• Sahana Kulkarni

Hoysala temple of Somanathapura. A visual treat.

India is a land of temples from ages. Hindu as a religion has many gods and so as the temples. One such temple is situated in a town called Somanathapura, dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava or Vishnu. Somanathapura is a small town situated near to Mysore. The Hoysala kings built this temple in 12th century which is no less than an architechtural wonder. I have been to many temples till date and this is the temple which is so impressive that i would surely love to visit this place again.

Chennakeshava temple, Somanathapura

Outside of the temple

As soon as you enter the temple premises, there is a large stone with the inscription written on it in Halegannada(Old Kannada). It is said that it mainly talks about the people who built this temple and also the restoration work that took place during the Vijayanagara kingdom.

Inscription written on a large stone

The temple has its base on a star shaped platform. Intricate carvings of the temple is a visual treat. The artisans were so skillful even in olden days where there were no machinery tools available for such delicate work. Outer wall of the temple is adorned with the carvings which narrates the tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Outer wall of temple

At the lower walls of the temple one can find the elephants, horses and soldiers fighting the war. Also there is carvings of the peacock.

One of the scenes where a soldier is fighting the war.

Inside the temple

Inside the temple the ceiling is carved with different designs. It represents the different stages of the blooming of banana flower. There are many pillars which are sharp edged or disc shaped. There are sanctums for Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu, Lord Venkateshwara. The statues are around 4ft tall and are fenced, well lit with the lights. There is no puja performed to these idols as they were vandalised here and there during the war when the muslim king invaded this place. So sad to see such wonderful temples and carvings being destroyed in the name of war.

One more such vast and beautiful place which was the victim of invasion is the Hampi, famously referred to as Halu Hampi( 'Halu' means destroyed in Kannada ).

Ceiling of Somanathapura temple

Pillars inside the temple.

Lord Krishna

Lord Vishnu

If you get a chance do visit this place. This is a good place for a day trip from Bangalore.

Time Required: 2 hrs

Rating: 4.5/5

Best time of the day to visit: Anytime

How to reach?

  1. Town/City nearby : Mysore.

  2. Other attractions nearby : Shivanasamudra, Talakadu, Gaganachukki and Bharachukki water falls.

  3. Transportation : There are KSRTC buses from Bangalore as well as Mysore.



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