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Chennakeshava Temple

Gaurav Verma
20th Jul 17

Reviews (7)

Lekha Nair

Lekha Nair5.0/5

5 reviews

Somnathpura Temple- Marvellous Architecture

. Somnathpura-35kms from Mysore- well - feels like we have come into a different era . When we entered the place, we could just a garden & a compound wall - that's what was mentioned on the website also. The outside view is v plain, but inside view is just out of this world!   Luckily, we got a good guide! The Chennakesava temple was built by Hoysala dynasty in the 13th century. This temple had 3 idols - the main idol was taken by British people & is now kept in some museum there. The three idols were Keshava, Venugopala & Janardhana. Keshava idol is missing. There are scratches on the other two. Hence this place is a dead monument - the deities are not worshipped here. But that's such a pity, because its one of the best temples I have seen in my life time!  . The first look at the temple - and I totally fell in love with it! Such lovely architecture. It's got a star shaped base- which has a 1km perimeter. It's supposedly made of soap stone. The signature of the sculptor could be seen at many places.   The sculptures are designed in a horizontal rows one above the other - the lower ones having design of elephants, lions, warriors, etc. Also Ganesha, Lakshmi, Different Avatars of Vishnu - like Narasimha(with Lakshmi on her lap), Indira with the Airavat, Brahma, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha(with oval shaped earth in his hand), Vamana with his one leg raised up . Each sculpture of lion was supposedly different from the other!   There were sections of Mahabharata & Ramayana also- though not as much in detail as in Kailasa of Ellora. The shikhara is a combination of north & south architecture - again a speciality of Hoysalas. Once we entered inside, we could c many pillars & also that the ceiling was divided into many sections - showing design of lotus flower, banana flower, Each ceiling looked good & also was little different from each other. There is one idol of Vishnu holding the flute- Keshava, on  the opposite side is Janardhana. Though the original Keshava idol is missing, some other old idol has been kept there. Both the original idols have a shine - though it was a made using stone! There is a big deepasthamba outside the temple - which has supposedly lift every evening.

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Vinayaka Shetty

Vinayaka Shetty3.6/5

3 reviews


Somanathpura near Mysore famous for temple built with sculpture . Nice to watch the work of stone very beautiful and worth watching . Good roads from Mysore and Maddoor can visit Talakadu very near from there. The Temple at a height on the way to Talakadu is also very nice and ancient one . The beautiful scenes of Kaveri river is fantastic.

Somnathpur Overview

Somnathpur is situated in Mysore district in the state of Karnataka. The Kaveri River flows through this small city. Somnathpur is a small ancient village and is situated at a distance of 45 kilometres from Mysore and about 140 kilometres south-west of Bangalore. Somnathpur is considered as the village of temples and every year attracts many pilgrims to this holy place.

Somnathpur was set up during the 13th century and was ruled by rich and powerful rulers. The Hoysalas were the last dynasty that ruled this region. They had played a major role in constructing temples in the region and surrounding places. The name of the village was derived from the name of a Hoysala general, who commissioned the temple's construction.

The temples in this village represent the Hoysala architecture, which makes this place a significant village in the history of India. Somnathpur is renowned for its Chennakesava Temple, also known as Kesava or Keshava temple, which was constructed by Soma. He was a dandanayaka (commander) in 1268 CE under Hoysala king, Narasimha III.

The Keshava temple is one of the important tourist spots of Somnathpur. The temple is built on a star-shaped platform and has three carved pinnacles and shrines. The temple is dedicated to Lord Janardhana, Venugopala and Kesava.

Somnathpur is a place renowned for its culture, art and craft. Goravara Kunitha is one of the important folk dances of the village and is performed by locals. Gaarudi Gombe is also a folk dance and is performed during major festivals and the procession held during the celebrations of Dussehra. During this dance, dancers wear giant doll-suits made of bamboo sticks.
Nagamandala, another popular dance form, is a ritualistic dance performed by the locals. The folk artists perform other popular folk arts like Bessu Kamsale, Somanakunitha and Yasksghagana, as well.

Somnathpur is famous for sandalwood oil, incense sticks and other handicrafts. There are many local artisans that are involved in production of teak, ivory, rosewood and sandalwood carvings. Somnathpur is also famous for Mysore style painting of gods and goddesses.

Bangalore airport is the nearest airport serving the region, located at a distance of about 140 kilometers from Somnathpur. Mysore is the closest railway station to reach this place by train, with connectivity to all the major stations of Karnataka. Somnathpur is well connected by road to all the important cities of Karnataka. The best time to visit this place is between the months of September to March.

Photos of Somnathpur

Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur

Photo by

Hrish Thota

Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur
Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur

Photo by

Hrish Thota

Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur
Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur

Photo by

Hrish Thota

Chennakeshava Temple, Somnathpur

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