Hoysala Temples - Mosale, Hassan - Timings, History, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Hassan): 15 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins - 1 Hr

Place Location: At Mosale Village

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 15 km from Hassan, Nageshwara & Channakeshava Temples are the twin Hoyasala temples situated at Mosale village in the Hassan district of Karnataka. It is one of the popular Hoysala temples in Karnataka, and among the top places to visit in Hassan.

The Nageshvara-Chennakeshava temples are built in 1200 AD during the reign of Hoysala King Veera Ballala II. The temple complex is an elegant example of Hoysala architecture of the early 12th century. The temples together form a unique Dwikutachala. One of the temples is dedicated to Nageshwara (Lord Shiva), and the other is dedicated to Chennakeshava (Lord Vishnu). This temple complex is protected and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. According to a legend, the village of Mosale was also the hermitage of Sage Jamadagni.

Surrounded by a wall, the two temples stand side by side in the complex a few feet apart and are similar in architecture. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Karnataka. The temples are simple single-shrined structures with all the standard features of Hoysala architecture such as a porch entrance into a square closed mantapa or navaranga leading to the sanctum, and a superstructure (shikhara) over the main shrine. The sanctum is connected to the hall by a vestibule called sukhanasi. The closed hall, whose inner and outer walls are decorated, has four central lathe-turned pillars that support a bay ceiling. The Nageshvara temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is in the south while the Chennakeshava temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is to the north.

The superstructure over each shrine is three-tiered and vesara in style. It is intact, finely sculptured, and has a decorative low extension which is the tower over the vestibule. The extension tower looks like the 'nose' of the main superstructure and is also called sukhanasi. The Sala (slaying the tiger) figures stand on a projection above the sukhanasi ceiling of the temples. The beautifully sculpted kalashas at the top of the apex of the shrines further enrich the completeness of the two temples.

The decorative features found on the temple's outer wall belong to the 'old kind'. In this type of decorations, below the superstructure, the eaves that projects about half a meter runs all around the temple. Below the eaves are decorative miniature towers on pilasters. In the 'old kind', the large wall images of deities and their attendants are placed below these decorative towers. Sridevi, Lakshmidevi, Gauri, Maheshvari, Brahma, Sadashiva, and Bhudevi are some of the prominent images at Nageshwara Temple. Another intriguing feature of this temple is the carving of Goddess Durga on the external ceiling of Nageshwara temple. The specialty of the carving is that irrespective of the direction from which we view it, the goddess appears to be looking back at us. The Channakeshava Temple has sculptures of Garuda, Keshava, Janardana, Venugopala, Madhava, and Bhudevi.

Timings: 7.30 AM to 5.30 PM

Entry: Free