Belur - A day out to sketch

When I was in School, I had once visited Belur with my family. During that visit, I had seen an artist from the West making a sketch the temple. I was very impressed by it and being a budding artist back then, stood next to him observing his work. The moment has stayed with me forever and some day, I wished to do something similar. Several years later, on the 24th of May, I planned a similar outing. I decided to go to Belur for a sketching exercise. 

The Chennakeshava temple of Belur is one of my favorite places on earth. I can sit there for hours observing the intricate art work. Every time, I find something new, some detail that I had failed to observe before. 

I took an early morning bus to Hassan. At Hassan, I boarded   another bus that was heading to Belur. Belur is located 38km from Hassan. There are plenty of buses from the main bus station. You can read some more details about the temple  in my previous post

While there, I first went around the temple, observing the sculptures crafted by Jakannachari and his team around 900 years ago. Belur remains as one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. 

After a quick viewing, I headed to the lunch hall located opposite to the temple entrance. Every day, free lunch is served to visitors. You could donate some money if you like. The food is served around 1 PM. After a modest meal, I headed back to the temple. This time, I had enough time to view the exteriors and pick a subject for my sketch. 

It is always difficult to pick one sculpture because they are all fascinating. Once I had decided on what I was going to draw, I sat at one corner of the verandah attached to the compound wall.

While I sat there drawing, a few visitors came and spoke to me. It was great interacting with them. It was also funny that a few took a selfie with me as if I were a celebrity. But it was encouraging. Unfortunately, I had less time to complete a detailed sketch. I settled in for a rough draft and headed back to the bus station. If you leave Belur by 5 PM, you shall reach Bangalore around 10 or 10:30 PM. 

It was a wonderful day. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience that clubbed my interests such as art, travel, history and socialising. I wish to do more such trips. 

An update on the sketches from this trip completed back at home.