Located on the northern perimeter of the temple, 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 temple courtyard was filled with a treasure trove of objects, including stone sculptures and inscriptions from different periods, which were of great interest to archaeologists. The restoration included categorizing these objects and fixing some of them on the wall.
The image shows a section of the Sālu Mantapa with sculptures, reliefs, and stone slabs with inscriptions embedded on 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.
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– Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
– Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
– Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
– Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Masterpiece of Hoysala Temple Art
Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.