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ChennaKeshava Temple , Somanathapura , Part 1 , Bangalore picnic spots

In this article we share our visit experience of "ChennaKeshava Temple"  at Somanathapura , a panchayat town in Mysore district which attracts with its serene beauty and historic spots - 140 kms from Bangalore.

Also known as 'Keshava Temple ' , this is one among the top master piece structures built by our ancestors dating hundreds of years. We cover in detail most of the parts of this temple we could explore - 

History of this temple 

Somanathapura the place which was earlier under the rule of the Cholas , was conquered by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana in AD 1117 . Later it was ruled by the Vijayanagara kings and wadeyars of Mysore. It became one of the foremost agrahara townships during the rule of Narasimha III. An inscription dated AD 1268 records that Somanatha Dandanayaka, an illustrious general of the Hoysala king Narasimha III , established an agrahara in Somnathapura and named it as 'Vidyanidhi Prasanna Somanatahapura' and consecrated the temple of Keshava. The temple is the most ornate and perfect model of Hoysala style of architecture. The temple facing east has three garbhagrihas on the west, north and south, all connected to a common pillared hall through a separate sukanasi. The western sanctum houses the image of Vishnu as Keshava. The southern has the image of Venugopala and the northern has image of Janardhana. The temple 
stands on a high stellate platform and is enclosed in a spacious courtyard surrounded by pillared corridors with sub-shrines. The temple is known for elaborately carved doorways and beautifully executed ceilings of the Navaranga mandapa. The friezes of the basement , beautiful images of the deities adorning the exterior wall surfaces with names of the sculptors who carved them like Mallitamma, the highly decorated and beautifully proportioned super structure resting on the three sanctums , known for their poise and elegance render the keshava temple a perfect model of the Trikutachala order

This is one of the heritage sites and is maintained by the archaeological department of Karnataka. 

Old Inscriptions 
Inscriptions engraved on a huge slab standing in the Mahadwara and on the beams of the navaranga ranging in date from 1269-1550 AD,  give the details of the construction of the temple and several grants for the upkeep of the temple.
Temple side View

Temple outside carvings side view

Temple side view
Our team visited here on a cloudy Sunday noon around 2.30 PM. There is a minimal entry fee of Rs.5 for Indians and around Rs.100 for foreigners. Photography charges are extra.

Temple Mahadwara view from outside Park

Cranes in the temple park
Temple is open from morning 9 AM till evening 5 PM. There is no pooja conducted at this temple and is only a tourist spot now. There are no hotels / restaurants nearby to this temple except few petty shops selling snacks and savories. Read on the next parts of this article where we cover the temple internals and exterior awesome carvings and structures. - Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4 Part5

Do visit this spot and share your experience. Check out our touring spots guide for more details on other spots