Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Bracket figures mounted on pillars

Belur Chennakeshava Temple - Bracket figures mounted on the pillars on the exterior wall surrounding the Navaranga

Bracket figures mounted on the pillars on the exterior wall surrounding the Navaranga

Bracket figures mounted on the exterior wall surrounding the Navaranga
The image shows two sections of the north side exterior wall surrounding Navaranga, which is the front portion of the temple.

As you can see from the image, the two perpendicular wall sections share a pillar at the outward-pointing corner. This pillar has two bracket figures mounted on it, whereas, the pillars in the middle, and the pillars in the inward-pointing corners, have just one bracket figure mounted on them. Check the Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures page for a list and descriptions of the bracket figures in the temple.

The perforated stone windows, known as jālandharas, cover the space between two pillars. The perforations in the jālandharas allow light and air into the interior of Navaranga. The jālandhara is a unique element of the Dravida-style architecture and is a common feature in Chalukya and Hoysala temples.

When the temple was built, the navaranga was an open mantapa, which means there were no jālandharas. King Veera Ballala II (1173 – 1220 CE), a grandson of King Vishnuvardhana, was responsible for covering the navaranga windows with the jālandharas, likely for security reasons.

Besides providing ventilation and light, jālandharas make the temple aesthetically pleasing by their beautiful patterns of perforations carved into them and the reliefs carved around them. Some jālandharas are carved with themes from the Hindu epics and ancient Indian texts, such as the Puranas.

Shilābālikes – Female Bracket Figures
Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhasini, Nātya Sundari, Gāna Sundari, Kesha Sundari, Tribhangi, Nagna Sundari, Kapala Durga, Koravanji, Nātya Mohini, Betegārthi

Male Bracket Figures
Flute playing male musician
Narthaka – Davane playing male dancer
Davane playing male musician

Hoysala Temples:
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Badami Chalukya Temples:
Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole

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