The Veera Narayana temple, Belavadi of Karnataka - a beautiful Hoysala styled Hindu temple

Veera Narayana temple, Belavadi,KA

Domed decorative ceiling. Veera Narayana temple,Belavadi,KA Wikiwand

Above image: Domical bay ceiling art in outer mantapa of the Veeranarayana temple at Belavad, Krnataka state...................
The Veera Narayana temple in Belavadi, a village (9 km s from  Chikmagalur town) in the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka state, India. has an old Hindu temple dedicated to God Vishnu, one of Trinity gods. It is  a fine contribution from the Hoysala empire. Known to legend as Ekachakranagara, Belavadi is, according to the legend, one ofhe Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata, Bheema  protected and saved the people of this place  from  demon Bakasura  by kiling him as his atrocities went far beyond the limit of tolerance. The people suffere a lot on account of his irrational behavior.
 Location of Belavadi, Karnataka.

Shri VeeraNarayana Temple, Belavadi, in terms of architectural style - execution of bas-relief work, miniature  stone sculptures on the gopura (tower), lathe-tuned well fiished pillars in the mantap and the deeply carved, decorative domed ceiling closely in he hall (mantap), resembles that of Amrutesvara-temple, Amruthapura, Karnataka.

Veera Narayana temple,Belavadi,KA,

Ornate tower, Yoganarashimhar shrine. wikipedia 

Above image: Close up of Vesara shrine and sikhara. Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi, Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka, India

. open inner hall.Veera Narayana temple, Belavadi,KA,wikipedia 

outer hall. Veera Narayana temple, Belavadi,KA,wikipedia commons org

Veera Narayana temple,Belavadi,

Above: image: Lathe turned pillars of the mantapa between the Venugopala and Yoga Narasimha shrines of the Veeranarayana temple at Belavadi..................................................

This temple with three ornate shrines (trikuta) was constructed in 1200 C.E by the Hoysala ruler Veera Ballala II and all  of them have a  small tower over them. Unlike in many places, here the construction material is soap stone (composed largely of Magnesium rich talc, a product of metamorphism; its hardness is low, hence, it is used for inlaid designs, sculpture, coasters, and kitchen countertops)

Low hardness soalstone.

It is the largest Hoysala temple more known for its architecture than other temples at Belur and Halebidu where the builder paid  special attention to stone ornamentation and miniature sculpters on the outer walls of the tower. Dedicated  to God Vishnu,  in the sanctum of  each of the three shrines, there is an idol of Sri Vishnu in different avatars (incarnations). The central shrine, being older  has a big image  of  8 foot tall Narayana  with four hands standing on  a padmasana (lotus seat). The one on the south has 8 foot tall image of Venugopala ( god Krishna playing a flute) with a garuda pedestal. As for the northern shrine, here stands a  7 foot tall  image of Yoganarasimha, doing meditation in a sitting yogic  posture.

The plan of this temple differs from normally convetional temple design.  Here, the two shrines face each other and are connected  by a common  spacious wide mantapa in between them with seven  bays. There are two closed mantaps and  one with 13 bays and the other with 9 bays. Strictly following the Hoysla temple architectural norms, the inner walls of the older shine are dvoid of  ornamentation; just plain, but the ceiling is richly ornamented.

Veera Narayana temple,Belavadi,KA 

The temple complex comprising all the three shrines have numerous pillars because there are 59 bays, most of them are lathe-turned bell-shaped, but a few of them are ornamented. The pillars are typical of Hoysala style of temple architectural feature. As for the outer wall decorations, following the old Hoysala style,  eaves runs around the temple where the superstructure meets the wall of the shrine. Below are found decorative  towers on pilasters. A panel of Hindu deities are below the eaves

With respect to newer shrines, one is star-shaped and the other one square-shed. Below the  pot shaped  apex - Shekara  lie three tiers of decorative miniature roofs. The super structures above them connect with the low protrusion on the main shrine. The sculptured decoration on the towers and the sculptured images are fairly visible and can be seen from a distance.  Quite impressive are the sculptures of God Krishna  dancing on the head of the serpent Kaliinga  and the Garuda (eagle), the mount(vahana) of God Vishnu. The notable features of the ornate towers are  the carving of gargoyles ( kirtimukhas) and they give an impetus to the decorative super structures. 

This 1200 year old Hindu temple that is well preserved is worth a visit. The temple has lots of stone sculptured images and miniature decorative works that are spell-binding, typical of Hoysala  temple architecture.,_Belavadi,_Belavadi