Situated on the northern periphery of the Belur Chennakeshava Temple, about 150 miles west of Bengaluru in India, the Sālu Mantapa is a gallery with stone sculptures, reliefs, and inscriptions embedded on its wall. The pillars and roof of the Sālu Mantapa is part of the original construction. However, the wall on the rear, which is also part of the temple prakara (protective wall), was rebuilt as part of the restoration in the 20th century.
Before the restoration, the courtyard of the temple was filled with a treasure trove of artifacts, including stone sculptures and inscriptions from different periods. These artifacts were of great interest to archaeologists and historians, who studied them in detail and categorized them. The restoration of the Sālu Mantapa included embedding some of these objects into the wall.
The image shows a section of the Sālu Mantapa with sculptures, reliefs, and stone slabs with inscriptions embedded into the rear wall. As you can see, Hanuman with a long tail is on the central section.
Resting on the floor and under an extension of vedike (platform) Sālu Mantapa is a sculpture of a Jain Tirthankara, most-likely Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara. He is sitting with a paryankasana posture (lotus-like pose with upward-facing palms placed on top of each other) and has a prabhamandala (circle of light or halo). Placed above his head is is a mukkode, i.e.,three umbrellas stacked one above the other.
– 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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