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Chennakeshav Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in Belur, Karnataka, India. Famous for its intricate carvings and architectural splendour, it stands as a prime example of Hoysala art. Here is the detailed information about Chennakeshava temple:
The Chennakeshav Temple was built in the 12th century during the Hoysala Empire. In 1117, King Vishnuvardhana ordered it as a tribute in recognition of Chola victory.
Located in Belur, the temple finds its place in what was once the early capital of the Hoysala Empire. Belur is located in Hassan district of Karnataka, India.
The Chennakeshava Temple is a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture, characterized by its star-shaped platform, intricate carvings and attention to detail This temple follows a unique Trikuta (three-temple) style is the exterior of the Hoysala temples.
The temple is famous for its carved carvings and elaborate friezes. The magnificent artwork includes paintings of Hindu deities, myths, celestial bodies, animals and flowers. Artists paid careful attention to detail and created visuals for visitors.
The temple is decorated with numerous images, famous for Madanikas (divine nymphs). Madanikas are beautifully carved female figures in various dance forms, reflecting the Hoysala art system.
The temple comprises of a tall pillar called the Garuda Stambha (a pillar dedicated to Garuda on the mount of Lord Vishnu). The pillars at the main entrance are beautifully decorated with intricate designs, attracting the attention of the viewer.
The main deity of the Chennakeshava temple is Lord Vishnu in the form of Chennakeshava, meaning "Beautiful Keshava" or "Vishnu". There is a 3 feet tall statue of Chennakeshav in the shrine.
On the outer walls of the temple are carvings of stone altars, of female figures in various poses and costumes. Each stone offering is unique and adds beauty to the temple.
Next to the Chennakeshav Temple, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu at Kappe Chennigara. It is slightly smaller but has the same striking construction style and texture.
The annual festival of Chennai Keshav Temple is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm. Devotees and visitors gather to participate in the celebrations, which include religious rituals, cultural programs and feasts.
The Chennakesava Temple along with other Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebidu have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites together as "Monument Group in Hampi, Monument Group in Pattadakal".
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other heritage protectors are involved in the preservation and restoration of the Chennakeshav Temple to maintain its cultural and historical significance.
The Chennakeshav temple at Belur stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of the Hoysala dynasty. It continues to fascinate art lovers, historians and devotees around the world who marvel at its timeless beauty.