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Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Kesha Sundari – Madanike styling her long hair


Kesha Sundari – Madanike styling her long hair
Popularly known as Kesha Sundari, this gorgeous madanike is styling her long hair, helped by two lady assistants at the bottom, who are holding objects that are likely part of the hair-styling kit available in that era. Note: In Kannada, kesha means hair, and sundari means a beautiful lady.

As you can see, Kesha Sundari and her accomplices are standing on a disc-like base mounted on a lotus pedestal. Engraved into this base is an inscription, written in the Halegannada (Old Kannada), likely inscribed by the sculptor to describe himself and his work.

Kesha Sundari is one of the 38 sculptures, known as bracket figures, mounted on the exterior wall surrounding the Navaranga, a covered hall in front of the inner sanctum. Each sculpture is attached to a bracket placed at an angle just below the eaves, with its base mounted on a pillar slightly below the pillar’s capital. As with the other bracket figures, the background of this bracket figure has a finely carved creeper.

Check the Navaraga Layout page for the locations of the bracket figures. In this layout, Kesha Sundari is figure number 7, i.e., mounted on the corner pillar located at the junction of the third and fourth sections of the south exterior wall.

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

Other Shilābālikes
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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