The historical dateline of hoysala monuments have been well recorded and preserved with regard to various monuments built during their reign. The royalty and ministers concerned largely took the credit for sponsoring the construction, but a deviation was allowed. The sculptures name was engraved below an idol or on the facade of the temple. Let us have a cursory glance at some of the important monuments :
MONUMENT LOCATION YEAR EMPEROR
Chennakesava temple Belur 1117 Vishnuvardhana
Hoysaleswar temple Halebid 1120 Vishnuvardhana
Parsvanath temple Halebid 1133 Vishnuvardhana
Amrutheswara temple Amruthapura 1196 Veera Ballal II
Veera Narayana temple Belavadi 1196 Veera Ballal II
Ishwara temple Arisikere 1220 Veera Ballal II
Harieswara Harihar 1224 Vira Narasimha II
Laxmi Narasimha Nuggehalli 1246 Vira Someshwara
Chennakeshava Arleguppe 1250 Vira Someshwara
Keshava Somnathpur 1268 Narasimha III
All the above emperors realised the importance of monuments and left behind edifices worth remembering in sands of time. Majority of the royalty never gave freedom or importance to their sub ordinates or their citizens. King Vishnuvardhan being benevolent began the tradition of allowing the artisans to engrave their names on their creation from Chennakeshava temple at Belur. This might have triggered further generation of kings in Hoysala dynasty to allow their artisans to engrave their names on the sculpture created by them.
Mallitama's name features as one of the prominent artisan during Vishnuvardhana's reign. Probably he is elugised in the form of Jakkanacharya. He seems to be involved in sculpting many a statues in Chennakesava temple Belur and Hoysaleswar temple Halebid. The second name which features in Hoysala architecture is Chikka Mallitama, can we conclude it is his son and he is converted into Dakkanacharya.
The justification for creation of epic character in the form Jakkanacharya might be justified because the artisans had to be recognised by future generations. The hoysala artisans were blessed with availability of soap stones in the area which enabled them to carve out statues with perfection beyond imagination. Secondly they were patronised and given full artistic freedom to express their skills by the emperors and finally the society was willing to appreciate their creation.
Apart from engraving their signatures some of the artisans have left behind their own headshots engraved on the facade of the temple walls discreetly. Sometimes they were passed off as representation of royalty figure heads.
The myth of Jakkanacharya has been exploded by the Prof Narsimha moorthy of Bangalore university, but the proof of the pudding is in providing evidence of the same. These are the photographic evidence which are sourced from the annals of history produced as proofs.
Secondly anyone who is famous does have a dateline of birth and death, but Jakkanacharya and Dakkanacharya don t have any specified dateline, which itself provides ample evidence about their myth.
Thirdly there is no incription mentioning the names of these artisans anywhere in Hoysala architecture. Why would any artisan let go of such a golden opportunity when the emperors were permitting their names to be engraved on their creation.
Finally we can conclude that these artisans name was creation of ficition to sing praises of the great artisans in general during Hoysala period. Let us now rest the controversy as solved rather than remaining as mystery.