Veera Narayana Temple – Belavadi
Belavadi is a national heritage site and one of the important attractions in Karnataka tourism. The temple here is built in Hoysala architecture. Belavadi village is located at a distance of 29 km southeast of Chikmagalur town and just 10 km from Halebid, another world heritage site and a visit to Belavadi is quiet town is a rewarding experience.
Belavadi is a scenic village surrounded by many trees, extensive green lands and lush greenery. Belavadi is dotted with temples and shrines, the most outstanding of them being Sri veeranarayana temple – a fine example of Hoysala architecture.
Sri Veeranarayana Temple, Belavadi
The Veeranarayana temple, built in 1206 AD, is a trikutachala structure, having three shrines dedicated to Veeranarayana, Venugopala and Yoganarasimha. Like any other Hoysala temple, the Belavadi temple is also made of soapstone and has varied and intricate carvings on its walls. It is believed that the western part of the temple containing the idol of Veeranarayana was first constructed and the eastern portion of the temple was later added.
The entrance to the temple is majestic and has two carved elephants on either side of the gateway. The Navaranga of Veeranarayana shrine has beautiful bell shaped pillars and a well decorated roof. The idol of Veeranarayana and its garuda pedestal is around 2.5 metre high. With four hands and seated in lotus posture, it is considered as one of the best specimens of Hoysala art.
The other two shrines face each other with one shrine square in shape and other is in stellate shape. The north facing shrine has the idol of Venugopala while the south facing shrine has the idol of Yoganarasimha. The idol of Venugopala playing the flute is 2.5 m tall with its pedestal and the idol of Yoganarasimha in sitting posture is 2.3 m tall.
All the shrines have towers which have varied sculpted figures making it quite decorative. The ceiling panels are well carved with some having geometric patterns and others having figures and warriors in different postures. The walls of the temple have large images but some of them are not quite impressive, as they lack the sharpness and fine finish associated with Hoysala temples.