Monday, April 20, 2009

Hoysala: Indian History

Recently i had been to Belur, halebidu near bangalore. Awesome sculptures. The sculptures have such minute details. it had taken 190 years to complete the temple itself.
Each sculpture is an art by itself. The intricacies and details on each one is amazing, awesome, and leaves u open-mouthed.
Such a heritage we have!
Such patience, dedication to art over generations!!
This is a lesson to be learnt by today's generations. no point in being trigger-happy, and quick solutions.
Any work done with dedication and commitment stands the winds of time to tell YOUR story

One Says:
Yes - great sculpture. The standard is as high as that of Khajuraho, if not better.

I languish to return there someday - I saw the temples as a 12/13 yr old - on tour - and in a single day !!

The temples are unfinished - true.

Remarkably, the work was on very hard "Granite" and not "Sand-stone" which is much softer. No wonder it took so many years.

The Narasimha pillar and the dancing Ganesha - I still vividly remember.

Founded by a tribal chief Nripa Kama, The Hoysala dynasty (1000 A.D. to 1346 A.D.) will be remembered for the beautifully carved temples of Belur, Halebid, Somanathapur, Shravanabelagola.

I have not seen "Somanathapur"

For those who have not visited Halebid and Belur in person, have a look at

One Says:
it's not tat temples are incomplete... they were all destroyed, only some remain..... vishnuvardhana was a gr8 builder..... u can see a temple dedicated to his beloved dancer..... many temples were destroyed by malik kafir on his raid to south india......

One Says:
here is another interesting web link about Hoysala Dynasty..

One Says:
"Remarkably, the work was on very hard "Granite" and not "Sand-stone" which is much softer. No wonder it took so many years."
I just wished to point out that it is not granite that the Hoysala sculptors used but a rock known as soapstone (chloritic schist)
It is a soft stone, easy to chip away and "a good material for intricate carving"
Granite would be very difficult to be carved into such intricate manner - but despite the ease of sculpting soapstone, the Hoysala sculptures are some of the most beautiful to look looks at them and wonders if it is possible to work like that with stone! :)

Some years back, I went to Belur, Halebidu, and Sravanabelagola. In one of the temples, I am not sure whether it is Belur or Halebidu, I remember seeing a pillar inside the temple, which was a near-replica of the temple. I found that amazing. I also heard one of the stambha (column) in one of the temples is tilting.

One Says:
the hoysala temples are made of extremele of greenish greyish chloritic schist and not granite, the belur shrine (chennakeshava) had to have its shikhara removed soon after it was completed as the garbhagriha was collapsing under the weight of the shikhara.
their most magnificient temple at the capital halebid is built on a double stariform base and has twin nandi mandapas ..... but was never finished ......
the style was a continuation of the late chalukyan and the detailing of the hoysala sculpture is the absolute pinnacle of sculpturee in anc/early medieval india.

for more details see Brown, Percy: Indian Architecture (Buddhist, Hindu & Jain) or Tadgell, Christopher: Indian Architecture or Coomaraswamy, gupte,rs, or kramrisch etc)

One Says:
I had been to belur and halebidu some 14 yrs back... and i am still in awe of the sculptures there...the Chenna kesava temple and its intricate carvings are a work of perfection..The sculptures depicting the various mythological episodes on the black granite are just fabulous... 

I also remember being fascinated by a huge sculpture of a Nandi bull out side the temple...

One Says:
In 1117 AD the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana (1108-1152 AD) began building the Chennakeshava temple (at Velapuri, now called Belur) to celebrate his conversion from Jainism to Hinduism and his victory over the Cholas and independence from the Chalukyas. Vishnuvardhana was succeeded by Narasimha-I in 1152 AD, and he carried on with it...

Well, Khajuraho temples were built by the Hindu Chandela dynasty; it began in 950 AD and main temple was completed in 1029 AD and the total complex was completed in 1050 AD.

One Says:
HOYSALAS (1022-1343 AD) in Karnataka.
(1) Nripakama (1022-47)
(2) Vinayaditya (1947-98)
(3) Ereyanga (1063-1100)
(4) Ballala-I (1100-1108)
(5) Vishnuvardhana (1110-52)
(6) Narasimha-I (11152-73)
(7) Ballala-II (1173-1220)
(8) Narasimha-II (1220-38)
(9) Somesvara (1233-1267)
10) Narasimha-III (1254-92) ---------------------- (X) Ramanatha (1254-95)
(11) Ballala-III (1291-1342) ------------------------(XI) Visvanatha (1295-1300)
(12) Ballala-IV …


Vijayanagara Empire (1342–1355) Sangama dynasty-Saluva dynasty-Aravidu dynasty

What is the name "Hoysala" derived from?
If I am not wrong, the word 'Hay' stands for horse.

