Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hoysala Pillars-mystery solved

A solution is outlined in this post for the Hoysala Temple Pillar mystery.

The mystery is, how 900 years back, the builders could employ machining technology to carve out stone pillars having more than 10 to 12 feet high, weighing several tonnes.

For more details watch this video.   

The solution is not that difficult to figure out  once we realize that our ancestors were very resourceful in using animal power like oxen, horses and not to forget elephants for various purposes. Traditionally  oxen and horses were used in agriculture and drawing carts  while elephants were used to shift heavy logs and boulders in various construction activities undertaken by the kings or temples.

The kind of stones in Hoysala Culture belt is known as soft stones or soap stone. It is easy to work with chisel and hammer and not as hard as granite rocks.
If you are familiar with village ghani -used for oil extraction -you will understand that what I have figured out is nothing but an extension of that.  In the oil extractor the animal tied to the grinding -wooden-mortar goes around the expeller unit squeezing the oil seed between bowl and mortar.

What the engineers of ancient times have done is  to attach solid chisels to a frame that rotates around the stone pillar. The frame is rotated using animal power like elephants because to cut a stone needs lot of power.  As already elephants should have been there to move around the pillars or rocks during temple construction, it is logical to think that most probably they must of utilized elephants as source of power in carving out the delicate machining of the pillars.

( click on the figure to enlarge to view and read the details) 

Imagine what a grand sight it would have been, tens or hundreds of elephants simultaneously working in the complex and the amount of food for them being arranged !! 

What a magnificent scale the operations should have been ! This  kind of creativity could not have been possible but for peace prevailing in the kingdom. Essentially the civilization was at its peak in every respect, be it arts, literature or engineering.