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, August 26, 2010

Veera-Narayana Temple (1200 A.D), Belavadi, Chikkamagalur Taluk, Chikmagalur District.

Belavadi is a small village situated 29 kilometres south east of Chikmagalur on Chikmagalur — Javagal Highway and 10 kilometres North West of Halebid. This temple, declared as a protected monument, is one of the largest Hoysala temples.

It is a Trikootachala structure with three cells dedicated to Veeranarayana, Venugopala and Yoga- Narasimha. The temple is a fine example of Hoysala architecture. The west side of the temple consists of a square garbhagriha, a sukanasi, navaranga and square mukhamantapa. The whole structure has been constructed on a raised platform. The Veeranarayana cell has a tower over the sanctum and a large stone kalasa on the shikara.

The navaranga has large bell shaped pillars. The ceiling of the sukhanasi is a dome with an octagonal gallery and circles above. Inside the garbhagriha an 8-foot Veeranarayana is placed on the Garuda pedestal. The image is elegantly carved and elaborately ornamented where the deity is standing in stanaka pose with four hands. The idol is said to be one of the best specimens of Hoysala art. 22 pillars, 20 of which are round bell-shaped ones, support the Mukhamantapa of the Veeranarayana shrine and the other two are star-shaped. An important feature of the temple is the stone bench which runs all round the edge of the mukhamantapa. It is ornamented with rosettes and plasters.

To the east of the temple is a sabhamantapa with sukanasi and a pair of garbhagrihas facing each other, containing the images of Venugopala and Yoganarasimha. The image of Venugopala is about 8ft in height inclusive of the Garuda pedestal and prabhavali. Venugopala stands cross-legged and his fingers are lifted as if playing the flute. The image of Yoganarasimha is about 7ft high with prabhavali where Narasimha, seated in yogic posture, has a band carved around it to help keep the legs in position. The image has a fine kreeta and protruding eyes. The towers of Venugopala and Yoganarasimha shrines are similar to the Veeranarayana shrine and have turrets, ornamented keerthimukhas and varied sculptures.

All the ceiling panels of the temple, except those of the veranda, are well carved. Some of these ceilings are flat while a majority of them are dome-like containing intricate geometrical patterns of various designs. The flat ceilings have the images of Krishna playing on the flute, Kalingamardhana and Kamsavadha in different postures. To the east of this Trikootachala temple is a large inverted cone-like structure on a high ground with a square hall and a spacious porch. This is the mahadwara or the main gateway of the temple. A pair of impressively carved elephants flanks both entrances of this structure.