11 March 2013

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Am in Hassan for a months vacation and this post on Belur is continuation of  tourist attractions around Hassan.
Belur is situated on the banks of Yagachi River and was known as Velapuri, Velur, Belapur and Dakshina Varanasi in earlier times.
The Hoysala empire was a prominent South Indian Kannadiga empire that ruled most of the present day Karnataka state. This era was an important period in the development of art, architecture and religion in South India. 
Hoysala Vishnuvardhana (AD 1108- 1152) built a temple for Vijayanarayana in the capital Belur in commemoration of his victory against chola viceroy of Talkad in the year 1117AD.
Temple is popularly known as the Chennakeshava Temple. The image of Keshava(one of the 24 forms of Vishu) was made by king Vishuvardhana. 
Chennakeshava Temple Belur


Chennakeshava Temple Belur

The main structure of the temple, which is star shaped, is a homogeneous architectural unit on a raised platform. 

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Facing the temple, at the entrance, stands the winged figure of Garuda, carrier of Lord Vishnu and Deepa Sthamba

Chennakeshava Temple Belur


The entrance to the temple


Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Symbol of Hoysala Empire. There is a tale behind this symbol.
A young man named Sala saved his Jain guru Sudatta by Striking dead a tiger he encountered near the temple of Goddess Vasantika at Sosevur. The word “strike” meaning “hoy” in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada), hence the name “Hoy-sala.

Chennakeshava Temple Belur


The 650 charging elephants on the frieze around the walls outside are all different from one another.
Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

The exotic bracket figures (Madanikas) on the walls of the temple are serene, playful and amorous, enhancing the overall effect of this pinnacle of architectural excellence. These Madanikas were inspired by the beauty of Shantala Devi, king Vishnuvardhana’s wife, who was well versed in fine arts of dance and music and was well trained in Bharatnatyam dance.  There are forty two Madanikas in Bharatnatyam poses carved on the outer walls.
Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur

Chennakeshava Temple Belur


Chennakeshava Temple Belur
Inside, the temple is the hand lathed turned shining pillars, each unique in its own splendor. There is a polished stone platform where Shantala Devi danced in praise of Lord Chennakeshava.

To get a detailed view on the carvings and the temple please visit Chennakesava Temple on Wikipedia.

Info:

  • Location: Belur is 222 kms from Bangalore, 38 kms from Hassan, 25 kms from Chikmagalur and 149 kms from Mysore.
  • How to reach:
    • By Train: Nearest railway station is Hassan, Hassan Railway Station is linked to major Indian cities and well connected to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
    • By Bus: There are regular KSRTC buses that connect Belur  with Hassan, Chikmagalur, Bangalore and Mysore.
    • By Air: Nearest airports are Bangalore International Airport and Mangalore airport.
  • Accommodation: The nearest preferred stay option would be in Hassan and Chikmagalur.

3 comments:

  1. So beautiful! Makes me want to revisit the place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. so nice and beautiful pictures. thnx for sharing. keep it up. Subhkamna

    ReplyDelete