Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Sculptural reliefs of Vishnu on pillars

Sculptural reliefs of Vishnu carved on the south-side exterior wall surrounding the garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple in Karnataka, India

Sculptural reliefs of Vishnu carved on the south-side exterior wall surrounding the garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum)

Reliefs of Vishnu
This section of the wall is flat and oriented along the north-south direction. Vishnu is the theme of sculptural reliefs in this wall. The relief on the rightmost pillar depicts Lakshmi Narayana, i.e., Vishnu sitting with his consort Lakshmi on his lap. Below them is his vehicle Garuda in the kneeling position with folded hands.

The relief to the right of Lakshmi Narayana depicts Vishnu with four arms, known as Chathurbuja Vishnu, and is the most common depiction of Vishnu. As you ca see, his hands carry his signature objects, Gada, Chakra Shanks, and Padma.

The relief on the pillar next to it depicts Harihara, i.e., Vishnu and Shiva fused as a single entity, with Vishnu’s features on the right part and Shiva’s on the left part. Carved on the Vishnu’s side is his vehicle Garuda, and on the Shiva’s side is his vehicle Nandi the bull.

The rest of the reliefs depict the standard iconography of Vishnu.

Located 150 miles west of Bangalore in southern India, the Belur Chennakeshava Temple is a magnificent temple dedicated to Vishnu. King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty commissioned the temple in 1167 CE to commemorate his victory over the Cholas at Talakadu. After his death, his successors – Narasimha I and Veera Ballala II – continued the work, and it took 103 years to complete it.

Shilābālikes – Bracket figures mounted below the eaves
Darpana Sundari, Sukha Bhashini, Nātya Sundari, Gāna Sundari, Kesha Sundari, Tribhangi, Nagna Sundari, Kapāla 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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