Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Hoysala King Veera Ballala II in his Āsthāna (Royal Court)

Hoysala King Veera Ballala II carved on the left side jalandhra of the front facade of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple, Karnataka, India

Hoysala King Veera Ballala II in his Āsthāna (Royal Court)

Āsthāna of Hoysala King Veera Ballala II
The image shows a section of the wall on the left side of the main entrance of the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, Karnataka, India.

As you can see from the image, the diamond-shaped perforations are near the borders of the window. Carved between the perforations are the beautiful sculptural reliefs depicting three distinct themes. The top-level relief depicts Vishnu standing with his consort Lakshmi, and Hanuman and Garuda are at the ends. The middle-level relief likely depicts the āsthāna (royal court) of King Veera Ballala II (1173 – 1220 CE), a grandson of King Vishnuvardhana and one of the great kings of the Hoysala dynasty. The bottom level has lions carved in between the perforations.

Mounted at an angle on the pillars are the two bracket figures, Darpana Sundari and Shuka Bhasini. Check the Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures page for a list and descriptions of other bracket figures.

Known as the jālandhara, the perforated stone window is a unique element of the Dravida-style architecture and is a common feature in Chalukya and Hoysala temples. The perforations allow light and air into the mantapa (covered hall). When the temple was built, the navaranga was an open mantapa, which means there were no jalandhras. King Veera Ballala II 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.

Related Images
Hoysala King Vishnuvardana, the builder of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple
Hoysala King Vira Ballala II
Vishnu reclining on Adishesha – A beautifully carved relief on a Jalandhra
Jalandhra and bracket figures on the left section of the northern entrance

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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