Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Close-up detail of banded carved work and mouldings on east wall of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur, with lathe-turned columns and pierced stone window openings above. Belur, a small town on the banks of the Yagachi in the Hassan district of Karnataka, was the capital of the Hoysalas in the 11th and 12th centuries, before they shifted to Halebid. The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is considered one of the finest examples of early Hoysala architecture. It was built in 1117 AD by King Vishnuvardhana to mark his independence from the powerful Chalukyas of whom he had been a feudatory, and his defeat of the powerful Cholas at Talakad. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description of this photograph: 'This and the three next views are representations of portions of the eastern facade of the porch. The same style of decoration extends round to the northern front, where the carvings are similar, though not in such good preservation. In these four views, the lower part, with the elephant frieze, is omitted, as is also the upper part of the windows, but they all show the lower scroll with the fringe-like cornice below it, which is as beautiful as anything to be found in India, and will in fact bear comparison with any architectural decoration to be found elsewhere, except in the best Greek styles.'