Belur, which was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, is home to the Chennakesava Temple Complex.
Chennakesava Temple Complex
The main temple in this complex is dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava (literally translates to ‘handsome Vishnu’). This temple along with the Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu and the Jain monuments in Sravanabelagola have been proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites.
Dravidian style Rayagopuram
This temple, one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture, was built by king Vishnuvardhana in commemoration of his victory over the Cholas in 1117 AD.
The facade of the temple is full of intricate sculptures and friezes.
The first Hoysala king fighting with a lion
It took 103 years to complete and Vishnuvardhana’s grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task.
Sculpture, Temple facade
Lord Shiva killing Gajasura (elephant demon)
The 4 layer frieze on the Facade consists of Elephants (Strength), Lions (Power), Horses (Speed), and Flowers (Beauty).
4 layer frieze
The lowermost frieze panel around the temple has intricately carved marching elephants. Each elephant is unique in its form.
View of the Gopuram and the complex from the Mandapam
Inside the temple
Ceiling, central dome
The central section has intricately carved sculptures.
Sculpture on the central pillar