Chennakeshava Temple

Belur, Karnataka

#Historical and Heritage #Pilgrimage




Chennakesava is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and has been an active Hindu temple since its founding. It is reverentially described in medieval Hindu texts, and remains an important pilgrimage site in Vaishnavism. The temple is remarkable for its architecture, sculptures, reliefs, friezes as well its iconography, inscriptions and history.

Main temples here are Chennakeshava and Gangadareshwara Shrine.There are totally cut off from the tourist circuit. Kaidala previously known as ‘Kreedikapura’ got the name as Jakanachari got back his right hand after sculpting & establishing statue of Lord Channakeshava.

The temple of Lord Channakeshava in Kaidala looks like any other temple from outside. And what separates this temple from any other temples is the masterpiece by Jakanachari.

It is said that the statue in Kaidala is one of the last statues sculpted by Jakanachari. Sculpted in a black stone, the status is 6ft tall & the amount of details & intricacy is amazing.

The walls enclose the temple complex like a fort and a few mandapams lie scattered around.  The temple lacks the magnificence of the Belur Chennakeshava temple. The pillars are beautifully carved and sculptures adorn them. The outer wall of the temple has a small image of a couple who they think they are the parents of Jakanachari.


Jakanachari a famous sculpture leaves behind his wife and unborn child and travels far and wide to gain name & fame. Sculpting beautiful statues, constructing temples over a long period of time he forgets his family, in the mean while he reaches Hoysala kingdom where he agrees to sculpt deity Lord Channakeshava.

Meanwhile his son, Dankanachari leaves home in search of his father. On the day before the Channakeshava idol has to be installed  in Belur, Dankanachari reaches the place & claims that there is a flaw in the idol, Jakanachari refuses to accept that there could be a blemish and proclaims that he will cut off his own hand if a flaw is found.

A test was conducted and the statue was covered with sandle paste, and for his surprise the paste dried up everywhere except in the navel area.They find a live frog living in the sand and water nestled inside the cavity. Jakanachari cuts his hand after his son finds the flaw. Hence the statue become famous as ‘Kappe Channigaraya’ (Kappe means Frog in Kannada).

Later Jakanacahri gets a vision to construct a temple at his home town.  Both father-son duo move to Kaidala where it is said that Jakanachari got back his hand after he completed the Chennakeshava statue.

Temple Timings

  • 8.30 AM to 12.30 PM and 6.30 PM to 8.30 PM.
  • On Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 10.30 AM  – 2.30 PM  and 5.30 PM – 8.30 PM.


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