The Chennakeshava Temple, originally called Vijayanarana temple. It was built by the Hoysala Empire, Belur is in the Hassan district, Karnataka, India. Belur is known for its marvelous temples built during the rule of Hoysala dynasty. The temples and monuments at Belur are indeed the best Hoysala creations, showing their amazing architecture sculptures. There is a story behind the name ‘Chennakeshava’. There was a poor farmer name ‘Chenna’ farming on the land on which the temple was made. People tell him to leave this land as they want to made this temple. But he doesn’t agree. Again they insist him to leave this land. Lastly, they give him a proposal that if you give this land for making temple, then we put the name of temple on your name. Atlast, he agree then the temple name became ‘Chennakeshava Temple’.
The main entrance to the temple is crowned by a Rajagopura, which was built during the days of Vijayanagar Empire. Within this structure, the Chennakeshava temple is at the centre, facing east and the Kappe Channigraya Temple on its right, and the Soumyanayaki temple(goddess Lakshmi) set slightly back. The pillar facing the temple, the Garoda(mythical bird appears in both Hindu and Bhuddhist mythology and Vahana of Lord Vishnu) sthambha was constructed in the Vijyanagar period, while the pillar on the right, the Deepa sthambha establish from the Hoysala period. The over-decoration which is seen in later Hoysala temples(including the Hoysaleswara temple at Halebidu and the Keshava temple at Somanathpura) is not visible here.
The Chennakeshava temple has three entrances and they decorated with sculptures called dwarapalaka on either side. While the Kappe Channigraya temple is smaller than the Chennakeshava temple.
I visited there one month ago, the first which attracted me of this temple was the entrance gate seemed to be new for me. Then we entered in the temple, it was really beautiful with a broad area in which this temple was made I think it is convenient for the number of peoples to visit. We step forward what i saw the gate was filled with tiny carvings within a stone which is really not impossible for today’s people.