Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebid is situated in Hasan district of Karnataka. This temple is made up of grayish soap-stone in the shape of a star. It has two similar shrines-each having a sanctuary, a hall with pillars and two compartments. The exterior of the temple is artistically carved.
Three distinct tiers of sculpture are seen on the outer surface-the lower tier contain the figures of animals, the middle tier has the details of deities and the upper one contains more formal designs. The sculpture provides a full record of the Hindu Gods and mythology. This temple, built in 1150 A.D. by the Hoysala kings, marks the highest achievements of the Hoysalas.
The main features of this temple are:
- This temples is not square but is star-shaped.
- Artistic sculpture and minute carving cover the surface of the temple. This was possible because of the fine grain stone used by the Hoysalas for the construction of this temple.
- Pillars have horizontal mouldings like rings which were produced by a mechanical process. The base of the pillar is square and the shaft is fashioned into beautiful shapes.
- The tower in this temple is not as high as in other South-Indian temples
- The temple stand on a high platform which is much wider than the temples. The flat platform around the temple serves as the pradakshina path (the path for going round the temple with devotion).