The origin of the Hoysalas is a matter of much interesting speculation and controversy. Like their distinguished contemporaries, the Seunas, the Hoysalas too claim their descent from Yadu (Lunar Dynasty) and call themselves the Yadavas. The conventional titles like, "Yadavanarayana", "Yadavakutambrad-yumani" and "Dvaravatipura-varadhisvara" are common to both the Seunas and the Hoysalas. These details are compiled from internet and by various sources by the Blogger over the years.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prasanna Chenna Kesava Temple (1117 A.D), Beluru, Belur Taluk,, Hassan District.

Hassan district is the crown of Karnataka's Sculpture Kingdom. The invaluable Kohinoor of this crown happens to be the temple of Sree Chenna Kesava at Belur. This has exploited all the beauty available in the world sculpture, was established on 10-03-1117 A-D by king Vishnuvardhana Raya of the Hoysala Empire. The successors in the lineage of Belur administrators have protected and refined continuously this unique treasure and have brought it to the present stage with a spirit of dedicated maintenance. This town Belur was the capital of the Hoysala Kingdom in its inception stages. Previously this town was being alternatively called Belahuru, Baelaa Pura and Vaelapura. To begin with the sacred Sanctums of Vijaya Narayana (Chenna Kesava), Kappe Chenniga Raya (Kesava) and Lakshmi Narayana were established. Eventually they have been followed up with the construction of many more Sanctums (Garbhagruhas) like those of Veera Narayana, Soumya Nayaki, Sree Rama, Anjaneya, Alwars and so on, along with the regular features of a Vaishnava Temple such as the Garuda Gamba, the Gopura, the Balipeeta, & the Deepastamba, the Store Room (Bhandara), the Sacred Kitchen section (Pakasala), the Yoga sala and the Kalyana Mantapa. The delicacies of minute details delineated through the Hoysala Art, inch by inch, on the stone screens of the walls and ceilings of the temple of Sree Chenna Kesava, seem to be inexhaustible, even if the visitors are allowed days and months to go through in a spirit of devoted speciation and study for their genuine experience of surprise and ecstasy. Through this temple the world has availed the unparallel benefit of top class feminine beauty captured and impounded forever in permanent structure in the form of the matchless dames in Litho Art renowned as Silabaalika's.

The temple of Sree Chenna Kesava, which was built during the Hoysala regime of Vishnuvardhana Raya, was developed in due course by his son Narasimha Raya and his grand son Veera Ballala. They decorated the temple with Jalandhras (the stone mesh windows) the entrance doorframe art, the special pillar and the thorana. During the time of Veera Ballala, the Vasudeva Pushkarani, Dhanyaagaara (storehouse of grains), and Pakasala (sacred kitchen) were constructed. A few more special additions were accommodated during the reign of the rulers of Vijayanagara following the decline of the Hoysalas. Mainly it was during the time of Harihara Raya, (1395 AD) that, one by name Gunda Danda Nayaka raised the beautiful 7 (Seven) storeyed Gopura out of stones and burnt bricks bound by lime mortar. And then during the reign of King Deva Raya his commander Bice Dandanayaka (1414 AD) prepared and installed the unique tall Lamppost, the Kartika Deepotsava Stambha. Unfounded in the ground but simply placed over a stone platform, this tall Monolithic granite column is symbolic of the excellence of architectural science possessed by the Vijayanagara reign architects. Even today this column, by its stature and stability, baffles the visitors from the entire world over. The big tank of
Belur is known as Vishnu Samudra. It was built during the time of Narasimha Raya under the circumspection of Padmarasa.

Later in the so called golden age of the Vijayanagara reign at the time of Krishnadeva Raya, a chief by name Basappa Nayaka of Utpatanahalli made the north end of Vishnu Samudra quadrangular, arranged comfortable steps on all three sides to climb down to edge of the water, and thus converted it into a comfortable Pushkarni for the devotees to use the sacred water for the daily austerities. He also built an Island Mantapa in the midst of the Pushkarani for the sake of the sacred Float Festival, and choultries too on the banks of the tank for the camping facilities of travelers who would visit for partaking in the different festivals and pooja of the place. These can be found even today. During the rule of the Vijayanagara kings themselves the smaller temples of Saumya Nayaki and Ranga Nayaki were brought to existence on both the sides of Sree Chenna Kesava's main temple, representing the divinely graceful loving presence of both Sreedevi and Bhoodevi beside the lord.In addition to these many other temples rose up in Belur during the rule of the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara Kings.Belur had a beautiful girdle of a mud Fortress. This was constructed while Belur was still the capital even before Dorasamudra could be the relic of the fortress containing broken stumps of the huge and high mud walls, and the deep trenches surrounding them, can be seen even today.

1 comment :

  1. Hi there are many temples of hoysalas which are unknown to open world. One is in Asandi in Kadur Taluk. There is one temple there also which I visited many years ago I forgot which is the deity there but it is almost in its ruins. One more is in Harihara near Davangere wherein the place got its name by Harihareshwara temple there