Bangalore: While a handful of Hoysala temples like those at Belur and Halebid draw tourists by the thousands, several other architecturally and historically important Hoysala temples have remained virtually unknown.
Living in the shadows of their popular counterparts in Belur, Halebid and Somanathpura, these temples are scattered across Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, Chikmagalur and Tumkur districts. Each one of them being distinctive, they showcase the exquisite Hoysala architecture.
Now, a proposal has been made to the Tourism Department by Rezore Research Foundation to bring these lesser-known temples on the tourist map.
These temples were built by various Hoysala rulers between 1163 AD and 1268 AD. Most of these are located in Hassan district in Arsikere, Javgal, Doddagaddavalli, Mosale Hosahalli, Holenarsipur, Haranahalli, Anekere, Hullekere, Koravangala, Anathi, Shantigrama and Nuggehalli.
The others listed are in Aralguppe in Tumkur district; Amruthapura and Belavadi in Chikmagalur district; Hosaholalu, Kikkeri and Basaralu in Mandya district, and Harihar in Davangere district.
“Most of the temples are located about 5 to 10 km from the highway and are not too far from each other. The evolution of the Hoysala architecture over 300 years can be seen from these sculptural marvels,” K.V. Narendra, research foundation director, told The Hindu.
He met Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism) Arvind Jadhav recently to submit the proposal, which is under the consideration of Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC).
He said there were 52 Hoysala-style temples that had remained off the tourism circuit and these could be developed on the lines of the “fort circuit” in Rajasthan. Most of these temples were well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India as they were protected monuments.
“Packaged tours can be organised to cover these temples. For those interested in history and temple architecture, these lesser-known temples could be a bounty that reflects the religious trends of the time. It is a steady mix of Srivaishnava, Veerashaiva and Jain temples,” he said.
Acknowledging that such a proposal was before the corporation, KSTDC managing director C.D. Dyavaiah said package tours could be run from Mysore or Hassan, if feasible. “Not many may take the tours initially, but in the long run, with publicity and tourist feedback, they might become popular,” he added.
He, however, said infrastructure in these places should be first developed, and funds could be earmarked in the next budget.