History of Hoysalas
Hoyasalas – “Hoy Sala” meaning “Stike Sala”. Guru Sudatta Muni said to his student, Sala who was in combat with a tiger.The duo were performing rituals at the Vasantha Parameshwari Temple in a village called Sasakapura or Sosevur.
The tiger attacked them, Sala struck the animal with one blow, and both were immortal. Sala became the first ruler and founder of the Hoysala dynasty. This incident was so patronized and it became the emblem of the Hoysala. The Cholas were defeated by the Holsalas. Sosevur became the capital of the Hoysala is presently Angadi, a small hamlet of Chikmagalur. The temple of Vasantha Parameshwari lies in ruins.
Journey of the Hoysalas begins1000 years ago, they were not born rulers and still they went onto rule for 300 years. They were tribal chiefs who subordinates of the Westeren Chalukyas.
Studies show that they were descendants of Yadava clan, some indicates that they were from Male (hills) natives of Malnad. Arekalla, (in 950), Maruga and Nripa Kama I (in 976) are some of the kings from Hoysala. Ones who really shaped the history are King Vishnuvardhan and Veera Bhallalla.
King Vishnuvardhan, is famous for his patronage to arts along with their exploits on the battlefield. The famous Belur and Halebid Temples were built by him. During his reign a baffling 1500 temples were built in 958 locations out of which only 100 survive today.Vishnuvardhan was also known as “Bittideva”. He was a Jain who became a Hindu following the preachings of Ramanuja. His queen Shantaladevi continued to patronize Jainism. The Chennakesava temple is important among the temples of Belur.
One can find the inscriptions in the ruins of Angadi. The temple is being restored amidst verdant green plantations. The Archeological Survey of Indian has taken up the restoration of the broken pillars, strewn inscriptions and defigured idols.
However there are several temples tucked away in small hamlets, some of them are Kedareshwara, Dodgaddavalli, Marle, Mosale, Nugehalli, Hosaholalu, Somnathpur, Talakadu, Arasikere, Tarikere, Belavadi, Javagal. Along with the temples are the Basadis. In Tumkur district, Kaidala is the birthplace of the sculptor Jakanacharya who built the temple in Bellur.
Guides on the wane
They reel off the stories of 1000 years, the describing the nuances of pillars and stones at ancient temples/Monuments. The tour guide will be awaiting at the corner of the temple, all willing to show you around the temple and its premises. Not all the guides have a glamorous life that of the guide in the movie “ Guide”. But such licensed, authenticated guides in our states tourist destinations are on the wane.
Though there is an acute shortage of Guides, the Government has failed to impress people to join this profession. Generally the guides work on shift basis which fetches just between Rs.3,000 and Rs.5,000 a month.
One cannot take this itself as the sole profession. Hence they also opt for other opportunities to fend themselves. Again, a guide who has good language, good knowledge about the place and a style of narration will be in more demand. Government needs to improve these peoples situation.
Archeological/Heritage at Peril
It not just that the inscriptions, idols are ruined and defigured, added to this are cultural vandalism; people make unwanted graffiti on the rocks and walls of the temples etc. Added to this in the guise of “renovation” stone structures are painted, changing the temple flooring into granite, inscriptions painted over, glazed tiles surrounding the idols, stone murals defaced by garish paint, concrete structure around the pillars. This may be solved if our Government gives clear guidelines about handling heritage buildings.
We the citizens also need to bring out awareness among public against this kind of curtural vandalism. The Government needs to address these issues as tourism promotion.