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 Somnathapura, Mysore

    Somnathapura near Mysore houses the Kesava temple - the last great temple built by the Hoysala dynasty.

The village of Somanathapura is named after a minister by name Soma in the court of the Hoysala king Narasimha III (13th century CE), who founded it.

The Kesava temple is a fantastic piece of art. It consists of three identical shrines built on a raised platform - with a common entrance chamber in an enclosed courtyard.

The main shrine is dedicated to Kesava; however there is no image of worship now. The other shrines are dedicated to Janardhana and Venugopala.

These shrines are only about 30 feet in height. Yet they are covered profusely with ornate sculpture of the highest order, as seen in the Hoysala temples of Belur and Halebidu, with themes from the Indian epics, nature and so on.

An open corridor runs around the circumambulatory path and it has sixty four cells, meant for housing images of divinities (as in the kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram). These cells are now bereft of images.

 

 

 

 

 

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