Tuesday, February 05, 2008

the awe-inspiring belur

Belur and Halebidu are small towns, about 230+ kms from Bangalore. (sourced from the internet: )The Chennakeshava temple at Belur was built by the Hoysala rulers to commemorate their victory over the Chola rulers. The Hoysalas built their temples high above the ground, on a star-shaped platform, and sculptured them exquisitely with friezes of elephants/horses/lions/maidens/birds/warriors(mythical and real)/scenes from the Hindu epics/gods and goddesses.

History apart, this place is amazing by all means. The temple has a courtyard that has other smaller temples and the stepped well a.k.a pushkarni. The well is out-of-bounds for visitors. Every inch of the temple wall is carved/sculpted like someone's life depended on it. Even the roof is beautifully sculpted, with interwined rings made of stone. Now can you beat that! Extremely beautiful and awe-inspiring, especially the vents made into solid stone. The insides of the temple is cool and dark. The temple is a functional one, i.e, the regular worship is an everyday affair. This centuries-old structure of stone is up and functioning and is likely to see many coming decades.

The following pic is the sculpted roof inside the temple. Since the insides of the temple is dark, there's a huge light pointing upwards, so you can take a picture.

This piece of a youth slaying a tiger was the royal symbol of the Hoysala dynasty, and two of these flank the temple entrance:

A miniscule ganesha made in brass... you will find a handful of these and old coins and trinkets being sold by the locals, outside the temple: