Belur Temples 2

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This section has bracketed figures called Madanikas, inside temple pics, images of Lord Vishnu and smaller temples. Part one ie Belur Temples has external temple pics. We start with showing sculptures of maidens. U see a lady admiring hear beauty in the mirror that she holds with her left hand. Note her dress. She wears anklets on her feet. Left side is her maid probably with her child. Figure is called Darpana Sundari. (darpan means mirror, sundari is beautiful).

Tribhanga Dance. Lady bends her body in 3 different angles. 1st angle is drum upto neck. 2nd angle is neck to waist. 3rd angle is wait to foot. Sports a long chain. King Vishnuvardhana made the temple. His wife Shantala Devi, a Jain by faith, was a noted dancer and on one of the temple''s her dancing poses has been sculptured in the most ornate and in exuberant style.

Playing the tabla. Tandaveshwari (hope got spelling right). Her left hand is inside the rope of the drum. This way the drums gives better sound. The original capital of the Hoyasalas was Halebidu. It was attacked and plundered by Mallik Kafur many times during the 14th century so capital was shifted to Belur.

Lady with mirror adjusting her ear ring. Note the cloth dress and design. There are totally 42 sculptures of women and 5,253 dancing figures on temple walls.

Poison Lady or Vishakanya. In Chanakya time newly born female babies were given slow scorpion poison with milk upto the age of 16. By then whole body became poison after which those girls were used to kill enemies.

Dancing on a single leg - Natya Mayuri. Right of pic next to maiden head u can see a small lizard, above that is a fruit on which is a fly. Architectural design and such minute work is called Prabhavali in Sanskrit.

Successful huntress holding a bow. Mallitamma was the most prolific of all known Hoysala artists and more than forty well-executed sculptures stand in his name.

Mohini Nritya. Right hand ka middle her nose, left breast, left thumb and left leg toe all in one line.

Vishwakanya Matihari. Left of pic on pedestal is the Scorpion. The Hoyasalas used soft soapstone to make temples of Belur and Halebidu.

Note lady hairstyle - is a bob cut. Nearly nine hundred years ago they visualised Bob Cut style.

Sculpture of a Proud Lady. Temple open from 7.30am to about 7pm. Guide cost Rs 200-250/ for half an hour during season. For a good Hindi, English speaking guide contact Ramesh 9964236132. For a learned Kannada, English speaking guide slow n steady Satyanarayan 9980027172 who also knows related Sanskrit words.

Aswakeshi - note the hair style modern day Ponytail. Belur is 222 kms from Bangalore and 124 kms from Mangalore. Both cities have airports.

Left of pic u see small sculpture, is a lady servant putting toe ring to left foot.

Fortune Teller. In her left hand lady holding a drum and right hand wooden instrument Narayana.

Lady supposed to be playing a Flute. Actually there is no flute in her hand so she is acting as if were playing a flute.

Lady holding mirror and dressing her hair. Temple open from 7.30am to about 7 pm. Guide for half an hour cost Rs 200/ during season.

Lady dancing on single leg with Veena in hand.

Lady playing the flute.

Devangana image. By virtue of being beautiful she is Abhimani (proud). Her face looks like Ahankara (egoistic person). Note she wears anklets, hand angles and necklace round neck. Figure in north side wall.

Devangana image. Holds a flower in her hand. Bottom left of pic is a monkey who is pulling the saree of a lady. Figure in east wall.

We now proceed inside the temple which is a must see. There is a huge light that focuses on image by which u can see clearly, click pics. U see the ceiling inside temple. Similar dome found in Somnathpur temple in Karnataka and Dilwara temples Mount Abu Rajasthan.

Hanging pillar - bottom face is Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu killing demon Hiranyakashyap.

U see image of Queen Shantadevi. On her forhead is a small pendant.

U see Apsara wearing rich ornaments. Note that has bangles in both hands, wears a perforated royal gown.

U see Keshavshringar - lady making her hair. Keshav means hair and shringar means making.

Mayura Nritya. Right hand is bangle that can be moved. Left is a imaginary bird that has the face of a parrot and tail of a peacock.

