When we arrived at Belur - Chennakeshava temple, a mighty Gopura with Garuda sthambha and chirping birds welcomed us to the era of Hoysalas. This Gopura, however is built by Vijayanagara empire.
Once we entered the premises, the Chennakeshava temple at the center captured us with its magnificient beauty.
The temple has a history of centuries together. The construction of the temple took 103 years. The Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana had commissioned for the construction of this temple and was completed during the period of his grandson.
The temple is star shaped and houses the main deity of Hoysala kingdom - Sri Chennakeshava -Hindu Lord Vishnu. The Kannada word "Chenna" refers to handsome and "Keshava" refers to Vishnu. The deity was sculptured by the famous sculptor "Jakkannachari".
The temple has three entrances and have sculptures of dwara palakas (guards) at each entrance.
One can buy tickets for taking photographs of the art work inside temple except the main deity.
The temple has a ranga mantapa at the center on which the dancers used to perform. The above view is a fine piece of art with various patterns and at the center, one can notice the carving of Narasimha avatar of Vishnu.
The sculptures of Shilabalakis/dancers can be found on the four corners of Ranga mantapa. These includes the main dancers who performed on ranga mantapa.