hoysala temple (called the "helmet" or amalaka) and whose shape usually follows that of the shrine (square or star shape); the kalasa on top of it (the decorative water-pot at the apex of the dome); and the Hoysala crest (emblem of the Hoysala warrior stabbing a lion) over the sukhanasi. Here the emblem and the kalasa are missing. The kalasa has been replaced during later times with a metallic pinnacle.
Decoration and sculptures
The decorative plan of the outer walls of the shrines and the mantapa (hall) is of the "new kind", with two eaves that run around the temple. According to art historian [Gerard Foekema, the wall panel images (one hundred and forty in all), and the reliefs and friezes that abound in this temple have a relaxed quality of workmanship about them, and in no Hoysala temple do these appear more "folkish in character". In the "new kind" of decorative articulation, the first heavy eaves runs below the superstructure and all around the temple with a projection of about half a meter. The second eaves runs around the temple about a meter below the first. In between the two eaves are the miniature decorative towers (Aedicula) on pilasters. Below the second eaves are the wall panel of images of Hindu deities and their attendants in relief. Below this, at the base are the six equal width rectangular moldings (frieze). Starting from the top, the friezes depict; hansa (birds) in the first frieze, makara (aquatic monsters) in the second, epics and other stories in the third (usually from the Hindu epic Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and stories of Krishna), leafy scrolls in the fourth, horses in the fifth and elephants in the sixth (bottom frieze).
Entrance to mantapa (gathering hall) has dvarapalas (door keepers) in Lakshminarasimha temple at Javagal]]
- Foekema (1996), p73
- "Protected Monuments in Karnataka". Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Foekema (1996), p25
- Foekema (1996), p22
- Foekema (1996), pp73-74
- Foekema (1996), p21
- Foekema (1996), p74
- Kamath (2001), p134
- Kamath (2001), p135
- Foekema (1996), p27
- Foekema (1996), p28, pp73-74
- Foekema (1996), pp28-29
- Foekema (1996), p29, p74
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- Gerard Foekema, A Complete Guide to Hoysala Temples, Abhinav, 1996 ISBN 81-7017-345-0
- Kamath, Suryanath U. (2001) . A concise history of Karnataka: from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books. LCCN 80905179. OCLC 7796041.