Sights to See
Belur`s main shrine, the Chennakesava temple is one of the finest specimens of Hoysala architecture. Commissioned by Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD, the temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, took 103 years to complete this temple. The temple commemorates the victory of Hoysala power over the Cholas in the great battle of Talakad. The temple is intricately carved with sculptures, friezes & pillars.
The main structure of the temple, which is star shaped, is a homogenous architectural unit on a raised platform. Everything is carved in black stone looking like metal. At the entrance, stands the winged figure of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's carrier facing the temple.
The 650 charging elephants on the frieze around the walls outside are all different from each other. The exotic bracket figures (Madanikas) on the walls of the temple are serene, playful and amorous, enhancing the overall effect of this pinnacle of architectural excellence.
Inside, even in the darkness you can see the hand-lathe-turned shining pillars, each unique in its splendour. On the smooth circular platform in front of the shrine you can see the beautiful Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana. The spotlight is on the famous bracket figures on the ornate ceiling. All these figures have been inspired by Shantala Devi's beauty.
Sculpted limbs undulated in lyrical lines. One sculpted beauty communicates with a pet parrot whose tail is like that of a peacock wrings water from her long hair and you can see the drops collected on hair ends. The delicacy and attention to the fines details here are incredible.
Veernarayan Temple and Kappe Chennigaraya Temple is other famous shrine of Belur