Somnathpur Temple

Location  : South West Of Bangalore, Karnataka
Consecrated In : 1268 A.D
Built By : Somnath
Dedicated To : Lord Keshava

The Village
Somnathpur, an ancient village of Karnataka, is located on the left bank of the Kaveri River (40 kms from Mysore and 180 kms from Bangalore).  Somnath, Army Commander of Narasimha III (1254-91 A.D.) of Hoysala dynasty, founded this village named it after himself.

Plan for the temple building
Somnath requested the king to grant him permission and resources for his building the temple at Somnathpur in  Hoysala style of architecture

The king not only permitted build the temple but also sanctioned an annual grant of 3,000 gold coins for maintenance.   Somnath summoned best of the craftsmen to construct a magnificent temple. All these facts are mentioned on the slab in the temple.

About the Temple
 Somnathpur temples are the windows to the historical past of Karnataka. It is for this reason that Somnathpur temples have been declared national heritage. One can explore the history of Karnatka through the Inscriptions in the temple.  Unlike other temples, even the idols and sculptures in the temple bear the names of the craftmen.   

Architeucture of the temple
The temples at Somnathpur are unique in design, perfect in symmetry and the stone carvings are really marvels in stone.  Hoysala architecture is at its best in this temple while compared with other hoysala temples.

The shrine stands in the middle of a walled compound. An open verandah runs around the shrine with 64 cells. The temple built  stellar in shape on a raised platform.  It has has three profusely carved pinnacles with a common Navranga. The three sanctums once housed beautifully carved idols of Kesava, Janardhana and Venugopala. Today the idol of Lord Kesava is missing, but the other two still adorn the sanctums.

Facts about Somnathpur Temple
Architectural Splendour  :  Belonging to Hoysala Dynasty.
Built In  : 11th and 12th century AD.
Temples Highlight  : Having 64 cells, Carved Pinnacles, Stellar Shape, Standing on a raised platform.
Most Famous Temple  :  Kesave Temple – Having Architectural sculptures displayed ion the walls.
Excursions  : Narasipur – 10 kms, Malavalli – 30 kms, Bannur – 7 kms.
Important Distance  : Mysore – 40 kms, Bangalore – 180 kms, Mangalore – 290 kms.

How to Reach
Air – The nearest airport is at Bangalore (180 kms). Regular flight of Jet airways and India operate between Bangalore and the rest of the country as well as world.
Rail – The nearest railhead is at Mysore (40 kms). The journey takes around 1 ½ hours and trains ply between Mysore and Somnathpur, and should be covered on a private vehicle or bus.
Road – Somnathpur is situated around 40 km off Mysore and well connected by road to Mysore and Bangalore, which is 180 km away.
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