1 - 2 Hours
Sri Chennakesava Temple referred as Prasanna Chennakeshava Temple or Keshava Temple also known as Somnathpur Temple one of the finest masterpieces of Hoysala Architecture is located on the banks of Holy river Kaveri is a tiny tranquil town of Somanathapura just 36 km from the historic Mysore city and 135 km from Bangalore and just 25 km from Talakadu 42 km from Shivana Samudra 38 km from Ranganatittu bird sanctuary. is one of the three temples of the kind to be nominated in the Unesco World Heritage list. The other two temples that represent Hoysala temple’s architectural brilliance are located at Belur and Halebid.
Sri Chennakesava Temple is an excellent example of the spectacular Hoysala style of architecture The temple was consecrated in 1258 CE by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. Somanathapura, meaning Somanatha’s town in Kannada, is named after him. The Chennakesava temple is one of the 1500 temples built by the Hoysala Empire kings in different parts of their kingdom.
Dedicated to Keshava, the god Vishnu under his three aspects, it consists of three shrines approached through a pillared mandapa. On the outer walls of the temple, at the lower levels, there are friezes with elephants, horses, makaras (mythical sea-creatures), geese and foliated scrolls. Then, a procession of gods richly encrusted with jewels and ornaments is set in the various projections of the walls created by the stellate plan of the sanctuaries. Above the panels, pilasters support miniature towers and an angled eave with fringe projects above.
Somnathpur Temple History
The famous Keshava Temple in Somnathpur was built in 1268 A.D. when the Hoysala rule had completed 260 years. Built by the army commander of King Narasimha III, Somnath set up this project to glorify Hoysala craftsmanship. several other Hoysala style temples were also built in the city but all these except the Lakshmi Narasimha temple have disappeared or are in ruins after the wars between the Hindu kingdoms and Muslim sultanates ravaged the region. The temple was created not only to seek blessings of the lord but also to showcase the enviable brilliance of Hoysala architecture and to represent its grandeur and intricate craftsmanship. At the entrance of the temple, you can see a stone slab with inscriptions on the temple’s history carved on it. One can read in detail about the temple.
The architecture of Somanathapura Temple
The whole Somnathpur Temple is constructed on a broad raised platform so that the devotees may perform a pradakshina of the temple. The temple is built stellar in shape, adorned with three abounding carved pinnacles with a common Navranga.
The outer walls of the temples are decorated with beautiful carvings. The platform on which the temple stands is adorned with two seated lions. The temple is structured in a series of bands, winding around a star from the building. The main entrance of the temple complex is on the east side of the courtyard. The main shrine at the center is bounded by rectangular premises of subsidiary shrines and cloisters.
In the entire temple sculptures of elephants can be seen in different stance and poise, that are decorated with chains and bells. The main three idols housed in the temples of Lord Kesava, Janardhana and Venugopala. But the idol of Lord Kesava is missing at present, while the other two still can be seen in their original form.
Unfortunately, this temple is no longer used as a place of worship because the idols have been broken and desecrated by the invading Muslim armies. However, the beauty of the temple still charms thousands of visitors who visit the site to witness the magnificent artistic and engineering achievements of the era.
9 AM to 5.30 PM
Rs.5 for Indians and Rs.100 for Foreign tourist
- do take their guide service if you want to understand the architecture and history related to it.
- Plan your visit in the morning to ensure a chance to see the interiors of the temple in good sunlight condition.
- There are no coffee shops or restaurants nearby so carry proper food or snacks.
- Carry torchlight for viewing the designs inside the temple.
- the temple stone will become very warm because of the Sun so wear thick socks.
|January to December|
|Monday||09:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
|Tuesday||09:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
|Wednesday||09:00 AM - 09:00 AM|
|Thursday||09:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
|Friday||09:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
|Saturday||09:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
|Sunday||09:00 AM - 05:30 PM|
|Last Admission||05:15 PM|
Things to carry
Things Not Allowed