Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine – North Facade

North facade of the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple, situated inside the Belur Chennakeshava Temple complex in Karnataka, India

North facade of the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple

North Facade
The image shows the north facing entrance and facade of the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple, situated on the south side of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple complex in Karnataka, India. This entrance is in front of the south entrance of the main temple.

While this temple is somewhat similar to the main Chennakeshava Temple architecture-wise, it differs in size and embellishment. The Kappe Chennigaraya Temple is smaller and less ornate. It appears like a prototype of the main temple built for experimentation.

Another significant difference between them is the number of garbhagrihas (inner sanctums). Whereas the Chennakeshava Temple is an ekakuta temple (i.e., single garbhagriha temple), the Kappe Chennigaraya is a dwikoota temple, which means it has two garbhagrihas, one in the west and another in the south. Each garbhagriha has a corresponding entrance in front of it. The image shows the north entrance in front of the south garbhagriha. In front of the west garbhagriha, there is a similar entrance facing east.

Just like the main temple, Kappe Chennigaraya is dedicated to Vishnu. A life-size statue of Chennakeshava stands in the west garbhagrihaha, and a life-size statue of Venugopala stands in the south. Note that both Chennakeshava and Venugopala are different forms of Vishnu.

The construction of Kappe Chennigaraya Temple began at the same time as the main temple, i.e., in 1117 CE. Shantala Devi, who was the Pattada Rani (the principal queen consort) of King Vishnuvardana, commissioned it and took a personal interest in this temple, and it is believed that she even oversaw its construction.

Kappe Chennigaraya Images
East Facade
Navaranga Pillars
Dance Floor
Venugopala Standing in the South Garbhagriha
Ugra Narasimha Carved on the Lintel of the South Garbhagriha Door
Lakshminarayana Carved on the Ceiling
Outer Wall around the West Garbhagriha

Related Pages
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Masterpiece of Hoysala Temple Art

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