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The large temple in Belur is one of the most (31973 bytes) monuments from Hoysala times and region. It was commissioned by the Hoysala king himself to celebrate an important military victory in 1117 AD. This is exceptional, since nearly all other Hoysala temples were commissioned by rich officials or rich civilians. The king obviously wanted an extraordinary temple because it has been built in an architectural style foreign to the region. Moreover the monument is exceptionally large and its decoration very lavish. Many of the decorations were added later in the 12th century by the grandson and successor of the founder.

The Cennakesava-temple stands in a compound with several smaller temples and a pond.

Beautyful Belur the Quaint little town set elegantly on the banks of river Yagachi amidst lush surrounding was earlier Known as Velapuri. It was chosen as the capital of the Hoysalas, after the sacking and destruction of their capital at Dwarasamudra (Halebid), by the Delhi Sultans. The Hoysalas Ruled this reigon between 44 th and 13 th centuries. They were great patrons of art and architecture and builts a number of magnificent shrines during their 300 years regin. The temples and monuments at Belur are indeed the best Hoysala creations, showcasing their amazing architecture and sculptures in full glory Belur was highly revered for its magnificient shrines and came to be Known as “modern vaikunta (heaven) of the earthe”.
The Hoysala temples are characterized by typical star shaped ground plan and are usually ste on a platform. They are compact, squat structures and are more human in scale as compared to other soaring shrines of the south. Ornately carved shrines indicate the music and dance were highly regarded by the Hoysalas and were used to express religious fervor. The temples at Belur are carved out of soap stone (steatite), quarried from Tumkur, About 200 Kms away. This stone is extremely easy to chisel, but attains iron-like fitness when exposed to the atmosphere. To maintain the shine of the temple, the stone is treated with a chemical wash and then wax polished once in ten years.
Today this small town basking in the warmth of its luxurious greenery and glorious past is regarded as “one of the jewels” of South India architecture. Its temple have become rich repositories of ancient Hindu culture and a must visit site on every tourist’s temple itinerary.