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Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka

Tour to Somnathpur: The Hoysalas were a mighty marital race that ruled large parts of the present-day Karnataka between AD 1100 and 1320. They built some of the great masterpieces in temple architecture and sculpture. Their reign was noted for its peace and a leisurely life and so they were able to encourage talent of all kinds. They also encouraged a healthy sense of competition between artisans who were allowed to sign their names below their creations something unheard of before their times and this served as an incentive. The Hoysala ruler commissioned the building of temples as an act of thanksgiving after their victories in the battlefield. Victory then imbued art with incredible intricacy. From the fine inscription on the slab at the entrance porch of the Kesava temple, we learn that Somnath, a high-ranking officer under the Hoysala king Narasimha III (AD 1254-1291) established the village as an agrahara or rent-free settlement for the people in the surrounding areas. He then named it Somnathpur after himself. He had this Vishnu temple constructed in it in AD 1268. Written on April 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm by admin Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka Filed under Karnataka Tour ancient, karnataka, Somnathpur no comments This post contains information about "Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka". Tour to Somnathpur: The Hoysalas were a mighty marital race that ruled large parts of the present-day Karnataka between AD 1100 and 1320. They built some of the great masterpieces in temple architecture and sculpture. Their reign was noted for its peace and a leisurely life and so they were able to encourage talent of all kinds. They also encouraged a healthy sense of competition between artisans who were allowed to sign their names below their creations something unheard of before their times and this served as an incentive. The Hoysala ruler commissioned the building of temples as an act of thanksgiving after their victories in the battlefield. Victory then imbued art with incredible intricacy. From the fine inscription on the slab at the entrance porch of the Kesava temple, we learn that Somnath, a high-ranking officer under the Hoysala king Narasimha III (AD 1254-1291) established the village as an agrahara or rent-free settlement for the people in the surrounding areas. He then named it Somnathpur after himself. He had this Vishnu temple constructed in it in AD 1268. Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka The Prasanna Channa Kesava temple is the creation of the master architect and sculptor Jakanachari, who left his wife and son, to travel in his quest for a living and fame. Eventually, he approached the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana, a patron of the arts, who employed him to create this marvel of a temple. The excellence of his perfect design and delicate craftsmanship became the envy of the gods who wanted to steal it. They caused the shrine to rise heavenward. Shocked and angry, Jakanachari thought that the only way he could retain the structure on the ground was to make it a little imperfect. He instantly disfigured some of the carvings on the outer walls. Once the gods found that the perfection was marred, they coveted it no longer and allowed it to sink to the ground. In the process, its traditional flagstone got dislodged from its original position and since then stands to the left of the main entrance. The Kesava temple at Somnathpur is one of the most famous Hoysala temples in Karnataka, the two others at Belur and Halebid being equally famous. The temple built in AD 1268 is considered an example of the fully evolved style of Hoysala architecture. It is situated in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by an open veranda, which contains 64 cells. It stands on a raised platform about three feet high, which closely follows the contour of the structure and is supported at angles by figures of elephants facing outwards. The temple is a trikutachala or three-celled, star-shaped structure, the main cell facing east and the other two, north and south respectively. All these cells are surmounted by three elegantly carved towers that are identical in design and execution. The front elevation with the three towers presents an imposing appearance and has inspired craftsmen to design silver and gold caskets on this model. Written on April 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm by admin Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka Filed under Karnataka Tour ancient, karnataka, Somnathpur no comments This post contains information about "Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka". Tour to Somnathpur: The Hoysalas were a mighty marital race that ruled large parts of the present-day Karnataka between AD 1100 and 1320. They built some of the great masterpieces in temple architecture and sculpture. Their reign was noted for its peace and a leisurely life and so they were able to encourage talent of all kinds. They also encouraged a healthy sense of competition between artisans who were allowed to sign their names below their creations something unheard of before their times and this served as an incentive. The Hoysala ruler commissioned the building of temples as an act of thanksgiving after their victories in the battlefield. Victory then imbued art with incredible intricacy. From the fine inscription on the slab at the entrance porch of the Kesava temple, we learn that Somnath, a high-ranking officer under the Hoysala king Narasimha III (AD 1254-1291) established the village as an agrahara or rent-free settlement for the people in the surrounding areas. He then named it Somnathpur after himself. He had this Vishnu temple constructed in it in AD 1268. Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka The Prasanna Channa Kesava temple is the creation of the master architect and sculptor Jakanachari, who left his wife and son, to travel in his quest for a living and fame. Eventually, he approached the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana, a patron of the arts, who employed him to create this marvel of a temple. The excellence of his perfect design and delicate craftsmanship became the envy of the gods who wanted to steal it. They caused the shrine to rise heavenward. Shocked and angry, Jakanachari thought that the only way he could retain the structure on the ground was to make it a little imperfect. He instantly disfigured some of the carvings on the outer walls. Once the gods found that the perfection was marred, they coveted it no longer and allowed it to sink to the ground. In the process, its traditional flagstone got dislodged from its original position and since then stands to the left of the main entrance. The Kesava temple at Somnathpur is one of the most famous Hoysala temples in Karnataka, the two others at Belur and Halebid being equally famous. The temple built in AD 1268 is considered an example of the fully evolved style of Hoysala architecture. It is situated in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by an open veranda, which contains 64 cells. It stands on a raised platform about three feet high, which closely follows the contour of the structure and is supported at angles by figures of elephants facing outwards. The temple is a trikutachala or three-celled, star-shaped structure, the main cell facing east and the other two, north and south respectively. All these cells are surmounted by three elegantly carved towers that are identical in design and execution. The front elevation with the three towers presents an imposing appearance and has inspired craftsmen to design silver and gold caskets on this model. Tour to Ancient Somnathpur in Karnataka The outer walls of the temple have a number of railed parapets running the whole way round the shrine. They contain, beginning from the bottom, running friezes of beautiful sculptures of caparisoned elephants, charging horsemen, swans, mythological beasts and scrolls. Besides, there are more running friezes depicting themes from the Indian epics, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Puranas. There are turreted niches with small images of lions separating them. Above them and below the eaves are perforated screens. The outer walls are an art connoisseur’s delight. They contain elaborately carved sculptures of Vishnu and other deities-as many as 194 idols, of which 114 are female figures. The gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are represented by the majority of figures of Vishnu and his many incarnations such as Narasimha, Varaha, Hayagriva and Venugopala. There are also elegantly sculptured figures of Brahma, Shiva and Indra seated on the elephant Airavata. There is an exceptionally beautiful figure of Saraswati, the goddess of learning and of Durga as

