Belur, Karnataka, Chennakesava Temple

This amazing temple in South India was buried to protect it from destruction by Aurangzeb's iconoclasts. So its wonderful sculptures survive undamaged. These photos are just a few of details that caught my eye. It's famous for its massive soapstone pillars, turned on vertical elephant-powered lathes when the stone was still soft. The soapstone was an excellent medium for very elaborate sculptures of the deities.
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Dancing Ganesh, with fresh tikka offerings.

Dancing Ganesh from Chennakesava Temple, Belur, Karnataka

Vishnu Narasimha (part animal, part god) destroying the demon king, Hiranyakashipu, on his knees, on a threshold, with his claws, thus avoiding the prohibitions giving Hiranyakashipu immortality.

Vishnu Narasimha (part animal, part god) destroying the demon king, Hiranyakashipu, on his knees, on a threshold, with his claws, thus avoiding the prohibitions giving Hiranyakashipu immortality.

Lathe-turned pillars, made from a soapstone which hardens on contact with the air. The vertical lathes were elephant-powered.

Lathe-turned pillars, made from a soapstone which hardens on contact with the air. The vertical lathes were elephant-powered.

Temple musicians, on sax and drums...cool.

Temple musicians, on sax and drums...cool.

Chennakesava Temple, Belur, Karnataka

Chennakesava Temple, Belur, Karnataka

Donkey Devi from the exterior of the temple

Donkey Devi from the exterior of the temple


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