Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Belur… Poetry in stone

city kemp Belur intricate craved sculptures city kemp Belur Temple chariot for processions city kemp Belur Temple courtyard Mantap city kempBelur, the ancient town of Hoysala Dynasty is built on the banks of the Yagachi river – a tributary of river Kaveri. This beautiful place was built by Vishnuvardhana in commeration of his victory over Cholas at Talkad in 1117. It is said it took 103 years to complete and Vishnuvardhana’s grandson Veerabhalla to complete the task.
King Vishnuvardhana built 1500 temples in 958 locations, out of which only 100 survive today.
Vishnuvardhana constructed the Hoysala temples complex to celebrate his religious conversion from Jainism to Vaishnaism. He was a Jain who became a Hindu following the preachings of Ramanajum. His wife, the gorgeous queen Shantala continued to patronize Jainism. The Channakesavara temple at Belur is one of the important temples at Belur.
Sculptor Jakanacharya has built this temple depicting mythology in stone. Vishnuvardhana’s queen Shantala whom he was enamoured is frozen in stone. . . The feminine form is appreciated. . . apart from erotic art… mythology depicting Ramayana and Mahabharata are well illustrated and is engraved in soft  slate stone of this area which encouraged ivory like carvings. These temples were learning areas in that era. This place is a photographer and historians delight.
Halebedu is another town of whichI will discuss and portray in the next issue. Belur is about is about 5 hours drive from Bangalore (Bengaluru) situated close to Hassan -a well developed B town today  and is well connected by rail and buses. Hassan would be a good base for this city situated 40 kms away with a bonus visit to Halebedu … another 14 kms.
A weekend trip leaving Bangalore at sunrise can cover both these lovely historical places Belur and Halebedu. KSTDC has its living accommodation adjacent to it.  A Lot of private hotels dot the place.
Good engraved artefacts are available with local vendors who dot the place.

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