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Friday, 11 July 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 36: Channakeshava Temple, Arakere

Arakere is a small village close to Banavara near Arasikere in Hassan district, Karnataka. It houses a little known, slightly different looking temple of the Hoysala period, dedicated to the main Vishnu deity of those times, Channakeshava. This is a trikuta temple with the other two sanctums housing Venugopala and Lakshminarasimha as usual.

The outer walls of the temple do have carvings of various gods, but the lack of precision that we are used to among the temples constructed under the guidance of Mallitamma the sculptor becomes very evident right from the outset. As the exact time of the temple construction is not known, it can be guessed that it was built just before or just after Mallitamma's peak period as a sculptor. Nevertheless, the carvings have their own beauty, and the main deities are as beautiful as you would see anywhere else among the Hoysala temples. In fact, you must see the statue of Channakeshava here to believe how beautiful it can be. After all, Channakeshava literally means "Beautiful Vishnu".

Here is a video:

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