Like in the history of many ancient kingdoms, to origin of the Hoysalas too are often narrated with a blend of myth and speculations.

Hoysala Empire Map

Hoysala Empire Map

The known history of the Hoysalas start by about 1000 AD, and they continued to be a notable power in the history of South India until about 1400 AD.
A period of about 200 years or so years during the four centuries mentioned is generally considered as the heydays of the Hoysala Empire.

The 6 layered frieze over which the boldly executed sculptures are installed around the outer walls. All are done in soapstone.

The 6 layered frieze over which the boldly executed sculptures are installed around the outer walls. All are done in soapstone.

Lady with mirror, Belur

Lady with mirror, Belur

Lakshminarasimha Temple at Hosaholalu

Lakshminarasimha Temple at Hosaholalu

Hoysala crest- the hero fighting a lion- at the tower of the Mallikarjuna temple of Basaralu

Hoysala crest- the hero fighting a lion- at the tower of the Mallikarjuna temple of Basaralu

Boldly executed elephants in the porch to the Mallikarjuna Temple.

Boldly executed elephants in the porch to the Mallikarjuna Temple.

The bottom band represents a elephants in various postures, all unique, above which is a series of horses and the next band represents lions. Above this is a sequence of mythical themes carved in sequence (like in a comics strips). The top two bands are of peacock and a mythological creature.

The bottom band represents a elephants in various postures, all unique, above which is a series of horses and the next band represents lions. Above this is a sequence of mythical themes carved in sequence (like in a comics strips). The top two bands are of peacock and a mythological creature.

Gajasurasamhara: Shiva dancing inside the skin of the slain elephant. Note the four legs, tail and the head of the elephant.

Gajasurasamhara: Shiva dancing inside the skin of the slain elephant. Note the four legs, tail and the head of the elephant.