By Our Special Correspondent
Mysuru, Sept 20 (IVC) Three more Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebid and Somanathapur in Karnataka were declared UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on Sept 18, according to official sources.
These temples were built in the 12th and 13th Centuries. The king of Hoysal Visnuvardhanan had established Belur Chennakesava and Halebid Hoysaleswara temples and the Somanathapur Kesava temple by king Narasimha III, the soures added. Earlier Hampi (1986) and Hindu/Jain temples at Pattadakkal (1987) from Karnataka had been declared as World Heritage Sites, as per the UNESCO’ World Heritage Convention in 1972.
The Chennakesava temple and the Hoysaleswara temples in the Hassan District have been on the UNESCO’S tentative list since 2014, the sources said. The Kesava emple at Somanathapur in Mysuru district was appended to the other two monuments under the tentative and all the three temples were officially nominated bt the Centre as India’s entry for 2022-2023 in February.
The Archaeologial Survey of India (ASI) said the coming together of creative genus , architectural eclecticism and symbolism into this outstanding sacred architecture makes these Hoysala temples a true work of art and their inscription was truly an honour for India and the world heritage community.
An expert from the Internationational Commission on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) concluded the site visits covering all the three temples in September last year and the monuments were officially inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee at Riyad, Saudi Arabia.
All these three temples were protected by the ASI and the nominations were entered as” The Sacred Ensembles of Hoysala”. The Hoysala temples were known for evolving a distinct style that is ornate with temple architecture following a stellate plan built on a raised platform. The material used in temples’ construction was chlorite schist which was also known as soapstone that were soft and amiable to carving.
The temples were horizontal friezes and many of the sculptors were signed by artists which was unique in the history of Indian art while the doorways showed intricate carvings showcasing the excellence achieved by the artist. A Devaraju, Commissioner, Department of Archaeology amusuems and Heritage said the inscription of the three sites as World Heritage Sites would give global recognition for the three monuments known for sculptors and carvings and further boost tourism