Belur & Halebidu - II

So we came out of the Hoysaleshwara Temple Complex and  proceeded to the nearby Jain Temples. There was a single complex with huge shrines for 3 deities: Aadhinatha, Paarshvanatha & Shaanthanatha.

And as with most other ancient temples, there were intricate sculptures all over, not wasting an inch.

There was HUGE statue of a Thirthankara, must be one of the 3 I had mentioned earlier, but don't know who. Made of a SINGLE rock, he looks magnificent, with a serpentine holding his back and serving as an umbreall. And there's a signature smile - which is the best of anything you'd come by.

And another one, again, forgot who - was just standing there, with nothing adorning him. Nirvana, perhaps. But philosophy aside, I loved the hairstyle! I'm even sporting a similar one now! ;)

A *slightly* revamped version of the last one. Just for a wallpaper with a dark background.

Well, with the Shiva temple right next to this complex - which was a lot similar to the Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu was done with, and on enquiry with the public, we were told of a nearby place with an ancient temple.


We had to get a share-auto from Halebidu to a check post from where we could get a bus which could take us to Belavadi in less than 15 minutes. We were inside the Veera Narayana Temple in less than a minute or two. The temple closely resembled in style the Halebidu temples.

The pillars were so well filed that they were actually reflecting! The divine vehicles - Garuda & Sesha
The lower walls were all adorned by elephants
sporting various ornaments.
I've never seen elsewhere a sculpture depicting the
front view of an elephant!
Aaaaaaaand there was Gopala, well done & decorated!

So, we came back to Halebid, got into a tempo, had a good conversation with a Japanese traveler by name Takeshi *which reminded me of Takeshi's Castle*. And he was on a 2-month long tour of India, and geographically knew much more than we did. But yeah, he was very much interested in the societal stuff and our Gods, and we were happily explaining, heading to the next destination on our list, munching some of these nuts. I forgot the name again, but good they were, for 5 bucks.


So we were at Belur, talking with Takeshi, and my camera was already dying out of battery. Also, we decided to ditch the idea of getting a guide, for we wanted to take our time, relaxed.

And the man-slaying-a-lion didn't go missing there too. Granders ones than those in Halebidu could be seen.

There were a lot of sculptures that decorated the walls, with a lot of variety. The stone used here & at Halebidu is said to be Soapstone - something that's too soft, and thus provided a lot of scope for intricacy.

Pretty much seems like an alien wedding!

Lord Narasimha ripping Hiranyakashipu apart!

A war-scene perhaps.
But I just loved the details!

Lord Brahma.
The beards were perfect.
And the bell with chain - brilliant!

well-adorned lady warrior!

And there was the best of all - A mistress adjusting her earring with a mirror! The smile, the posture, the thumb & index finger adjusting the earring - everybody loves this! More than image of the deity, this is the one that appears on the cover of most books on the temple!
So we entered the main shrine, and were again taken aback by the intricacy. There were plenty of Jalis that allowed enough light, and yeah, there were sculptures all over. Especially, the ones on the ceiling were too close to each other. We almost sprained our necks looking at them!

Not sure if it was just coincidence or bad luck, we were not in time with the "visiting hours" of the main deity, but one of his doorkeepers himself was so pleasing!

There were sculptures depicting stories from Puranas, Ramayana, etc.

When we were out of the main shrine and checking out the pillars near the Vahana Mantapam or the Parking Lot, there were many like this, depicting some really complex body postures. The very thought of trying such a thing made me tired. Plus, none would partner me for this, anyway!

We were just out of the temple. And that was a time when there was Kolaveri everywhere, and Belur was no exception too! A street vendor selling something with a mini pot and a string was playing the track!

We had some tender cocounuts & pineapple slices with Takeshi, and he left for his room, while we left for Bangalore, not wanting to stretch it to another day.

So we started some time in the everning; Belur-Hassan-Bangalore, and we were at our houses by night.


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