One Says:
The legendary ancestor of this dynasty by the name of Sala was with his preceptor in a forest, when suddenly they were attacked by a tiger. The teacher cried "Hoy Sala" which means "Kill Sala" and thus the name of Hoysala came about. In Tamil country they were also called "Poy Sala". This story is known from inscriptions from King Vishnuvardhana onwards, if I am not wrong.

One Says:
Just saw your post above. The Sangama dynasty was from 1336-1487. 

Saluva (1487-1500)
Tuluva (1500-1572)
Aravida (1572-1670s)

The Tuluva hegemony virtually ended with the death of Achyuta Deva Raya in 1542. After that Sadashiva was merely a puppet under Rama Raya who died in Talikota in 1565.

One Says:
Harihara-I (1336-57) >---- Kampa ---Bukka-I (1344-77) --- Marapa --- Muddapa

Bukka-I > Kumara Kampama ---Virupanna --- Harihara-II (1377-1404)

Harihara-II > Virupaksha-I (1404) ---Bukka-II (1405-6) --- Devaraya-I (1406-22)

Devaraya-I > Ramachandraraya (1422) ---Vijaya Raya-I (1422-6)

Vijaya Raya-I > Praudha Devaraya / Devaraya-II (1422-46) --- Pratapa Devaraya

Devaraya-II > Mallikarjuna (1447-65) ---Rajasekhara (1466)
Pratapa Devaraya > Virupaksha-II (1465-85) ---Vijayaraya-II (1446-7)
Virupaksha-II --------------Praudharaya (1485)

One Says:
SANGAM (2)[Saluva dynasty]
Gunda > Saluva Narasimha (1468-91) ---------------Timma

Sulva Narasimha > Trirumala/Timma --------- Darmmaraya / Immadi Narasimha


One Says:
SANGAM (3) [Tuluva Dynasty]

Isvara Nayaka > Narasa Nayaka

Narsa Nayaka > Vira Sarasimha (1505-9) ---- Krishnadeva Raya (1509) ---Achyutadeva Raya (1529-42) ---Ranga

Krishnadeva Raya > Tirumaladeva ---Tirumalai Raya
Archyutadeva Raya > Venkata-I (1542)

Ranga > Sadasiva (1542-76)

One Says:
SANGAM DYNASTY (4) [Aravidu Dynasty]
Araviti Bukka > Ramaraja > Sriranga

Sriranga > (Aliya) Rama Raja (1542-65) --------[1] Tirumala (1570-72) ---- Venkatadri

[2] Sriranga -I (1572-85) -----------Rama ----------[3] Venkata-II (1586-1614)

Rama > Tirumala (Timma Raja) --------- Sriranga-I (1614)

Rama Raja > Peda Trirumala --- Sriranga 

Rama > Tirumala (Rimma Raja) --------- [4] Sriranga-II (1614) 

Sriranga-II > [5] Ramadevaraya
Sriranga ---------- [6] Peda Venkata / Venkata-III (1630-41) ----------Chenna Venkata

Chenna Venkata > [7] Sriranga-III (1642-1672)

Venkadri ----------- Sriranga --------------Gopalaraja of Kandanavolu

he Portuguese traveler Fernao Nuniz, who stayed in Vijayanagar for three years (1535-1537) in Achyuta Raya’s court, affirms that the new king gave himself over to vice and tyranny, that he lacked honesty and courage, and that the people and captains of the kingdom were much discontented with his evils and inclinations….
However, Achyuta was chosen by Krishnadeva for the succession in preference to his infant son who was only 18 months old. Yet it can not be denied that his position was difficult at the time of his accession (1529). The infant son of Krishna Raya was proclaimed king by Rama Raya, but Rama’s attempt to sieze power in the name of that infant was foiled by Saluva Vira Narasimha who kept the throne vacant for Achyuta till he could come up from Chandragiri where he had been confined by Krishnadeva Raya, alongwith other princes of the family, with a view to securing the peace of the realm.
On his way to Vijayanagar, Achyuta Raya held rwo coronations, one at Tirupati and other at Kalahasti., in an attempt to forestall Rama Raya’s efforts to enthrone another king.
Whe he finally reached Vijayanagar, Achyuta came to terms with Rama Raya and agreed to share the power with him…
This greatly displeased Saluva Vira Narasimha who retired from the court and set up the standard of revolt in the south with the aid of the chieftains of Immattur and the Tiruvadi rajya in south Travancore. Achyuta Raya marched against them, with an army commanded by his brother-in-law Salakaraju Tirumala.
Saluva Vira Narasimha and his allies were not only defeated in the battle but also captured and brought as prisoners to the king’s camp at Srirangam.
Achyuta returned to his capital via Ummattur to receive the submission of local chieftains on the way.

