One of the day trips my host Dr. Hari insisted upon was to drive out to the two ancient Hoysala temples of Belur and Halebid. About a three hour drive each way, it was a tough day trip and I complained that I was all “templed out” anyway. Hari insisted, and I am very thankful that he did. These temples are famed for their exquisite detail and artistry in stone-carving.
First is the Channakeshava Temple in Belur. It was commissioned in 1116 to commemorate the Hoysala Empire’s victory over the neighboring Cholas (remember my post on Mamallapuram?) and took a century to build. The temple is still in daily use for worship.
Here is the gopuram (entrance tower).
The temple exterior
The interior inner sanctum. The beautiful sculpted pillars are all unique in design to each other. The first one below actually rotated on its axis at one time.