Halebid, Karnataka, India  (site museum)

The Hoysala temples at Halebid and Belur are the cream of one of the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu cultural development, and their sculpture rivals that of Khajuraho and Konark. Construction of the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid began around 1121 AD. Despite more than 80 years of labor, it was never completed. Nevertheless, it is easily the most outstanding example of Hoysala art. Every inch of the outside walls and much of the interior is covered with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals and birds, and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala rulers.   [-- Adapted from the Lonely Planet, India, 1999]



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