(Last Updated on : 18/06/2014)
On the banks of river Cauvery lies Somnathpur. More specifically it is situated near the Karnataka-Kerala border. From the city of Mysore, Somnathpur is located at a distance of 45 kilometers. The greatest attraction of this diminutive village is the 'Prasanna Channa Kesava' temple. Inside the temple a traveler will find a life-size bronze idol of Lord Krishna and another idol of Lord Janardan or Vishnu. Apart from having a spiritual significance this temple in Somnathpur is also an important historical site. This exquisite building is one of the last and the grandest of all Hoysala monuments.
The history of the temple in Kannada is engraved on a stone slab placed at its entrance. 'Prasanna Channa Kesava' temple was built around 1268 A.D. The inscription will help the travelers to gather facts about the then contemporary ruler, Narasimha III, architects and sculptors who had contributed a lot to build the temple. Jakanachari, the master architect and sculptor of Hoysala Period, was the creator of this Mysore Temple. The star shaped temple is located in the middle of the compound. There are 64 cells with carved peaks and a Navranga. In earlier times there were three remarkable idols of Venugopala, Kesava and Janardhana. In the present times, however, the idol of Kesava is missing.
Outstanding figures of gods and goddesses carved in stone adorn the outer walls of 'Prasanna Channa Kesava' temple. Like several other temples in Karnataka, here too the engravings on the walls are inspired from the mythological stories and Puranas. Apart from the divine beings a traveler can also find several animal forms such as lions, elephants, horses and geese to name a few. Besides the wonderful friezes the main hall with its pillars and ceiling panels are also worth checking out. The perfect symmetry, beautiful stone carvings and its sheer grandeur have made it famous tourists spot in and around Mysore.
To arrive at this historical site cars are available from Mysore, Bangalore and T. Narasipur. Trains can be a mode of transport in case you are traveling from Mysore and Maddur.