The stone marvel of Belavadi

The stone marvel of Belavadi

Hidden in the village of Belavadi is a stone marvel that does not attract as many visitors as its famous cousins in Belur and Halebid.

The exquisite entity is the Veera Narayana Temple, a noteworthy example of Hoysala architecture.

It was built in the 13th century by Veera Ballala II.

A short bus ride from Chikmagalur brought me to the village of Belavadi.

The youngster sitting next to me enlightened me about the ancient and newer temples in the region.

I stood at the entrance of the ASI National Heritage monument after a short walk from the bus stop.

It was deserted until a lone priest arrived there for puja. This, in spite of the sanctum sanctorum being closed and no deity to be seen.

Classic designs

The temple is built on a high platform and I could see that the gopuram over the sanctum was not tall like typical Hoysala architectural design.

It is built in the trikuta style, with three vimanas. A tall dwajastamba is in front of the structure, guarded by two elephant sculptures.

The symmetry and decorations at the top are every bit like the Hoysala architectural design.

Lathe-turned, round, decorated pillars support the roof, over which some carvings are still visible.

I stood admiring the beautifully decorated elephant sculpture where attention is given to the minutest detail in the necklace and other ornaments adorning the statue.

A number of round pillars support the roof in the hall, opposite the sanctum.

A few faded roof decorations are seen.


The intricate floral designs are pleasing to the eye.

One cannot help but admire the skills of the artisans who took so much patience in carving out such masterpieces, fit to adorn a temple.

Figures of gods are placed in front and at the entrance to the door of the sanctum. Some pillars have intricate designs all over them.

The outer walls of the Temple bear the typical decorated figures of gods. The gopuram over the sanctum too has idols of gods in small niches.

In some places, panels are missing. Elaborate floral designs are seen around stone idols.
Rainwater from the roof is led out in channels.

However, a few panels are discoloured due to exposure to rain and sun. The Temple is set in a small neat garden.

Sri Udbhava Ganapathi Temple, a natural rock formation in the shape of Lord Ganesh, is worshipped in the modern temple, maintained by Sri Shankaracharya Mutt of Sringeri.

There is also a small Shanimahatma Temple in the vicinity.

As I walked in the village, I saw two persons dehusking corn by using a machine.

In another place, I saw raw arecanut being boiled and later dried in the sun.

Frequent KSRTC buses ply from Chikmagalur to Belavadi, which is within a distance of 25 km en route to Javagal and Arsikere.

The Temples are within walking distance. A few small hotels provide food and drinks.

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