The Chennakesava Temple
Belur Travel Blog› entry 27 of 37 › view all entries
This doesn’t mean this temple in Belur is less impressive than the Hoysaleswara temple in Halebid. The walls of this temple are also completely covered in sculptures, but it is striking that the inside of this temple is more noticeable than the one in Halebid.
But maybe we are just getting too tired to notice. This is the third temple of the day, and no matter how gorgeous it is, it’s a whole lot less exciting than the first temple we’ve seen today.
I do get a book on the Hoysala Empire and the temples in Halebid and Belur, since the heritage of these people has intrigued me.
Seated in the bus that Ajit drives to our hotel, I read that a notable feature of the Hoysala kingdom was the involvement of women (especially women of royalty) in administrative matters. Queen Umadevi governed Halebid when her husband Veera Ballala II was absent and she also fought wars against other tribes.
Women strongly participated in music, dance, literature, poetry and politics as well. Queen Shantala Devi was well educated in dance and music and regularly held public performances.
Temple dancers were common in temples and most of them were not only educated but also accomplished in arts.
The feminist inside me leaps with joy when reading about this early emancipation. I never expected these Hoysala people to be THIS interesting!