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Somanathapur Archeology Nearest Attraction

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Somanathapur Archeology Nearest Attraction

Mudukuthore Temples
Mudukuthore is located at a distance of 60 km from Mysore, 25 km from Somnathapur, 5 km from T.Narsipur and is close to Talakad. The place is known for the temple of Lord Mallikarjuna. During January-February, every year, a big festival fair is organized for a week where cattle and agricultural items are traded.....more
Nanjanagudu Temples
Located near the city of Mysore, the town of Nanjanagudu (a.k.a. Nanjangud) is a traditional and historical place known for the temple of Lord Shiva, and a variety of flavorful bananas that are grown in the region, called Rasabale....more
T.Narasipura Temples
Tirumakudalu-Narasipura (Kannada: ) , officially known as T.Narasipura [1],is a panchayat town in Mysore district in the Indian state of Karnataka. The first letter “T” of the name (T.Narasipura) refers to Tirumakudalu,the peninsular town (Trimakuta in Sanskrit) at the confluence of the Kaveri, Kabini and Spatika Sarovar (a hidden mythical lake or spring, also named Gupta Gamini)....more
Talakadu Temples
Talakad is a scenic and spiritual pilgrimage center located in near T. Narasipura, Mysore district. Talakad is also know as Talakadu in Kannada, state language of Karnataka. Talakad is situated on the banks of the Kapila Cauvery River. Talakad is about 130 Kms from Bangalore and 50 Kms from Mysore. River Cauvery makes a sharp turn here.....more
Mysore Historical
140 Kms from Bangalore lies the abode of untold grandeur and glory. Mysore,the capital city of the Wodeyars has always enchanted its admirers with its quaint charm,rich heritage, magnificent palaces,beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings,broad shady avenues and sacred temples.....more
Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread across 14 sq km, Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1985, is situated in Mysore District of Karnataka. The area has scrub forests and plantations and is surrounded by agricultural fields.....more
Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
Holidaying in Karnataka has its advantages. Apart from the ancient and world heritage temples depicting artistic expertise of the dynasties that ruled here, Karnataka offers you a fabulous opportunity to enjoy its majestic natural beauty.....more
Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary
Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary is situated north of Bandipur National Park in Mysore District, Karnataka. It covers about 30 sq km and the northern part of the sanctuary is occupied by the Nugu Reservoir.....more
Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park also known as 'Rajiv Gandhi National Park' is located 94 km away from Mysore. It is spread between Kodagu and Mysore districts. The national park has rich forest cover, little streams, valleys and waterfalls.....more
Mysore Archeology
This was the capital of Mysore during British times. It was highly developed city with a population of 700,000. Chamaraja established it in 1640. Between 1760 and 1799 the Muslim Hyderali and Tippu Sultan, father and son duo, gained control and shifted the capital to Srirangapatnam in the north.....more
Balamuri Falls
On the way to K.R.S. from Mysore, 3 Km away from the main road, there are two beautiful small waterfalls, which is the hot spot for students and nature lovers. You also come across an ancient Ganesh temple in the vicinity.....more
Chunchanakatte Falls
Chunchanakatte Falls is a waterfall on the Kaveri River, near the village of Chunchanakatte in Mysore district, Karnataka, India. Water cascades from a height of about 20 meters.It is in the Western Ghats. Here the river falls in two small cascades before joining again to flow as one.....more
Kabini River
The Kabini is a river of southern India. It originates in Wayanad District of Kerala state, south India from the confluence of the Panamaram River and Mananthavady River, and flows eastward to join the Kaveri River at Tirumakudal Narasipur in Karnataka, which empties into the Bay of Bengal.....more
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is an important tourist destination from Mysore city orthe adjoining Vrindavan gardens, both of which are barely 20 km away.....more
Gundal Reservoir
This place is located in Western Ghats hill range starting from Kerala and ending in Tamilnadu. MM Hills also extends beyond B.R.Hills.In between these two hills there is a dam called Gundal dam constructed between two hills,is a picnic spot. In B.R. Hills and attracts lot of devotees from South India.....more
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Somanathapur Archeology Maps

