Chennakeshava Temple, Aralaguppe

The Chennakeshava temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, is located in Aralaguppe, a small town in Karnataka state, India.[1] Aralaguppe is located 60 km from the city of Hassan. The temple was built around 1250 during the rule of the Hoysala Empire King Vira Someshwara.[2] The temple is a protected monument under the Karnataka state division of the Archaeological Survey of India.[3]

Chennakeshava Temple
Hindu temple
Chennakeshava temple (1250 A.D.) at Aralaguppe
Chennakeshava temple (1250 A.D.) at Aralaguppe
DistrictTumkur District
 • OfficialKannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)

Temple planEdit

Chennakeshava temple at Aralaguppe, mantapa outer wall molding frieze and panel relief between and below eves

Though the temple is simple and elegant, it is a highly articulate example of Hoysala architecture. Architecturally, the plan is 16-star pointed (stellate) with a well design shikhara (tower) over the vimana (shrine). The kalasa on top (a decorative water-pot at the top of the tower[4]) is missing though.[5] The tower starts with a topping roof which is also 16-star pointed and is followed by four tiers of square roofs, some of which still have their decorative kalasa.[5][6]

This is a ekakuta plan (single shrine with a tower) with the temple raised on a platform called jagati.[7][8] The decorative plan of the walls of the shrine and the mantapa (hall) is of the "new kind", a plan in which the temple has two eaves. The first heavy eave runs below the superstructure and all around the temple with a projection of about half a meter. The second eave runs around the temple about a meter below the first. In between the two eaves are the well chiseled miniature decorative towers (aedicula) on pilasters. Below the second eaves are the wall panel of images of Hindu deities and their attendants in relief.[5][6][9] Below this, at the base, are the six equal-width rectangular moldings (frieze). Starting from the top, the friezes depict hansa (birds) in the first frieze, makara (aquatic monsters) in the second, epics and other stories in the third (which in this case is from the Hindu epic Ramayana and stories of Krishna), leafy scrolls in the fourth, horses in the fifth and elephants at the bottom.[10] The cella (sanctum) contains an image of Keshava (a version of the Hindu god Krishna) raised on a large pedestal.[5]



  1. ^ "General Information-Tumkur District Tourist Places". Deputy Commissioners Office. National Informatics Center. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. ^ Foekema (1996), p 39
  3. ^ "Protected Monuments in Karnataka". Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^ Foekema (1996), p 27
  5. ^ a b c d Foekema (1996), p 40
  6. ^ a b Kamath (2001), p 134
  7. ^ Foekema (1996), p 21, p 25
  8. ^ Kamath (2001), p 135
  9. ^ Foekema (1996), p 28
  10. ^ Foekema (1996), p 29, p 40


  • Gerard Foekema, A Complete Guide to Hoysala Temples, Abhinav, 1996 ISBN 81-7017-345-0
  • Kamath, Suryanath U. (2001) [1980]. A concise history of Karnataka: from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books. LCCN 80905179. OCLC 7796041.