And when Krishnadeva Raya’s infant son died soon afterwards, Rama Raya’s position was considerably weakened. 

Achyuta died in 1542, and was succeeded by his son Venkata-I.

And Rama Raya was eventually killed or decapitated by the Nizam Shah, near Talikota or at Rakshasi-Tangadi,
on 23rd January, Thesday, 1565 AD.

And it made the first phase of fall of Vijayanagar….

The Balur inscription (1117) of Vishnuvardhana indicates thus that a youngman Sala who was instructed by (Jain) guru Sudatta to strick dead a tiger he encountered in the vicinity of a temple of goddess Vasantika at Sosevur. Linguistically in ‘old Kannada” (Hale Kannada: 850-1200 AD) “HOY” suggests “kill and hense “sala (name of that youngman), kill (the tiger)”, thus HOYSALA came into being. And this etymological legend earned popularily after the king of Hoysala Empire (1108-1152) in south India (Karnataka) Vishnuvardhana’s victory over the Cholas in 1116 AD. This Hoysalas were descendants of the Yadavas of north India.

The Hoysalas were indigenous hill chieftains of the mountainous Western Ghats in South West Karnataka. They first built their base in the foothills near Sosevuru in Chikamagalur district. From there they expanded during the later part of the Western Chalukya dynasty till Vishnuvardhana attempted to throw the Chalukyan yoke and achieved much success in the mid 12th century. By the end of that century under Vira Ballala II, the Hoysalas were well established in South Karnataka, at the expense of the Chalukyas and older dynasties such as the Gangas. Then they set their sights upon the rich and fertile Tamil country and the later part of Hoysala period is all about the struggles in the Tamil country. At the same time they had to contend with their aggressive neighbors to the north - the Sevuna Yadavas of Devagiri. 

Hoysalas, like most dynasties of that age tried to establish their legitimacy by adopting a hoary lineage - in this case from Yadu. In this they followed suit of their adversaries, the Sevunas who also adopted a Yadava lineage. One of the birudas of the Hoysala emperors (from Vishnuvardhana onwards I think) is "Yadava kulambara dyumani" or 'Crest Jewel of the Yadavas'. But originally Hoysalas were hill chieftains of Malepas and the Yadava link was only to legitimize their rule.

The Sangama name applies to only the first dynasty of Vijayanagara since it originated from Sangama, whose sons Harihara and Bukka were the first rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Saluvas, Tuluvas and Aravidu have no blood relation to the Sangamas and hence calling them Sangamas is incorrect. Thanks

That’s why in my post I referred to “sangam names of Harihara-I and or Bukka-I of theVijayanagara empire, which began in 1336 AD with Harihara-I as its first ruler, in the phase of “Sangama dynasty – (I)”starting with Harihara-I and history of [First] “Sangama dynasty-I” (which) ends with the assassination of king Virupaksha-II by his son in 1485 AD, and finally…in the hands of the Muslims.
Well, some scholars of South Indian history categorised of “Sangam Dynasty or Rulers” into 3 phases or periods ---(a) First dynasty from 1336 to 1485 AD, (b) Second dynasty from 1485 to 1505 AD (The Saluvas), and (c) Third dynasty from 1503 to 1570 AD (The Tuluvas). Apart this another dynasty they referred to is (D) The Aravidus(1570-1649 AD).