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Somanathapur Archeology Photo Gallery

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Somanathapur

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Somanathapur

About:

"There is a stillness and everlastingness about the past, it changes not and has a touch of eternity," wrote Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in his "Discovery of India." These words somehow hold true when one arrives at Somnathpur, a tiny village on the banks of the Kaveri, 140 kms, south-west of Bangalore. Here in this everlasting rural stillness, like a milestone to eternity, stood one of the last and the grandest of Hoysala monuments - the Kesava Temple built 740 years ago.

By the year 1268 A.D., the year in which the Kesava temple at Somnathpur was built, the Hoysala rule had completed 260 years. The riches and splendour of the Hoysala court were already evident in their grand temples at Belur and Dvarasamudra (present day, Halebid).

In the dust and turmoil of history, India was witnessing the Golden Age of the mighty Cholas, Pandyas and the Hoysalas. The last named dynasty which ruled Karnataka for nearly 350 years, was founded in 1006 A.D., soon after the collapse of the Ganga Dynasty.

Coming to the temple at Somnathpur, one need not search far for its history. An inscribed stone slab, in old Kannada, at the entrance says it all. The reigning monarch was Narasimha III (1254-91 A.D.) whose full regal title runs into a sizeable paragraph: "Sri Vishnuvaradhana, Pratapa Chakravarti, Hoysala Bhujabala, Sri Vira Narasimha, Maharajadhiraja, Raja Paramesvara, Sanivarasiddhi, Giridurgamalla etc.

Location info:

Address:Somnathpur is 120 km from Bangalore.
District:Mysore
Nearest City:Mysore,Bangalore
Best time to visit:Between October to March.

Climate/Weather:

Summers 5° to 40°C.
Winters -14 ° to 24°C.

History:

The temple, however, was not built by the king but by his celebrated army commander, Somnath. Some year ago he had founded a village on the left bank of the Kaveri River, which he named Somnathpur, after himself. Now in a bid for further immortality, Somnath petitioned the king to grand him the permission and resources for his project of setting up a grand temple to glorify Hoysala craftsmanship.

Soon work began. The best sculptors in the realm were commissioned for the task. There came sculptors whose wizardry with the hammer and chisel was almost legendary. Among them was the famous Mallitamma. Then there were sculptors: Ballayya, Chaudayya, Bharmayya, Kamayya and the Nanjayya. Of the 194 carved images on the outer walls, Mallitamma's contribution was forty. We know this because all the sculptors have signed their works - a practice unusual for its times, but also evident in Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebid.

The king not only bestowed Somnath with his largesse, but also sanctioned an annual grant of 3,000 gold coins for the temple's upkeep and maintenance. All these facts are duly mentioned on the slab and appear as though to have happened yesterday!

Interesting things to do:


Interesting things to Visit:


Mobile range info:


How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:Mysore (40 km)
Nearest Airport:Bangalore Airport
Road Transport:NH 7, NH 4 or NH 48

Nearest Visiting places:

1.Mysore
2.Bandipur National Park
3.Keshava Temple
4.Cauvery River Mysore
5.Kabini
6.Nagarhole
7.Srirangapatna
8.Mandya Wayanad
9.Mudumalai
10.Around 30 km from Somnathpur is the small village of Talakad.

Nearest Petrol Pump:

Mysore

Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation:

Very minimal hotels are available in Somnathpur. It is better to stay overnight at Mysore. Like 1.Hotel Maurya,2. Hotel Palace Plaza.

Things to carry:


Tips & Suggestions:


Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:Basappa Memorial Hospital (512-401) and Holdsworth Memorial Hospital (427716), Sawday Rd, are among the best hospitals in town.
Society/Community Phone Number

SOMNATHPUR



KESHAVA TEMPLE ( 1268 / HINDU )

 A good example of Hoysala architecture is in Somnathpur, 35 km from Mysore. Here you can see the full gamut of the Hoysala style. It is a 50 m x 65m precinct. It has a line of small shrines in its enclosed corridors as in Jain temples in the west. The entrance is in the east. There are three shrines with a common  mandapa, and all three  vimanas  with their towers is completely preserved. They all have their own sta plan, which is reflected in the foundation platform too. The ‘i n-betwen style’ of the  gopuras  reflects the south style in its horizontal and the north style in its pile up of the miniature temple design on the surface. There are various gods and goddesses lining up on the walls. Even the base of the walls is divided horizontally and sculpted closely. Inside is a mandapa   wit h a line of pillars. On the three sides there are three shrines with their own front hall. The idol in side cannot be seen without illumination. It gives the image of a cave. The Hoysala also did not have pathways round the shrine. The interior space is simple.

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