- Chennakesava temple turns 900 years old this year
- It was commissioned by the Hoysala king in 1117 CE
- ASI hasn’t responded to the letter regarding the need to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the temple
New Delhi, July 15, 2017: Chennakesava temple, a real masterpiece and a fine example of Karnata-Dravida architecture, had its 900th anniversary this year. The temple completed 900 years of construction on March 10, However, the historic occasion was hardly marked by any celebration.
Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysala king commissioned the Chennakesava temple in 1117 CE. It has been established by the Researchers that the temple was built as a symbol of victory of King Vishnuvardhana. “Soon after winning a war in 1104, Vishnuvardhana took up the construction of the temple, and according to an inscription, the temple was ready by March 1117,” said Srivatsa Vati, a historian and an expert in Hoyasala architecture.
“It was Mr. Vati, who wrote to various departments, including the ASI, reminding them about the temple’s 900th anniversary and stressed the need to commemorate the occasion,” says The Hindu report.
The Muzrai Department and Hassan district administration responded positively, however, no response has been received from the ASI yet. The temple management committee discussed a series of programs, in a meeting, in order to mark the 900th anniversary of the monument. Religious programs were held as per the suggestions, under the leadership of the priest of the temple. Seminars, a sculpture workshop, competitions for college students, and a State-level Bharatanatyam competition, as a part of a nine-day event, were also suggested by Mr. Vati.
Uma alias Muddamma, president of Belur Town Municipal Council, said that they are still in the process of figuring out what events could be conducted to celebrate the 900 years of Chennakeshwara temple. “On an average, more than 10,000 people visit the temple during weekends. We need funds to develop road infrastructure in the area in addition to improving amenities for visitors. We have submitted a memorandum to chief minister Siddaramaiah seeking funds for development of the town and are awaiting his reply,” He informed.
The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is a marvellous example of the Hoysala architecture and forms a crucial part of their legacy. It is indeed disappointing that the celebration of 900 years of the temple is not being given due importance.
The Chennakesava temple originally referred to as the Vijayanarayana temple is situated on the Yagachi River at Belur. It has also been proposed for the UNESCO World Heritage tag. The temple attracts a large number of tourists every year.
Prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha