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Veera Narayana Temple in Belavadi Near Halebidu, Karnataka

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

Introduction

The Veera Narayana temple, also known as the Viranarayana temple of Belavadi, is a triple Hindu temple showcasing intricate Hoysala architecture dating back to around 1200 CE. Situated near Halebidu in the village of Belavadi, Karnataka, India, it stands as one of the better-preserved large Hoysala monuments.

The temple comprises three distinct square sanctums interconnected by a notably large square ranga-mandapa measuring 103 feet. Dedicated to Viranarayana (Vishnu), Gopala, and Yoga-Narasimha, the temple underwent stages of expansion before enduring damage in the 14th century, prompting subsequent protective measures.

The temple’s standout features include ornate Vesara superstructures, adorned with jewelry-like details, and a stunning array of polished pillars resembling a galaxy, some embellished as if with jewels. The ceilings boast unusual panels depicting Hindu legends about Krishna. Recognized as a nationally protected monument of India, the Veeranarayana temple is under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India Bengaluru Circle.

Architecture

The Veeranarayana temple in Belavadi, constructed in 1200 C.E. under Hoysala Empire King Veera Ballala II, stands as a remarkable example of Hoysala architecture, primarily built from soapstone. Comprising three shrines, each boasting a complete superstructure, it is celebrated for its architectural prowess rather than intricate sculptures, unlike its counterparts in Belur and Halebidu.

The temple’s layout is distinctive, featuring two shrines facing each other across a spacious open mantapa with thirty-seven bays, while the complex encompasses two closed mantapas with thirteen and nine bays respectively, leading to a central shrine.

Adorned with lathe-turned pillars and bell-shaped columns, the temple’s outer wall showcases traditional Hoysala architectural elements, including decorative towers and friezes depicting Hindu deities.

The newer shrines, one square and the other stellate in shape, display intricate sculptured decorations on their towers, notably featuring Krishna and Garuda motifs. All three shrines house images of Vishnu in various avatars, with the central shrine featuring an 8-foot-tall image of Narayana, renowned for its elaborate ornamentation and seated on a lotus pedestal, while the southern shrine hosts an image of Venugopala and the northern shrine holds Yoganarasimha, depicted in a yoga posture


Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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