Hoysala Empire

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The Hoysala Empire (Kannada: ಹೊಯ್ಸಳ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯ, pronounced [hojsəɭə saːmraːdʒjə]( listen)) was a prominent South Indian Kannadiga empire that ruled most of the modern day state of Karnataka between the 10th and the 14th centuries. The capital of the Hoysalas was initially located at Belur but was later moved to Halebidu.

The Hoysala rulers were originally hill people of Malnad Karnataka, an elevated region in the Western Ghats range. In the 12th century, taking advantage of the internecine warfare between the then ruling Western Chalukyas and Kalachuri kingdoms, they ruled over areas of present day Karnataka and some parts of the Kaveri River delta between Kongu and Chola territories in Tamil country. By the 13th century, they governed most of present-day Karnataka, minor parts of Tamil Nadu and parts of western Andhra Pradesh in Deccan India.

The Hoysala era was an important period in the development of art, architecture, and religion in South India. The empire is remembered today primarily for its temple architecture. Over a hundred surviving temples are scattered across Karnataka, including the well known Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura. The Hoysala rulers also patronised the fine arts, encouraging literature to flourish in Kannada and Sanskrit.

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