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Belur Chennakeshava Temple: Kappe Chennigaraya – Outer Wall around the West Garbhagriha


Outer wall around the garbhagriha
The image shows the outer wall surrounding the west garbhagriha of the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple situated in the south side of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple complex in Karnataka, India.

While this temple is somewhat similar to the main Chennakeshava Temple architecture-wise, they differ 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 dwikuta 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. Check the east and north entrances.

Just like the main temple, the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple 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 this 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
North 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

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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