North entrance and facade
The image shows the facade of the northern entrance to the Belur Chennakeshava Temple. The structure of this entrance is similar to the main entrance, which faces east.
The approach to the doorway is through two flights of steps. The first set of steps is from the ground to the platform (not visible), and the second is from the platform to the door. The flights of steps are flanked by four mini shrines, two on the floor and two on the platform. Between the shrines on the platform and the door, there are two sculptures – one on each side – depicting the Hoysala lānchana (emblem), which is based on a story that appears on an inscription attributed to King Vishnuvardhana and is about the founding of this dynasty.
Just like the main entrance, a variety of sculptures and sculptural reliefs adorn the facade of this entrance. As you can see from the image, the door jambs and the lintel are beautifully decorated. Carved on the bottom part of the door jambs are the dwarapalas (a.k.a. dwarapalakas) of Vishu, Java and Vijaya. Carved on the pediment, which is above the door, is a beautiful relief of Vishnu, carried by his vahana (vehicle), Garuda. This pediment is enclosed by a creeper disgorged by the Makaras sitting atop the beautifully crafted pilasters that are standing on either side of the doorway.
Mounted on the pillars near the top, but just below the eaves, are the beautifully-carved sculptures popularly known as bracket figures. Check the Bracket Figures page for more info. In this entrance, only the left section of the facade has the jalandhra (perforated window).
Located 150 miles west of Bangalore in southern India, the Belur Chennakeshava Temple is a magnificent temple dedicated to Vishnu. King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty commissioned the temple in 1167 CE to commemorate his victory over the Cholas at Talakadu. After his death, his successors – Narasimha I and Veera Ballala II – continued the work, and it took 103 years to complete it.
Shilābālikes – Bracket figures mounted below the eaves
– Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhashini, Nātya Sundari, Gāna Sundari, Kesha Sundari, Tribhangi, Nagna Sundari, Kapāla Durga, Koravanji, Nātya Mohini, Betegārthi
– 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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