Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Continued from the previous post…

DSC00789There are several inscriptions here. Some date during the Hoysala reign and some others written during later rulers who developed the temple premises E.g., the gopura of the temple, constructed during the Vijayanagara period. There are 17th century inscriptions on the walls about the donors, written in Kannada. Lets go back to the sculptures.

There is this idol of of a lady dancing. You can see the musicians playing at her feet. It is said that this idol is in so amazing symmetry that if a water drops from the tip of the finger on top, it drops through tip of her left hand, tip of her left breast, tip of her left hand finger and then finally tip of her left toe before touching the ground.

I have written only about some of the sculptures but there are many others with a story and interpretation of its own. There are other things to know and see in this temple complex. The Kalyani tank is situated in the north east corner of the complex. It was earlier called as Vasudeva Tirtha according to an inscription during Veera Ballala - II dated 1175 A.D. There are two elephants at the entrance and pavilions to the north and south of it. It is 46 feet deep and has receding steps from all the four sides.

There is this victory pillar which is 35 feet in height that was placed in the 14th century. It is monolithic with a square shaped base. It somehow stands only on three corners and you can clearly see a gap from the base. While placing this pillarDSC00811, they must have properly calculated the wind velocity and the angle in which it had to be placed so that the centre of gravity falls on the base. There is the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple which is closed. It contains a damaged statue of Chennakesava. I talked about the legend that Jakkana found a frog inside this statue and he cut his hand in the first post.

To the south west of the Kesava Temple, is the temple of Saumyanayaki. It has a garbhagriha surmounted by a tower. According to an inscription, the original tower which was damaged was got repaired in 1387 by Muddappa a minister in the court of the Vijayanagara King Harihara II and a metal kalasa was fixed on it. The front DSC00823portion of this temple was a later addition by the Dalavayi family of Kalale.

The Veera Narayana Temple to the west of the Kesava Temple is a small and compact structure with the outer wall containing beautiful sculptures of Vaishnava and Saiva faith. It consists of a Garbhagriha, a Sukhanasi and a Navaranga. The 59 large images on the outer wall include Vishnu, Siva, Bramha, Parvati etc. This temple is raised on an elevated basement and is contemporary to the Chennakesava Temple.

The temple of the Goddess Andal situated to the nDSC00828orth west of the Kesava Temple is also called as the Ranganayaki Temple. The basement has friezes of elephants, scroll work and puranic scenes. It has the appearance having built with the materials belonging to some ruined Hoysala Temple. It is known for the row of 31 sculpture on its outer wall. The canopies on these images which differ from one another show true workmanship. Two of the images on the south wall have the names of sculptures Bechama and Madhuvanna who carved them.

Whatever i wrote is just a glimpse of this marvellous piece or art. Visit this temple at least once in your lifetime. With that said, i continue on my journey to my next step a temple which is bigger than the Chennakesava Temple and more intricately carved, the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu.


Deguide said...

I was wondering how come you are posting so many travelogues at a time, now i know it is from your bank of previous post. Kudos keep it up

Rahul said...

Amazing explanation of intricate side of Belur temple...

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