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Somanathapura Keshava Temple: North Garbhagriha – Janardhana


Janardhana – Idol in the north garbhagriha
The Somanathapura Keshava Temple has three garbhagrihas (sanctum sanctorum), each with a statue of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

The image shows the sculpture depicting Janardhana standing inside the north garbhagriha. Just like Venugopala (south garbhagriha) and Keshava (west garbhagriha), Janardhana is another form of Krishna. In Sanskrit, jana means people and ardhana means to worship. Janardhana means one who is worshiped by the people.

Just like Keshava, Janardhana is chaturbhuja (i.e., one with four arms) and is holding four signature objects of Vishnu, shanka (conch), padma (lotus), gadā (mace), and chakra (disc-like weapon). The order in which Janardhana is holding these objects is different from Keshava.

As you can see from the image, Janardhana is wearing a beautiful skirt-like dress and stylish jewelry all over his body. He is wearing bracelets and arm rings on his hands, anklets on his legs, finely carved necklaces around his neck, an udiyana (waist chain) around his waist, and a looped thread, known as yajnopavita, hanging across the chest from the left shoulder to the waist. An intricately carved crown adorns Janardhana’s head, which has a halo around it. Just like the other two statues, Kirthimukha is at the top.

Notice his torso closely. It appears like the face of a cow (i.e., the nipples look like its eyes, and the belly button looks like its mouth). This is to indicate that Janardhana is Krishna, who is a gopala, i.e., one who protects cows.

There are two female figures at the bottom. Each is holding a lotus bud with on one hand, and a kalasa (pot) with the other.

Related Images
Keshava – Idol in the west garbhagriha
Venugopala – Idol in the south garbhagriha

Related Pages

Hoysala Temples
Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
Badami Chalukya Temples
Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole

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