Monday, September 24, 2012
Agrahara Belaguli- Betteshvara (Keshaveswara) temple
Agraha Belaguli is a small village in Channarayapattana taluk is famous for the Keshaveswara temple of the Hoysala. It is elegant Hoysala temple at According to the inscription at the temple itself, this temple built by Keshva Dandanayaka (Kesiraja) the minister of the Hoysala king Balla II in about 1210 A.D. Though it is called by the name Betteshvara temple now, it was originally Keshaveswara.
The prefix Agrahara indicates that the village housed a large number of Brahmin Scholar families who were said to have been performing the Shatkarmas. But now it has reduced to meager 3-4 families. During the Hoysala Empire the village called by Keshavapura and two large tanks called Lakshmi Samudra and Keshava Samudra built in the same era.
Bettesvara temple is another master piece of Hoysala architecture. This temple is a Dvikuta and has got Keshva facing south and a Shiva Linga facing east. This temple built in soapstone (Chloritic Schist) it appears western part built first and the southern part was added later. The temple consists of a Two Garbhagriha and a Mandapa of the open type and two minor shrines in Mandapa.The temple that was not built on a Jagati can have small Mukhamatapa on northern side that directly led to the Navaranga hall from ground level. An example of a temple that does not exhibit the raised platform the basement of the temple stands almost an equal to the earth level.
The Navaranga contains two sanctum halls and it has two entrances that connect the shrine to the small Mnadapa in eastern side and Mukha Mandapa (vestibule) in east. The western side main Garbhagriha is square with a black-stone Shiva Linga now called Betteshvara, the doorways has sculptures of Dvarapalas and not highly ornamented.
Very close to this northern side there is one more Garbhagriha with a beautiful Lord Keshava. The shrine is the most prominent and has a large sculpture. This is six and half feet height and very imposing. He holds Shanka, Chakra, Gada, Padma in four hands.
The wealth of sculptured main deity and few more idols in Navaranga was simply unbelievable, depicting picture of intricate artistry. The other sculptures particularly those of Ganesh, Karthikeya, Parvathi, Sarasvathi, Saptmatrikas, Brahma are fine example of sculptural art.
The ceiling of the open Mandapa is supported by 4 round sized well carved pillars and 12 turned pillars about 8 to 9 feet in height and deeply domed in the center, the overall workmanship being outstanding with no pillar alike. There two shrines are located around Mukhamantapa one is having Nandhi and another one do not contain any god or goddess in them now. At Mandapa the inscriptions on wall arrest our attention.
The outer wall in the temple was not much ornamented though parts of the temple are in ruins the temple as a whole looks elegant. The Betteshvara temple invites the splendor of temple architecture comprising beautiful, ornate carvings Dvikuta architecture, wide beautiful Mantapa and idol of gods and goddesses of Hoysalas.
Location:UDUPI Agrahara Belaguli, Karnataka 573225, India
I documents my visits to lesser known places in Soth India. It documents places nestled deep in the beauty of the Western Ghats and historical monuments.