The temple was built by Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 117 AD, (222 kms from Banglore. 40 kms from Hassan.) Bellur. Karnataka State. (There are bracket figures on the corner out of which 38 are outside of the temple and 4 are inside. Every figure attracts the visitors on its own merits. Temple of Channakeshava - At a distance of about 220 Kms from the metro city of Bangalore, Belur is considered as the Banaras of South and is thus also known as Dakshina Varanasi. A small town located on the banks of River Yagachi, it is very popular for its spectacular temples which are among the best if one wants to study temple architecture. According to inscriptions, the Channakeshava Temple was built to memorialize king Vishuvardhana's conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. He commemorated his conversion by the formation of many temples of unmatched brilliance, of which the temple of Channakeshava was no doubt the best.
The Channakeshava Temple stands tall, giving a feeling that one is entering an ostentatious royal court. As one steps onto the temples in karnataka revered platform, in a corner of the vast courtyard are tossed a golden horse and a temple chariot. The winged figure of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's carrier, stands at the entry, facing the temple, its palms touching in homage. The main structure of the temple stands as a homogenous architectural unit on a raised platform. The entire structure with its intricate ornamentation shimmers like metal.The surface of the temple exterior is intricately filled with horizontal friezes, sculptured in succession from the bottom. Stories from the Puranas, Upanishads and other mythological stories have been executed in the most authentic way.
A interesting sight with in the sanctum are the ancient jet-black Hoysala pillars, covered with bright vermilion smeared on by devotees. The main temple is surrounded by Temples of Soumyanayaki and Ranganayaki, beloveds of Sri Chennakesava.
Temple Timings : 7.30 a.m to 8 p.m
Inner sanctum of main Deity closed from 10 to11 a.m, 1 to 3 p.m, 5 to 6.15p.m
Guide fee Rs 125 to 250 (Many Government appointed Tour Guides are available to show around the temple)