Hoysalas were master temple builders. They have built temples all around in southern Karnataka. The temples at Belooru, Halebeedu and Somanathapura are very well known. You’ll find a wealth of information about Hoysala’s temple architecture on the wikipedia, here and here.
However, what is not so well known is that there are several temples where the temple architecture does not typically look like a Hoysala work, but the idols inside looks like a Hoysala work of art. The temples of Keshva at Kowshika, and at Haasana, Varadaraja at Kondajji are examples for such temples.
The temples do not have the stamp of typical Hoysala architectures, but the main idols do. Were the temples built later on to house original Hoysala images? May be yes. Folk tales also say (at least with respect to the temple at Kondajji), that the idol was buried under sand to protect it from invaders, and temples were built later on when the images were unearthed.
Kowshika is a village about 8 km away from the Haasana, in the heart of southern Karnataka. It has a temple of Lakshmi Keshava. The temple is very simple in structure. As per the information on http://www.karnatakatemples.com, it is built in the Vijaya Nagara style. You can see the front view of the temple at the top of this blog today. It is also available on here .
Here are few pictures from Kowshika.
Lord Lakshmi Keshava:
A close up – Who doesn’t fall for such a beautiful smile?
Kowshika village as seen from the temple entrance:
Utsavamoorti of Lakshmi keshava getting ready for Garudotsava:
Here is the main idol, decorated in flowers, for a special occasion :
(Picture courtesy: The first three are mine; The last two are by Dr Shreekanth Murthy)
Why am I writing about Kowshika of all places, when there are so many Hoysala temples?