Detail, Temple at Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)


This photograph from the ‘Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore’ was taken by  Dr. A.C.B.Neill in 1856. Pictured here is the outer wall of the pillared hall of the temple. 

The photographer has finely captured the carved rows and niches of the adhisthana (temple base)jali vatayana (netted wall), and the pilasters on the bhitti (body/wall) of the temple.

The adhisthana (temple base) has the Gajathara (row of elephants), a row of nasikas (arches), a row of grass veils in circular patterns with depictions of minute sculptures inside, a row of mini kirti mukhas, and a panel of gods and goddesses.

The temple is recognized as having Hoysala features. Hoysala style of architecture is a continuation of the Kalyani Chalukyan experiment. The Hoysalas adopted their own aesthetics, and artistic styles brought about by local artisans and masons with additional improvements and innovations made to the existing Chalukyan School. James Fergusson, the author of this album, informs the temple being characteristic of Chalukyan Architecture. 

The photographer, Dr. Andrew Charles Brisbane Neill, attended the Indian Medical Services from 1838 to 1858. He was a member of the Photographic Society of Bengal and had documented the architecture at Belur and Halebid. Neill was the third photographer to contribute prints to ‘Architecture of Mysore and Dharwar’. Working in the Mysore region in the mid-1850s, he may have accompanied Linnaeus Tripe, the Madras Government Photographer, on his photographic expeditions in South India. In 1885, his prints were exhibited at ‘Madras Industrial Exhibition of Raw products, Art, and Manufacture of South India’.

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Detail, Temple at Belloor (Chennakeshava Temple, Belur)
Album Title
Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore, 1866
Dr. A. C. B. Neill
James Fergusson
John Murray
Albumen Print from waxed paper negative
H: 35 cm x W:50.2 cm
Accession No.