Yes true that the kings of (b) and (c), or (D) were not interconnected “by blood” or by social or matrimonial relations. But all they ruled the region…consecutively…and somewhat recently ---- i.e., in early years of Muslim rules or pre-Muhgal Islamic rulers in the medieval period. The TurkMuslims looked unto this region in 1303-4 AD when Sultan AlaudDin Khilji (r.1296-1316), in persuasion of a policy of plunder and loot in the South in preference to the extension of his territory, sent an expedition against Warangal, led by Malik Fakhr-udDin Juna (later Muhammad bin Tughlaq)…

And under this Muhammad bin Tughlaq the two “sangama brothers”--- Harihara (Hukka) and Bukka --- served as his trusted “Islamic men Friday” However, of course, the personal history of these two uterine brothers, the founders of the Vijayanagara Empire, says thatthey belonged to a family of 5 brothers, all sons of Sangama. They were at first in the service of Prataparudra-II, but after the Muslim conquest of his kingdom in 1323 AD they went over to Kampili. And when Kampili also fell in 1327 AD, they became prisoners and were carried off to Delhi where, because they embraced Islam, stood well with the Sultan … Now once again they were sent to the province of Kampili to take over its administration from Malik Muhammad and to deal with the revolt of the Hindu subjects. However, after their arrival in the South, as said by Muslims historian and the Hindu Tradition, these “two trusted lieutenants of the Sultanate” abandoned Islam and re-embraced Hinduism --- under the Advaitan thelogical influence or direct intervention of Hindu sage Vidyaranya or Madhava Vidyaranya (born in 1268 AD), theshankarachariya of the Sringiri Math ------ although, and matter-of-factly, in Hindu religion ‘conversion’ or ‘re-conversion’ or apostasy is not permitted or legitimized, and or, no Shankarachariya of Hindu dharma is still or ever entrusted with this religious privilege. 

So technically the Vijayanagara rulers were not Hindus…

Anyway, these ‘neo-Hindu” brothers finally founded a new empire and dynasty in Vijayanagara by 1336 AD which turned as the last glory of Hindu rules in the South, and in history this very Vijaynagaran dynasty is termed as (first category or main) Sangama rulers.
The death of Devaraya in 1446 AD engulfed the Vijayanagara empire fell prey to foreign aggressions. The reign of Devaraya-II was followed by a short reign of Viyayaraya-II (1446-47 AD). The next ruler Mallikarjuna was young at the time of his accession and taking advantage of it, the Bahmani Sultan Alauddin-II and Kapileshvara Gajapati of Orissa invaded Vijayanagara, and the war was prolonged until1463 AD; Mallikarjuna died in mid-1465 AD,succeeded by Virupaksha-II --- and the history of ‘Sangama dynasty’ ends with the murder of Virupaksha-II in 1485 AD by one of his own sons. Another son of Virupaksha, Praudhraya or Praudha Deveraya, ascended the throne and almost at once killed the patricide. 

Whatever, …. the actual Sangam era begins centuries earlier…than so-called sangama rulers (1336-1485 or 1487 AD); it comprises of the Cheras, the Cholas, the Pandyas of the ancient Period.

The name Sangama applies to only the first dynasty which ruled from 1336 to 1486. There is no reason to call the rulers of later dynasties (Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu) as Sangam rulers.

Regarding the popular origin theory of Vijaynagara, about Harihara and Bukka serving under Muhammad-ibn-Tughlak and then rebelling against him is not all that universally accepted amongst academic circles.

The initial area dominated by Harihara is the region surrounding Kampili, in present day Bellary district of Karnataka. Majority of the early Sangama inscriptions have been found in core Hoysala territories in South Karnataka suggesting that they may have originated from that area. This is a more plausible theory than chieftains coming from a different region and who served a tyrannical foreign Sultan.

“Regarding the “popular origin theory of Vijaynagara,” about Harihara and Bukka serving under Muhammad-ibn-Tughlak and then rebelling against him is not all that universally accepted amongst academic circles..”

What’s meant by this (so-called) ‘academic circle’ ? Who are they ?

The ‘popular orgin theory of Vijayanagara’ is not theorized or concocted by me, it is spoken of (and supported) by historians like K.A.Nilakanta Sastri, who was the Professor of History at the University of Madras and or R.Champakalalakshmi who was Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, or of Hemchandra Raychaudhuri who was the Professor and Dean of History, and Ancient Indian History and Culture, at Calcutta University, or V.A.Smith or R.K.Mukherjee, R.C.Majumder, or T.V.Mahalingam or Krishnaswami Iyengar.
And of the verson of the Sringri Math in Karnataka.

