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Opening timings for chennakesava temple

All days of the week
7:00 AM - 8:00 PM

chennakesava temple overview

#1 of 1 Places To Visit in Belluru
chennakesava temple
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Road 234, Belur, Karnataka, India
All days of the week
7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
visit duration
1 to 2 hours

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chennakesava temple

about chennakesava temple

The History

The Chennakesava temple is an ancient temple built by the Hoysala king - Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD. There have been many theories put forward by the scholars for his reasons behind building this temple. Some believe it was to celebrate Hoysala's victory over Cholas, some say that the military successes of Vishnuvardhana were the reason he built this temple to surpass his King Vikramaditya, which other still were convince the temple was built after Vishnuvardhana converted from Jainism to Vaishnavism owing to the Vaishnavite sculptural iconography of the temple.


A superstructure marks the entrance to the temple complex. The Chennakesava Temple is positioned right in the centre facing east and surrounded by other temples dedicated to several gods and goddesses. There are two pillars facing the main temple, one belonging to the Vijayanagara period while the other (with the lamp) is from the Hoysala period. This is believed to be the first Hoysala temple, so much of the characteristic Hoysala architecture is absent and one sees a lot of Chalukyan influence in the artworks. There are three entrances to the temple, each doorway decorated with a pair of sculptures.

The building material is soapstone or potstone. The mandapa with its 60 bays, is the main attraction of the temple and is connected to the shrine by a vestible. It is thought to be one of the most magnificent architecture of medieval India. The pillars and friezes inside the hall are magnificent with all the 48 pillars unique in their design. But nothing comes close to the architectural brilliance of the central 4 pillars which have been chiseled by hand, as compared to the other which revolved on a lathe. The mandapa has several sculptures of important gods and goddesses.

The Shrine

Located behind the mandapa, the shrine has 5 vertical sections, each with a double storeyed niche with pillars on either side. The sculptures here belong to Vaishnavite and Shaivite faiths. The main idol is Vishnu holding a holy attribute in each of his four hands. The towers within the shrine resemble a more north Indian architecture and are very uncommon in true dravidian styles.

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Chennakesava Temple traveller reviews

1 Chennakesava Temple review
Sudhu Reddy
Sudhu Reddy
“Amazing place”
Jun 22 2014
This 1000 Yr old temple deserves a lot of attention and I feel Karnataka Tourism should seriously consider this.I am blessed to visit this temple and have no words to describe.I was also told that the carvings was done by famous Andhra Sculptor " ...... read more