Location of Somanathapura:
It is about 35 km from Mysore, should take about 45 min. There are many KSRTC buses I guess.
I had to find my way from Nanjangud, since I was staying in Nanjangudu.
I took a bus from Nanjangudu to T. Narasipura. Tirumanakudalu Narasipura. From T Narasipura I took another KSRTC bus to Somanathapura. Narasipura – Bannur route passes through Somanathapura.
I left Nanjangudu around 0630 and reached Somanathapura by 0800 hrs. Buses are not so frequent. Road is good. If you have your vehicle, drive on. Nice green patch, full of paddy field.
Somanathapura is a sleepy town. I got down the bus to see many local villagers sitting under trees looking at me as I was a total stranger.
There was not a single guy around who was a tourist. I felt happy since there would not be any crowd and I could take pictures with out any hassle.
I asked some one about the temple. He showed the main entrance of manicured garden with an iron gate just few mtrs across.
The board says – Entry Time is 0830 hrs to 1700 hrs.
Hmm….. 30 minutes I had to wait. There were small tea shops and I sat sipping a glass of hot milk and waited for 30 minutes.
Entry Fees :
Rs. 25 per person – Indian. Rs 300 per person for foreigner. Rs 25 additional if you want to make videos. You can not make videos with an actor. No photoshoot with people I guess. No pre wedding photoshoot I guessed again.
The place is a heritage place and managed by ASI, and is maintained well. The temple is now just a heritage place and no Pooja, worship. After taking Darshana of the deities I felt bit sad, that no worship, no Alankara, no Veda Ghosha, yet felt blessed seeing beautiful Idols of Sri Venugopla, Sri Janardhana, Sri Keshava.
The temple is amazingly beautiful. Resembles Sri Channakeshava Temple at Belur.
It has three sanctum sanctorum ( Garba Griha ) for three deities and a common hall (Navaranga).
Pictures speak more than words. So enjoy the pictures.
Information board about the Temple put up by authorities.
The Temple was built some time in 13th century by Hoysala kings. Somanatha was an high ranking officer at Hoysala kingship, who built the said Temple.
The temple outer wall has beautiful sculptures depicting the Hindu Purana, Itihaasa events, gods and demigods. I could not recognise many sculptures but could not stop complimenting the architects, builders, artisans who built such a beautiful temple. So much of detailing and work they had to do to build the marvel.
Beautiful Sri Venugopala – one of the main deities. I did not get the good images of other two, due to poor lighting.
Sri Vishnu relaxing on Shesha. A rare posture.
Another Devi statue
A Brahma Statue
Statue of Varaha ?
Rows of Elephants, Horses and foot soldiers
Sri Vishnu with Laxmi
Mahishasura Mardini ?
Intricate carved ceiling inside the temple. there were many more. I could get only few good images.
Every statue is differently carved. So nicely designed and placed.
Most of the statues are defaced in one or the other way, most faces are disfigured by invaders, unfortunately. Whoever vandalised the temple, were surely filled with hatred or they were absolutely stupid not to appreciate such beauty.
It was good to be early at the temple. I took good round of temple and clicked clean pictures. By 0930 hrs group of tourists started to arrive.
With crowd around you get such pictures and editing them is a painstakingly long process and in the process, the picture will lose the quality.
Above was no crowd but look at the guys
There were lot of foreign tourists along with local crowd.
Time for me to move to my next spot – Talakadu. I had planned to cover two spots on the same day.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Talakaadu – next post.
In the region the bus service is not so frequent. Shared autos ply quite regular and less expensive. I took a shared auto from Somanathapura to Mudukutore. Again another shared auto to reach Talakadu. I was there by 1100 hrs.
An architectural marvel standing testimony of the rich culture of the bygone era.
The skill, knowledge and will to build such land mark temples with such great details are something which is beyond our comprehension in today’s context.