Somnathpur

Chennakesava or Keshava temple with its grey-green reflections stands near the east bank of the river Cauvery at Somnathpur. It is built on a surprising star-shaped platform and, with its fine carvings, it is a formidable representative of Hoysala architecture, like the temples at Beluru and Halebidu.

Chennakesava or Keshava temple stands near the east bank of the river Cauvery at Somnathpur. It was built in 1268 by Somanatha Dandanayaka, an illustrious general of the Hoysala king Narasimha III. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu.

The entire temple is made of steatite (soapstone) and finely carved with friezes telling the story of the Ramayana.

The pillars inside are lathe-turned, a characteristic feature of the Hoysala style. It boasts three interconnected inner sanctums on the west, south and north sides, dedicated respectively to Keshava, Venugopala and Janardhana, three aspects of the god Vishnu.

 

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