Chennakesava Temple

Vainavam

 

Overview

Chennakesava Temple is situated on theYagachiRiver at Belur,Hassan District,Karnataka. Temple was originally referred to as the Vijayanarayana temple. The temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD.   Chennakesava means “handsome Kesava”. Lord Vishnu is worshipped in this temple. Belur has many beautiful temples which were built by the Hoysalas. Vishnuvardhana was celebrating his famous victory against the Chola dynasty of Tamil country in the battle of Talakad, which resulted in the annexation of Gangavadi by the Hoysalas. the capital of the Hoysalas, after the sacking and destruction of their capital at Dwarasamudra, by the Delhi Sultans. The Hoysalas Ruled this reigon between 44 th and 13 th centuries. They were great patrons of art and architecture and builts a number of magnificent shrines during their 300 years regin. The temples and monuments at Belur are indeed the best Hoysala creations, showcasing their amazing architecture and sculptures in full glory Belur was highly revered for its magnificient shrines and came to be Known as modern vaikunta of the earthe.
 
The Hoysala temples are characterized by typical star shaped ground plan and are usually ste on a platform. They are compact, squat structures and are more human in scale as compared to other soaring shrines of the south. Ornately carved shrines indicate the music and dance were highly regarded by the Hoysalas and were used to express religious fervor. The temples at Belur are carved out of soap stone, quarried from Tumkur, About 200 Kms away. This stone is extremely easy to chisel, but attains iron-like fitness when exposed to the atmosphere. To maintain the shine of the temple, the stone is treated with a chemical wash and then wax polished once in ten years.
 
The ornate gopurams in the Chennakesava temple are attractive. When one enters the temple, one gets a feel of the grandeur of the Hoysalas. The sacrosanct platform of the temple has a golden horse along with the temple chariot. Lord Vishnu’s carrying the Garuda is at the entrance and faces the temple.The temple structure has exclusive filigree gleams which shine like metal. The sculptures are well proportioned. Soapstone which is light greenish in colour has been used to create the Chennakesava temple. Smaller temples of Ranmaganayaki and Soumyanaki, the beloved of Lord Chennakesava lie within the temple premises. One gets to see temples of Anjaneya and Narasimha from here. The senior queen of King Vishnuvardhana, Shantaladevi who was a dance legend, built the Channigaraya temple.The sculptures of Darpana Sundari, The Bhasma Mohini and the Huntress are some of the favourites. The royal dynasty’s emblem is the hallmark of the temple which is the major attraction on entering the temple and this is visible in every Hoysala temples. The chief deity, Kesava and Lord Krishna are worshipped here. The six foot tall, beautiful image of Lord Krishna installed at the sanctum looks marvellous.
 
The Cennakesava temple stands in a compound with several smaller temples and a pond.Hoysala temples depiction of numerous gods and attendants in a horizontal row of large images is usual, here in Belur this is found for the first time. Though the temple is dedicated to Vishnu, all gods of the Hindu pantheon are represented. The sculptural style of the wall-images is not yet the typical Hoysala style of later times. Comparison with other regions show that it is close to the style of similar wall-images of contemporary temples in the extreme north of Karnataka and in adjacent Maharashtra.
 
The hall of the temple is very large and very ornate. Originally it was  open hall without full walls, it had a parapet-wall and a roof only resting on pillars. Below it are numerous horizontal bands with lavish sculptural decorations and depictions, some of them extremely delicate.
 
The hall has three majestic entrances, each with two flights of steps, one up to the platform and one up to the floor level of the hall. These flights of steps are flanked by miniature shrines. The doorways are elaborate and especially their lintels are masterpieces of delicate sculpture. They show avataras of Vishnu in the centre of an arch of foliage. The arches spring from the mouths of two water monsters.
 
The interior received much daylight, but the added screens make it dark and mysterious. The top of the thick parapet-wall is a seat. Due to the size of the building the parapet is very high here, and therefore small steps are provided for reaching the wide top. Hundreds of people could sit here and watch dancing performances in the hall.
 
The many pillars of the hall again show that the Hoysala king wanted to build a temple surpassing all others. The variety among them is extremely large and one of them is even decorated with life-size figure sculpture. The four central pillars are the most heavy ones. They are very large specimens of ornate lathe-turned bell pillars, and their production also was a great technical achievement. They support a domed ceiling that is one of the most elaborately decorated ceilings in all India.
 
Temple Timing : 7:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm
 
How to Reach,
Road Way : There are private buses operating from Belur to Hassan. 
Nrarest Railway Station : Arsikere Railway Station 
Nearest Airport : Bengaluru International Airport
 

Location

Country
India
State
Karnataka
City
Hassan
Location
Belur Hassan
Address
Chennakesava Temple Belur, Hassan District, Karnataka 573115
Contact Info
Phone:
Mobile :
Fax :
Near Cities
Nearest Bus Terminal
Chennakesava Temple Belur
Nearest Railway Station
Nearest Airport
Bengaluru International Airport
IN
latitude : 13.197899820 longitude :77.706298830
Corporation : Bangalore
GPS Code : VOBL
Open Year
1268
Architect
Hoysala architecture
Dedicated To
Vishnuvardhana
Visiting Hours
7:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm

Nearest Places

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  • Chennakesava Temple is situated on theYagachiRiver at Belur,Hassan District,Karnataka. Temple was originally referred to as the Vijayanarayana temple. The temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD.   Chennakesava means “handsome Kesava”. Lord Vishnu is worshipped in this temple. Belur has many beautiful temples which were built by the Hoysalas. Vishnuvardhana was celebrating his famous victory against the Chola dynasty of Tamil country

  • Kudroli Gokarnanatha Temple is located just 3 km from heart of Mangalore city. The beautiful temple at Kudroli  dedicated to Lord Gokarnanatheshwara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.This Temple, built by Sri Narayana Guru, the saint and social reformer from Kerala, dates from 1912. 

  • Hoysaleswara Temple is one of the largest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India. The temple is a Dvikuta  -meaning temple with two Vimana/Gopura. Dedicated to Hoysaleshwara and Shantaleshwara. In front of the temple there are two Nandi Mantapas which are very beautifully carved and attracts ones attention immediately.  In the 12th century, the temple was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire. The construction o

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