Monday, December 21, 2009
The Chennakesava Temple in Belur (Hassan district in Karnataka)was built on the banks of the Yagachi River. Belur is 222 km from Bangalore
Chennakesava simply means "handsome kesava" which mentions the Hindu God Lord Vishnu
Belur and Halebidu are two prime centers of Hoysala Empire.
Hoysala Empire was a powerful kingdom which ruled most of the present day states of Karnataka and some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh between 10th and 14th century AD. Belur was the capital initially and later shifted to Halebidu.
The Chennakesava temple complex situated here in Belur is an architectural marvel and a classic display of Hoysala architecture.; dedicated to Lord Vishnu and a ‘must see’ place whenever one travels towards the southern part of India.
Feminine prettiness, grace and physique is very well handled by the artists under the Hoysala architecture
The south Indian temple architecture involves skilled craftsmanship and this is at its best when comes to Hoysala architecture which gives more importance to carvings in detail rather than height or size.
The Hoysala artists used Soapstone (Chloritic schist), a soft stone as basic building and sculptural material.
Unlike other kingdoms, here the artists were treated with great respect and the names and whereabouts of them were also scripted on the walls. Though one has to take help from the local guides and have to observe closely
The temples of Belur and Halebidu are a proposed UNESCO world heritage sites
This temple was built by king Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE in remembrance of his victory over Cholas at Talakkad.
I had already posted a few months back about Talakkad and the temples which were covered under sand dune for centuries, and later unearthed a few decades back.
The outer walls of these temples depict the Hindu epics in a very systematic manner.
The temple of Halebidu has been described as an outstanding example of Hindu architecture and an important milestone in Indian architecture.
In fact Halebidu which is just 16 km from here(Belur), is even amazing in terms of its external workmanship. We were unable to make it, as we had a few many things lined up and was in a hurry as we were heading for a friend's marriage.
Hope you liked this amazing temple complex and its details. Tomorrow will upload a few more other pictures. Till then.......take care.... :)