Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Hoysala emblem on the right-side of the main entrance

Hoysala emblem on the right-side of the main entrance of the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, Karnataka, India

Hoysala emblem on the right-side of the main entrance

Hoysala emblem right-side of the main entrance
The image shows a beautifully carved sculpture depicting a boy killing the tiger with a lance, which is the lanchana (emblem) of the Hoysala dynasty that ruled most of Karnataka from 11th to 14th century. It is based on a story that appears on an inscription attributed to King Vishnuvardhana and is about the founding of this dynasty. According to this inscription, the name Hoysala is a combination of two words, hoy and sala. Hoy in Halegannada (Old Kannada) means hurl, and Sala is the name of the founder of the Hoysala dynasty.

Here is the legend of Sala in brief:
While Sala is walking with his guru, a Jain sage named Sudatta Muni, a tiger suddenly appears from nowhere and is about to pounce on his guru. To save himself from the tiger, his guru yells “Hoy Sala.” Sala complies immediately and throws the lance he was holding at the tiger. He then fights the tiger and kills it, saving his guru’s life.

Sala was a boy at that time and news of his bravery soon spread, and he became a legend. He used his fame to found a dynasty, which got its name from the words uttered by his guru.

Located on the left-side of the main entrance, this beautifully carved sculpture captures the Hoysala legend very well, however, the animal appears to be a lion rather than a tiger. There is a similar sculpture on the right side of the main entrance. The north and south side entrances also have sculptures depicting Hoysala emblems at their doors.

Related Images
Hoysala emblem on the left side of the main entrance
main entrance to the Belur Chennakeshava Temple

Bracket Figures
Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhasini, Naatya Sundari, Gaana Sundari, Kesha Sundari, Tribhangi, Nagna Sundari, Kapala Durga, Koravanji, Naatya Mohini, Betegarthi

Related Pages
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Masterpiece of Hoysala Temple Art

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