Āsthāna of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana
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 at the top and bottom of the window. Carved between the perforations are the beautiful sculptural reliefs depicting three distinct themes. The top-level relief depicts Narasimha, the fourth avatar of Vishnu. The reliefs of kneeling Garuda are at the ends. The middle-level relief depicts the āsthāna (royal court) of Vishnuvardhana (1108 – 1152 CE), one of the great kings of the Hoysala dynasty and the builder of this temple. The bottom level has lions carved in between the perforations.
Mounted at an angle on the pillars are the two bracket figures, Nātya Sundari and Gāna Sundari. Check the Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures page for a list and descriptions of the bracket figures in the temple.
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 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.
– Āsthāna (Royal Court) of Hoysala King Veera Ballala II
– Vishnu reclining on Adishesha – A beautifully carved relief on a jālandhara
– Jālandharas 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, Betegarthi
Male Bracket Figures
– Flute playing male musician
– Narthaka – Davane playing male dancer
– Davane playing male musician
– 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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