Sanctum garbhagraha entrance. Note the intricate work in stone. Centre is Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi. On left and right side are imaginery animal Makara. Bottom of pic in centre is statue of Lord Vijaya Narayana. The temple continues to be in active worship. Lower portion lower side are doorkeepers Jaya Vijaya.

U see image of Mohini inside temple but just outside sanctum.

48 pillars inside temple each one looks different. A view of the pillars.

Jewellery ornament design on pillar.

Top portions of pillar look like a car tyre.

U see the famous Narasimha pillar. Guide told me that about 300 years ago it used to rotate.

Full length view of Narasimha pillar. Level is Ramayana/Mahabharata. Level 2 is Brahma. Level 3 and 4 are Vishnu. Level 5 is Shiva. Above that are Apsaras.

Narasimha pillar. Centre u see Ravana lifting Mount Kailash. Left and right u see elephants and forests.

Right of pic u see Shri Ram, Laxman and Hanuman.

U see monkey soldiers carrying stones.

We now present the images of Lord Vishnu. This pic is south western side of temple with gopuram in background. U shall first see close up of walls and then actual images.

Close up of west side wall.

Different forms of Lord Vishnu. Pic left to right above Vishnu image is Keertimukh which is to ward away evil. There are two more images on right of pic but they are Shiva so shown separately.

Left is Lord Vishnu. Right is Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.

Right of pic is Lord Vishnu. Left is Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. See decoration below. Left is Lord Vishnu.

In part one showed small temples at ground level. U see image of Lord Vishnu inside niche temple on southern side.

U see image of Lord Vishnu inside niche temple holding Shankachakra Gadapadma.

Left of pic is Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu killing demon Hiranyakashyapa. Next is Vishnu, dancers, Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma on extreme right.

U see image of Lord Vishnu inside niche temple.

U see image of Lord Vishnu name Damodara inside niche temple.

Vishnu Pada with lotus flower in the centre.

U see image of Lord Krishna (Venugopal). Not sure if it is in the main temple or Bhudevi temple.

To left of main temple is the Keppe Chennigaraya temple. Very good work inside the temple. Consecrated in 1117. See sculpture of Chennakeshava. Read the board for more details.

External view of the temple. It is on a plinth. Has number of pillars, windows for light to come into the temple.

Inside the temple are these niche temples. U see one such temple.

This is Deviroop killing the Asura who is in the form of a Mahisha (ie male buffalo) so she is known as Mahishasuramardini (whose image u see). Mahisha is male buffalo, asura is a demon, mardhini means to slay. U see close up of Mahishasurmardini.

Image of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi.

Image of Shanti Keshava. Doorkeepers Jaya Vijaya on either side of entrance to sanctum.

Gajalakshmi Narayan. Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi on top of pic. Bottom of pic is Gaja or elephant.

Image of Goddess Saraswati.

Board outside Saumyanayaki temple.

Saumyanayaki temple - has number of pillars as u can see.

West of main temple is hall. To its right first is Sridevi temple and then Bhudevi temple. Small temple that u see in front is a niche temple on western side of main temple.

Sridevi temple - was closed.

Bhudevi Temple - forgot to click the board outside the temple. U see panel. Lower level are goddess above them is Lord Vishnu.

Front view of Bhudevi mandir.

Extreme right is Parvati and other Goddesses.

Extreme left is Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi and Lord Krishna.

Close up of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi.

On North side of temple is a huge corridor that you see. Many sculptures on wall. We present a few.

Nagadevta - Serpent Queen.

Lord Hanuman.

Saptamatrika panel. "With the exception of one, each goddess derives her name and attributes from the male god who she personifies. Brahmani has four heads like Brahma, and is often shown seated on a lotus or on a gander; Maheshvari, the feminine personification of Shiva or Mahesa, sits next to her on a bull; Kaumari, derived from Kumara, rides a peacock; Vaishnavi is the female personification of Vishnu, as is Varahi, in his incarnation as the boar; Indrani derives from Indra. Chamunda, the last in the series, is shown emaciated, and crowned by serpent heads". Description taken from here

Photo collection started and ends with Royal Emblem. Shows boy fighting with an animal that has the body of a lion and face of a tiger. These pictures are my tribute to the Hoyasala kings, their masons. Khajuraho temples are awesome. I would rate Belur and Halebidu temples no less. More tourists need to see n enjoy this work of art.

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