Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga - A bracket figure mounterd on the exterior wall of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple in Karnataka, India

Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga
Wielding a kapāla danda (staff attached to a skull) with her left hand, this shilābālike – identified as Goddess Durga – appears to dance vigorously. Accompanying her are the two dolu playing male musicians standing at the bottom. Note: Dolu is a two-sided drum-like percussion instrument.

In Hindu mythology, Durga is a goddess who fights evil forces. As you can see from the image, she is wearing a crown embellished with a garland of kapālas, which symbolizes the liberation of mankind from evil. Notice her facial expression, which is stern and appears to project power.

Goddess Durga is standing on a disc-like base mounted on top of a lotus pedestal. Engraved into this base is an inscription, written in Helegannada (Old Kannada), inscribed likely by the sculptor to describe himself and his work.

Goddess Durga is one of the 38 bracket figures mounted on the exterior wall surrounding the navaranga (the front portion of the temple). Each figure is attached to an inclined bracket placed just below the eaves, with its base mounted on a pillar slightly below its capital.

Check the Navaraga Layout page for the locations of the bracket figures. Referring to this layout, Goddess Durga is bracket figure number 22, i.e., mounted on the leftmost pillar standing on the fifth section of the north wall.

Read more about this and other shilābālikes at Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Bracket Figures.

Shilābālikes – Female Bracket Figures
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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