And however, in this regard, personally I am of the view that Harihar-I remained a Muslim, ---- although apparently he’d been or, “is said” to have been, “converted to Hindu Religion” by Vidyaanya (who was elected shankarachariya in 1331 AD at the Shringeri Math), despite that fact that, ritualistically or otherwise, Hinduism can not accept or incorporate any non-Hindu, (and if it could…, then all remaining Muslims in India after 1947 would have been converted back to Hindu fold). But under Vidyaranya’s influence he, I think, worked for the Hindu society and culture a lot in Vijayanagara (Hampi)…”under his political compulsion”.just like today’s ruling Congress (ever dominated by the Hindus) has been favouring the Muslims “under their political compulsion…” 

So to me it sounds possible and logical. . .

Please read authors such as B A Saletore, Rev Henry Heras and works of recent scholars such as C S Patil, Vasundhara Filliozat and especially Burton Stein's "Vijayanagara", also Hermann Kulke, Philip Wagoner to get an idea of alternative views.

The scholar who propounded the apostacy theory based on literary works such as "Vidyaranya Kalajnana" was Prof N Venkataramanaya. Prof Nilakanta Shastri also agreed with him. But since the publication of Sastri's "History of South India", several inscriptions have come to light and even the interpretation of past inscriptions have been revisited. Even at the time of publication of "History of South India" in 1950s, there was widespread debate between the different theorists.

I am unable to find time to get into this discussion in detail and would request you to read the above authors.

he historians or indologists or archaeologists you referred to are not unknown to me.
Prof Burton Stein [A History of India or Vijayanagara (New Cambridge History of India) etc] or Phillip B Wagoner [Tidings of the King] or Vasumdhara Filliozat (Hampi—Splendours of the Vijayanagara Empire] or Henry Heras [The Aravid Dynasty of Vijayanagara] etc etc are all read by me ….and still I adhere to what I said.
Well, history is the study of the Past --- or of the ‘written records’ of human activities over the time, and the research-scholars of it are called historians. But again history is not Science…
A history is ‘written’ by some assumptions and hypothesises…basing mainly upon “Sources” ---like (1) Literary sources (which is the main) which also includes (a) “Foreign Writings” and (b) “Inscriptions” and (2) Archaeological evidences which includes ‘coins’ and (architectural) ‘monuments.
Now there is no guarantee that what the ‘literary sources, of both indigenous and foreign write-ups, are really true or factual, and so is of ‘inscriptions’. Yet historians, whosoever he/she is, are to believe in it all to ‘gather up’ datas or informations (true or false) to make bibliographic narrations.
As regards the ‘literary sources’, in India we depend on ‘early ancient literary works’ like the Vedas (which is non-historical), and Hindu Purans (historical) that it contains geographical indications, narrative factuals, chronological references and genealogical corroboration or indexes --- and it all more or less fulfill some conditions of historiography, or history or Itihash.

But many historians didn’t or do not agree to accept this “Literary sources” as it is not backed or sufficiently corroborated by the required ‘archaeological evidences’. 
So historians (both foreign and some indigenous, including matrimonially Foreigner) are mostly found to be endowed with a tendency towards defying the Hindu or Jain Literary sources, and instead, accepting foreign (Asian or Chinese, and obviously European) sources… Whatever….
So the ‘apostasy-theory source based on the literary works of Vidyaranya Kalannana can be easily defied or written off, as happened in the cases of those of the Hindu texts.
Vijayanagara rulers have some so-called (historical?) same literary evidences to have ever existed once upon a time….and their ‘works’ have archeological evidences, but without again “scientific” or proper forensic evidences that can speak in their favour…fully. and which’s the only source accepted by the Law. Therefore, read all works of the historians and make a personal view on it ---- that all historians contradict one another.

In 1981 a steel-capsule containing evidences of Indian history and archaeological proofs etc has been interred deep down the Lal Qilla at Delhi, and in it a copper document said the Nahru family has been the oldest ruling dynasty in India that has been ruling since 718 AD…!!! And apart this many other facts have been changed in regard to Indian history, and thus Indian history is re-written or written (with forged corroboratory archaeological supports) is by a group of top Indian historians who regularly attend the History Congress. So, say after 500 years, if or, when this“history capsule” be traced out…the students and historians of that ‘future era’ will, while it comes to discussing or knowing of Indian history, have to believe in, speak of what it all contains.

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