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.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Betteshwara Temple (1209 A.D), Agraharabelguli, Channarayapatana Taluk, Hassan District.

Agraharabelguli is an enchanting hamlet situated about 25 kms from Channarayapattana in Hassan district. It houses the magnificent temple of Kesaveshwara, which is popularly known as Betteshwara. An inscription near the main entrance of this Hoysala structure, which was consecrated in 1209 AD, serves as a useful record for obtaining many important details about the temple. It makes a mention of Kesiraja, a commander under the Hoysala Emperor Ballala II, who is believed to have constructed the temple.

The main attraction here is the magnificent Keshava image 5 1/2 ft high, installed in the northern Garbhagriha, with four hands each adorned with conch, disc, club and lotus. Within the temple complex lie two spaciously decorated porches where a Nandimantapa is attached with a 4 ft tall Nandi. Another notable feature of the temple is the existence of a two-storied mahadwara of the Hoysala period.

There is also a reference to an agrahara called Kesavapura, which was built, at the same spot. The inscription also makes a mention of two tanks called Kesava Samudra and Lakshmi Samudra, which were excavated here.

The majestic temple has a starlet plan facing the east. Though the temple has plain exteriors, the interiors are highly decorative, with the makara thoranas of the sanctum and sukhanasi being highly ornamental. The navaranga, like in any other Hoysala temple, has nine different Bhuvaneshvari with floral decorations and intricate carvings. The Ashtadikpalakas in the central Bhuvaneshvari is noteworthy for its fine details. There are four lathe-turned pillars of the typical Hoysala style, which are much taller when compared to other pillars. Elegant sculptures of Saraswati, Bhairava, Ganapati and Sapatamatrikas adorn this temple, where the linga is placed in the main sanctorum.

The main attraction of the temple is, however, the magnificent five and half foot tall Kesava image installed in the northern sanctum. Standing on a two-and-a-half foot high pedestal, it is one of the best representations of Kesava in Hoysala style, with a restrained look on the face and the four hands adorned with shanka, chakra, gada and padma. The highly ornamental prabhavali depicts the ten manifestations of Vishnu, with the representations of Matsya and Kurma shown as fish and tortoise, respectively. Buddha is represented here as the ninth manifestation of Lord Vishnu. There are two porches in the temple, one facing east and the other facing south. The eastern porch is a spacious one with has an entrance leading to the south. There is a Nandimantapa attached to the porch, with a four feet tall bull.

Another notable feature of the temple is the existence of a two-storeyed Maha Dwara of the Hoysala period. This temple is a complete Hoysala structure, but for the mortar shikhara added in the later days.


  1. Awesome..........Great........
    I being a native of Agrahara Belaguli was unaware about this magnificent history of my own place......... I have tried my best to know about this temple and the village lot many times but couldn't...... It's very miserable to say that even my grandfathers are least bothered to know the history of their janmabhoomi....... In fact they say that this temple is built by Cholas....
    Anyhow thanks a lot for this valuable information......

  2. wonderful!! I also have my roots in Belaguli.
    Please blog about the Kattappa temple and the Honnamma temple in Agrahara Belaguli

  3. Ganesh, can you please locate this temple on Google Maps?