The Lesser Known Hoysala Temples-Shivalaya

Karnataka is a land of colors, cultures, landscapes and breathtaking beauty. It is an amalgamation of vibrant worlds. It has been a host to India’s one of the largest and powerful dynasties. Hoysala Empire, one of the prominent southern Indian empire, were keen architects, built places of worship across the empire and developed Hoysala architecture.

Arasikere, a commercial hub on Bengaluru-Shivamogga highway, has secured a place in history since time immemorial. Arasikere which literally means “Queen’s pond” built by Hoysala queen. This town historically connected with various inscriptions, is a clear proof that it has witnessed the glory of Hoysala Empire. The innumerable temples built by them in and around Arasikere stands as an example of exuberance, pride and grandeur. Shivalaya is one such example.

The Eshwara temple or the Shivalaya is a remarkable piece of architecture, in the entire line of Hoysala architecture, in a Star shaped pattern built on a raised platform. The main deity is Lord Shiva. Skilfully carved sculptures on the outer walls and inner walls of the shrine are a true mark of craftsmanship. It is an Ekakoota shrine temple with two mantapas. The lathe turned cylindrical pillars are adorned with stone carvings and give an elegant feel for the temple.


shivalaya cover photo (1)

Shivalaya Temple


Star shaped mantapa(hall)


Inner ceiling


Interiors of the mantapa(hall)


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Outer temple complex



Pillared alleys





Stone inscription


Stories from our rich ancient past etched on soft soapstone which come alive like action packed sequences from Indian mythology. Marvel at the intricacy of the carvings at the Shivalaya temple and appreciate the immeasurable beauty and sheer workmanship that has survived from centuries.  

How to reach Shivalaya Temple, Arasikere

Arasikere is well connected by rail and road.

By road: Arasikere is about 170km from Bengaluru. There are many KSRTC buses running daily from Bengaluru to Arasikere.

By rail: There are about 20+ direct trains from Bengaluru to Arasikere. The fastest way to reach Arasikere is through Janashatabdi express.

The temple is well maintained by Archaeological survey of India (ASI).

Timings: 8AM -5PM

Entry fee: Nil

Photography: It is strictly prohibited inside the shrine.

Also see:

Harnahalli: Sri Lakshmi Narasimha

Harnahalli: Sri Someshwara



©Divya RC 2017




7 responses to “The Lesser Known Hoysala Temples-Shivalaya

  1. This post has to be featured in sites which speak of Bangalore and places to see around it. I was unaware of this temple and I shall put this on top of my ‘to visit’ place. Great post Divya. Keep us updated this way. You have an eye for the unusual.

    Liked by 1 person

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