Somnathpur Temple in Karnataka
The Somnathpur temple in Karnataka enshrines Lord Keshava located in a small village called Somnathpur near Mysore. It was by Hoysala general Somanatha a popular commander dated at the time of 1268 A.D. This Somnathpur temple was the last and best-preserved temple of all other major Hoysala temples in Karnataka state.
Somnathpur temple entrance faces to the east framed by lathe-turned columns. The temple is built in a star shaped platform enclosed in a walled courtyard that has a gate and a porch. The platform sides are decorated with its rich carvings that portrays rows of cavalry, scenes from the epics and elephants. The Somnathpur temple is built on a Large platform to enable devotees to perform a pradakshina and gives a wonderful view of the temple carvings on the outer wall surface. The platform on which the temple stands is guarded by seated lions.
The temple of Somnathpur depicts the grandness of Hoysala rulers. The names of the sculptors are inscribed on their works, which was a common practice during the reign of the Hoysalas. The three temples are housed with beautifully carved idols of lord Kesava, lord Venugopala and lord Janardhana. The idol of Lord Janardhana is in the northern sanctums and the idol of Lord Venugopala housed in the southern sanctum. But today, the idol of Lord Kesava is missing but the other two still adorn the sactum in their original form. The temple walls have sculptures of Gods and various forms of Lord Vishnu. The Somnathpur temple has three intricately carved pinnacles and a common Navranga.
History of Somnathpur temple :
Hoysala general Somanatha was a popular commander during Hoysala empire and he founded a village on the banks of the Cauvery and then embarked on constructing temples in a bid to further his immortality. This Kesava Temple known as Somnathpur temple was built about 740 years ago in 1268.