DAILY PHOTO: Temple Dancer

Taken November 23, 2013 in Belur, India

Taken November 23, 2013 in Belur, India

This may be my last Daily Photo post for almost a  month. If I do get any in, they’ll be sporadic. However, upon my return I will have lots of new posting fodder from Malaysia and Thailand.

DAILY PHOTO: Temple Gate at Chennakeshava

Taken November 23, 2013 at Belur.

Taken November 23, 2013 at Belur.

This is the gate into the Chennakeshava temple in Belur. In the foreground is the base of a pillar that served to hold the temple lantern that let all find the temple in the darkness. (Fun fact: the pillar isn’t secured to the base. That is, it’s held in place by gravity.) The base is the same multi-sided shape as the temple mounts.

Below is a pic of the lantern pillar (it’s not as askew as it appears in the pic.) (Fun fact #2: if you type askew into Google’s browser it will twist the page askew.)

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DAILY PHOTO: Chennakeshava Temple at Belur

Taken November 23, 2013 at Belur.

Taken November 23, 2013 at Belur.

Chennakeshava temple at Belur is a Hoysala era temple to Vishnu–the deity of the Hindu trilogy responsible for processes of sustenance and evolution (as opposed to creation or destruction, which are the bailiwicks of Brahma and Shiva, respectively.)

This temple and its sister temple at Halebidu, Hoysaleshwara temple, are probably the most ornate structures I’ve seen anywhere in the world. They are covered with soapstone carvings arranged in several tiers. For example, the bottom layer is a series of elephants, each one unique. There is a layer that tells tales from the Mahabharata in pictures.

Soapstone is soft and easily worked when quarried, but it becomes hard enough to survive everything but looters as it’s exposed to the elements. You’ll note the “windows” carved in the rock to allow in light and breezes.

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