Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in his Āsthāna (Royal Court)

Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana carved on the right side jalandhra of the front facade of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple, Karnataka, India

Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in his Āsthāna (Royal Court)

Āsthāna of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana
The image shows a section of the wall on the left side of the main entrance of the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, Karnataka, India.

As you can see from the image, the diamond-shaped perforations are at the top and bottom of the window. Carved Between the perforations are the beautiful sculptural reliefs depicting three distinct themes. The top-level relief depicts Narasimha, the fourth avatar of Vishnu. The reliefs of kneeling Garuda are at the ends. The middle-level relief depicts the āsthāna (royal court) of Vishnuvardhana (1108 – 1152 CE), one of the great kings of the Hoysala dynasty and the builder of this temple. The bottom level has lions carved in between the perforations.

Mounted at an angle on the pillars are two bracket figures, Naatya Sundari and Gaana Sundari. Check the Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures page for a list and descriptions of other bracket figures in the temple.

Jalandhra, which is a unique element of the Hoysala architecture, is a perforated stone screen placed between two pillars. The perforation allows light and air into the mantapa (covered hall). When the temple was built, the navaranga was an open mantapa, which means there were no jalandhras. King Veera Ballala II (1173 – 1220 CE), a grandson of King Vishnuvardhana, was responsible for covering the navaranga windows with the jalandhras, mostly because of security reasons.

Not only do the jalandhras provide ventilation and light, but also make the temple aesthetically pleasing due to the beautiful patterns of the perforations and carvings around them. Some of the jalandhras are carved with themes from the Hindu epics and ancient Indian texts, such as the Puranas.

Related Images
Āsthāna (Royal Court) of Hoysala King Veera Ballala II
Vishnu reclining on Adishesha – A beautifully carved relief on a jalandhra
Jalandhra and bracket figures on the left section of the northern entrance

Shilābālikes – Female Bracket Figures
Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhasini, Nātya Sundari, Gāna Sundari, Kesha Sundari, Tribhangi, Nagna Sundari, Kapala Durga, Koravanji, Nātya Mohini, Betegarthi

Male Bracket Figures
Flute playing male musician
Narthaka – Davane playing male dancer
Davane playing male musician

Related Pages
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Magnificent Temple Dedicated to Vishnu

Copyright © 2019 – 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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