At a distance of 82 km from Kemmangundi, 64 km from Chikmagalur, 27 km from Belur & 12 km from Halebid, Belavadi is a village situated in Chikmagalur District and is famous for Sri Veera Narayana Temple built in Hoysala architectural style. The place is described as Ekachakranagara of Mahabharata and is said to be the place where Pandava prince Bheema killed the demon Bakasura and protected the village and its people.
The Veera Narayana temple was built in 13th century by the Hoysala King Veera Bhallala II. This temple is dedicated to Load Vishnu in three different forms. While Belur and Halebid are famous for their intricate sculpture, this temple is one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. The west side of the temple consists of a square garbhagriha, a sukanasi, Ranga mandapa and square maha mantapa. The whole structure has been constructed on a raised platform. The entire temple is built out of soapstone and is believed that this temple was constructed in two phases. The temple is in trikuta style (three vimanas) with Sri Veera Narayana in the center facing east, Sri Venugopala facing north and Sri Yoganarasimha facing south. The shrines of Lord Krishna and Lord Narayana were added later on.
The entrance to the temple is majestic and has two carved elephants on either side of the gateway. The older shrine is in the center, while the two other shrines face each other across a long Mandapa. The Ranga mandapa of Veera Narayana shrine has beautiful bell shaped pillars and a well decorated roof. The outer walls of the temple have beautifully carved pilasters with decorative towers on top. The main shrine has an 8 feet tall image of Veera Narayana with four hands which is considered one of the best examples of Hoysala art.
The two newer shrines are connected by an open Mandapa. These two shrines have different plans. One is square while the other is star shaped. The vimanas, the Sukanasi and the outer walls are covered with intricately carved sculptures. The northern shrine has a 7 feet tall idol of Yoganarasimha in a sitting posture, holding Shanka and Chakra, with Sridevi and Bhoodevi standing on either side. The southern shrine has a wonderful 8 feet image of Venugopala playing flute. On either side of Venugopala stand Rukmini and Satyabhama. This is one of the most beautiful Krishna sculptures.
Ganesha Temple is about 300 meters from Veera Narayana Temple and worth a visit.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM