The Most Enchanting Creation of The Hoyasala Empire
Chennakesava Temple is a noteworthy temple built during the rule of the Hoyasala Empire. It was built by the Hoysala king to commemorate his military success in the 1117 A.D. Originally known as Vijayanarayana Temple, the Chennakesava Temple is located on the banks of the Yagachi river in Belur. The architectural style of the temple is different from the traditionalone and the interiors are lavishly decorated. The successors of the ruler made the temple more beautiful in the late 12th century.
The complex of the temple houses an open hall, a platform and a shrine. The shrine(vimana) is huge in comparison to the usual ones. Its architectural style is Nagara(North Indian) which makes it different from other temples in Belur. Although dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple houses images of the most of the Hindu deities. Notice the decoration of the walls of its shrine. They depict a row of large images whereas the typical South Indian temples have walls pierced with niches, and inside the niches are the images of the Gods.
The beautifully decorated hall of the temple boasts of numerous pillars. The life-size sculptures on them show the passion of the Hoysala king for this temple. The huge central pillars are the specimens of ornate lathe-turned bell pillars and it was not easy task to build them. The lavishly decorated ceiling leaves the onlooker enchanted.