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Viranarayana Temple - Belavadi

DISTRICT: Chikmagalur; TALUK: Kadur
LOCALITY: Belavadi (Lat. 13o 29' N; Long. 76° 45' E)

Belavadi is situated 10 km north-west of Halebid, the capital of the Hoysalas who ruled the major part of southern Karnataka between 11th-14th century AD. According to legends, the village was the Ekachakra-nagar of the Mahabharata times, where Bhima is said to have slain Bakasura. This is a trikutachala temple with all the three vesara shikaras intact.  The temple in east-west orientation is dedicated to Viranarayana, Venugopala and Yoga Narasimha, the first one being the principal image. The temple of Viranarayana built towards the western end has a large pillared corridor which opens at east into the common sabhamandapa of Yoga Narasimha (north) and Venugopala (south) shrines, which in turn opens into a mukhamandapa at east. Slightlyaway to the mukhamandapa is a well modified mahadwara mandapa. All the images in the sanctum of Narasimha, Venugopala and Viranarayana excel each other in workmanship. Unlike the other ornate Hoysala temples, this temple is without raised platform or jagati.  In elevation, the temple has a pada, adho-kumuda, a tripatta kumuda, a kapota, and a pattika of dentil decoration.  The bhitti proper is offsetted correspondingly and has pilaster. The superstructure over the garbhagriha is of the dravida vesara type with a stupi and finial. The mukhamandapa has conventional moulding and is provided with kakshasana. The eave is supported by the lathe turned pillars of the Hoysala type placed over the jagati. The temple is datable to circa 12th century AD.