Ishvara Temple, Arasikere – a forgotton gem of Hoysala architecture

Ishvara Temple is located in Arasikere, Hassan district in Karnataka. Arasikere derives its name from a large water tank built in 11 century AD by Mahadevi, queen of Hoysala King Ereyanga. Arasi means “queen” or “princess” and kere means “tank” in the Kannada language). It was also the birthplace of Umadevi, queen of Ballala II. The Ishvara  temple was built in 1220 during the rule of Veera Ballala II of Hoysala dynasty.

Despite its royal legacy, the place slowly went into oblivion and today only the Ishvara Temple remindes of its glorious past during Hoysala dynasty.When we reached in the afternoon , we were the oonly visitors in the temple.

Interesting facts:

  1. The temple is considered as the most complex one in architecture among surviving Hoysala temples because of its ground plan: a 16-pointed star shaped mantapa (hall).
  2. The temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, is a ekakuta shrine (single shrine or cella) with two mantapas (hall), one open and one closed
  3. The temple faces east and uses soapstone as its basic building material as in all Hoysala constructions.
  4. The beautiful carved Navaranga mantapa is a 16-point star structure and supported with 8 pillars.
  5. Also worth observing is the star shaped shrine with beautiful wall panel images and shikhara (superstructure).
  6. The pillars of the temple are sculpted with intricate decorations.

Pictures gallery:


Temple view from outside


Star shaped shrine


Beautiful crafted temple exteriors

Beautifully sculpted pillars



Mandapa pillar view

Scupltures at Iswara temple



Navranga mandapa view


Navranga mandapa ceiling view


  1. Getting there: It is located 45 km from Hassan city , 152 km from Mysore and 195 km from Bengalaru.
  2. Best time to visit: Nov – February
  3. Must visit the following Hoysala temples:

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