Karnataka Chennakesava Temple
The renowned Hindu temple Vijayanarayana also known as Chennakesava Temple is constructed at the banks of holy river Yagachi in the town of Belur, which is an ancient capital of great Hoysala Empire. The city of Belur is only 40 km distance from district Hassan and about 220 km far from Bangalore. The temple is located at district Hassan in the Indian state of Karnataka. The meaning of Chennakesava is “gorgeous kesava” who is one of the incarnation of Hindu lord Vishnu Bhagvan. Belur city is renowned for its amazing ancient temples, constructed during the great rule of great Hindu Hoysala Empire, establishing it as well as close by Halebidu great tourist spots in the state of Karnataka. Presently, these ancient temple buildings have been requested to be mentioned under world heritage places of UNESCO.
Great Hoysala king Shri Vishnuvardhana constructs this Chennakesava Temple in the year of 1117. There are different conclusions of historians about the why Vishnuvardhana started to build this temple. However, the battle success of King Vishnuvardhana seems a perfect reason. Few researchers believe that Vishnuvardhana specially made this ancient temple to praise his lord, the Chalukya Empire of west part, which was ruling from the area of Basavakalyan.After his battle success, king Vishnuvardhana celebrated his great victory against renowned Cholas from Tamil reign in the brutal battle of renowned Talakad. As a result, the King Vishnuvardhana annexed the area of Gangavadi (now south Karnataka). However, there is another important points that explains that when Vishnuvardhana converted himself from Jainism religion to Vaishnavism religion. Thinking about this point, the construction of Vaisnava temple seems reasonable. The great Hoysalas hired many great architects as well as craft men who invented a new style of architectural tradition that is now called by some researchers the tradition of Karnataka Dravida.The temple has about 118 inscriptions surrounding the temple buildings, which was done during the time of 1117 to eighteen century. These inscriptions give information about the architectures employed who made this temple excellent.
There are also two important shrines in this area that still in good condition and devotees use it. The renowned Pushkarni is also situated at this place. The Chennakesava Temple is a perfect architectural piece of Hoysala dynasty architecture. The holy facade of this temple is completely filled with great sculptures and fit without any blank portion. Rayagopura constructed during the time of Vijayanagar kingdom crowns the primary entrance of this temple. Inside the temple building, the holy Chennakesava Temple is placed in the main centre, facing eastern and edged by holy Kappe Channigaraya temple as well as tiny Lakshmi temple is located on its right side. In the Chennakesava Temple the daily holy pujas are greatly performed.
The dark Hoyasala pillars are the one of the interesting sight inside the complex, which is occupied with dazzling vermilion tarnished on by enthusiasts. Holy temples of Soumyanayaki as well as Ranganayaki temple, beloveds of holy Chennakesava, cover the primary temple.
In the temple, there are total 48 pillars of different shapes, sizes, and designs, carrying great indication to amazing artistry. The major attraction of this temple is holy Darpana Sundari also known as the woman with holy mirror. Within the temple, even in high darkness, you can experience the bright pillars and each pillar appears with its unique splendor. The most famous thing in the building is the holy Narasimha pillar in the holy Navaranga also exceptional in its amazing splendor. It is believed that it was ball bearings great once. The legendry dancer, Shantaladevi constructed a holy temple in same style to the chief temple, which was used to call the holy Channigaraya temple. The whole building with its complicated filigree shines just like bright metal. The chlorite Schist, one of the mild greenish soapstone is hard just like granite, which was earlier used to make this building.
How to Reach
Mangalore airport is the nearest airport only 154 km.
Hassan railway station is the nearest railhead situated only 37 km and well connected with
Mangalore, Bangalore and Mysore.
It is well linked with all major cities of the state of Karnataka. daily buses joint Belur city to district Hassan (only 37km), Arsikere only 60 km, Halibeedu about 16 km, Dharmastala around 98 km, Belgum about 424 km, Bangalore around 224 km, Madikeri only 136 km, Chickmagular about 27 km, Mysore around 136 km, Shravanabelagola about 87 km and Shimoga about 122 km. The best route is from Mangalore city to Dharmastala to Belur. This route is wonderful with various amazing waterfalls, beautiful hills and grand tea estates. It is a windy hilly street and while driving on this road you need to care as much as you can
There are great facility of transportation such as visitor’s taxis,cabs and auto rickshaws, which move entire the city of Belur
Significance of this Temple
The Hoysala king, Vishnuvardhana specially made this Chennakesava Temple during the time of 1117 CE. Historians think that the holy temple was constructed as a great symbol of Vishnuvardhana’s victory. Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana got victory against expire of west Chalukya. However, according to another myth, Vishnuvardhana got the great victory against the empire of Cholas in the brutal battle of Talakad. Hoysalas got victory against Gangavadi. According to the researchers, this temple celebrates king Vishnuwardhana's religion conversion from religion Jainism to religion Vaishnavism. A number of architects as well as artisans were hired to construct this holy temple. The temple has total 108 inscriptions in the language of Kannada inside the temple building. The Chennakesava Temple has one large open hall, one shrine and large platform that display the great architectural style of Hoysala dynasty.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
The Belur city is located at district Hassan in the state of Karnataka,, India. The town has a tropical weather, like other neighboring towns. The town neither has high temperature in the season of summer nor has freezing cold in the season of winter. In the city of Belur, summer starts from March and ends till the month of June. During the time, the town celebrates warm climate, with highest temperature of 390 C and the lowest temperature can be 290 C. the season of summer provide monsoon, at that time town usually covered with green.
However, every day is suitable to visit in the temple and take the great blessings of holy God.There is also a festival held in the month of March to April. This yearly festival is usually celebrated for 10 days. It is said that this time thousands of people come to this Chennakesava Swami forehead to take blessings of God. There is also a large Teru also called Chariot, which is used for the festival sculpture of holy God during the event. Lately, they have destroyed the old chariot and built new one chariot.
The Belur city is very small that is why it does not provide luxury visitors facilities. However, for money savvy visitors, the town has various lodges close by temple. These hotels charge you only Rs 150 to 200. The tourist department of Karnataka state also provides tourist guesthouse as well as restaurant close by local bus stand. Rooms of government hotels charge you only Rs 800 to 1000.