Craftsman Amarshilpi Jakanachari, embarking on a creative journey, left his home after marriage and settled in Tumkur, Karnataka. Focused on temple craftsmanship, he contributed to renowned temples like Kalyani Chalukya and Hoysala, dedicating himself completely to his craft, sometimes at the expense of personal relationships. Notably, he was instrumental in the creation of the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, Hoylesvara Temple at Halebid, and the Keshava Temple at Somnathpura.
Hoysala Temples Join UNESCO World Heritage
These three magnificent temples gained entry into the UNESCO World Heritage List for 2022-23, marking India’s 42nd special site. Despite previously being on the list in 2014 and 2019, they were not included in the final UNESCO World Heritage List until now. Described as epitomes of 12th and 13th-century Hoysala style temples of South India, these sacred sites showcase a distinctive architectural blend, encompassing elements of Bhumija, Nagara, and Karnata-Dravida styles.
Hoysala Style Architecture
The Hoysala architectural style, a fusion of Bhumija, Nagara, and Karnata-Dravida styles, was established in the twelfth century. Initially, Hoysala temples were made of granite, with later temples in Belur, Halebid, and Somanathapura displaying intricate artwork in soapstone. This soft stone allowed craftsmen like Malloja, Maniyoja, Dasoja, and Malitamma to carve detailed designs, reflecting the artistry of clothes, jewelry, and hairstyles.
Jakanachari’s Legacy and the Hoysala Temples
The narrative of Jakanachari, the legendary craftsman, is intertwined with these temples. The tale of his son Dankanachari seeking him out and inadvertently critiquing his work forms a fascinating part of the temple’s history. Despite debates on the existence of a single artist contributing to all three temples, Jakanachari’s tale remains an intriguing aspect of the Hoysala temple legacy.
Promoting the Hoysala Temple Heritage
The Hoysalesvara temple in Halebid, situated beside the Dorasamudra tank, stands as a testament to Hoysala architectural excellence. Protected and unprotected temples in Halebidu, complemented by remnants of forts and gates, contribute to the allure of this ancient site. The UNESCO World Heritage tag is expected to attract global travelers, fostering tourism revenue and ensuring legal protection and conservation funding for these historical marvels.