Somnathpur Temple - Travel to the temples of Karnataka in South India which are dedicated to various gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology.
South India Tourism
Meditation «»Temples«»Beaches«»Monuments«»Festivals«»Wildlife«»Hill Stations«»Golfing Holidays
Ooty Munnar Tours, Holiday in Ooty Munnar, Travel Package for Ooty Munnar, Tour Packages for South India South India Travel Tourism
Home  l  Tour Booking  l    l  
South India Travel Tourism

South India » Karnataka » Temples in Karnataka » Somnathpur Temple
Plan Your Tour

Somnathpur Temple

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

"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 somnathpur-templeKesava 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.

The Temple
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!

Interestingly, the earliest Hoysala monarchs were Jains. It was the great Vishnuvardhana (1108-42) who embraced Vaishnavism under the influence of the celebrated Vaishnava reformer Ramanuja. Later Hoysala rulers even became Saivites. But general tolerance of all faiths was typical of their rule. The Hoysala Dynasty finally came to an end around 1346 A.D. when the Vijayanagar Empire rose to power. Today Somnathpur is like any other Lackadaisical Indian village surrounded by farms of millet and sugarcane. Not as famous as Belur and Halebid, the Hoysala temple at Somnathpur, however, is truly unique in design, perfect in symmetry and the stone carvings are remarkable marvels in stone.

For the inscription on the stone slab, it becomes fairly evident that the magnificent temple was completed and consecrated in 1268 A.D. The shrine stands in the middle of a walled compound, around which runs an open verandah with 64 cells. The temple itself, stellar in shape, has three profusely carved pinnacles with a common Navranga and stands on a raised platform. 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 in their original form.

Tour Packages of Karnataka
1. Karnataka Ancient Glories - SITT 45
( 13 Nights / 14 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
2. Best of South India - SITT 12
( 16 Nights / 17 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
3. Best of South India 1 - SITT 13
( 13 Nights / 14 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
4. South India Exotic Tour - SITT 14
( 17 Nights / 18 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
5. Heritage Tour of South - SITT 22
( 13 Nights / 14 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
6. Treasure of Nature & Heritage - SITT 15
( 15 Nights / 16 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
7. Exotic South India Holiday - SITT 17
( 10 Nights / 11 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
8. Sunny South - SITT 23
( 9 Nights / 10 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
9. South Indian Temples Tour - SITT 20
( 14 Nights / 15 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
10. A Religious Trip to South India - SITT 26
( 14 Nights / 15 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
11. Heritage tour of Karnataka - SITT 28
( 6 Nights / 7 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail
12. Classical Karnataka Tour - SITT 29
( 4 Nights / 5 Days )

Day to Day Itinerary | Ask for Detail

Hotels in Karnataka
Click here for Hotels in Karnataka

 South India States

Hotels in South India

 Cities of South India

 South India Pilgrimage

 Ayurveda in South India
 Beaches in South India
 Festivals of South India
 Golfing Holidays
 Hill Stations in South India
 Meditation in South India
 Monuments in South India
 South India Temples
 Wildlife in South India
 Yoga in South India
South India Temple Tour
Journey Through Goa Cruise
Exclusive Honeymoon Travel Package
Tour package

Rishikesh Whitewater Rafting

Duration: 02 Nights - 03 Days

Bird Watching Tour

Duration: 05 Nights - 06 Days

Indian Tiger Safari

Duration: 07 Nights - 08 Days

Nepal Himalayas Tour

Duration: 09 Nights - 10 Days

Nature Trail In Flowers Valley

Duration: 11 Nights - 12 Days

 South India Speciality

 South India Travel Package