Thursday, February 21, 2019

Somnathpur Temple

From Talakadu our next destination was Somnathpur Temple and google maps was astonishingly helpful in reaching us there by the best route in the shortest time. This is an ASI protected and maintained monument. A sprawling expansive campus and neatly manicured lawn greets visitors on arrival. Entry tickets for Indian Nationals is Rs.30/person. The grandeur and magnificence of the monument stuns you as you enter through the entrance mandapam of the temple.
Once under the rule of Cholas, Somnathpur was captured by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in AD 1117.Later it was ruled by the Vijayanagara kings and the Wodeyars of Mysore and became one of the foremost agrahara townships during the rule of Narasimha III. An inscription dated 1268 records that Somanatha Dandanayaka, an illustrious Hoysala General established an agrahara in Somnathpur and consecrated the Kesava Temple. The architecture and sculptures are most ornate and a perfect example of Hoysala architecture.The East facing temple has three garbha grihas or sanctums housing idols of Chennakesava, Janardana & Venugopala. The sanctums are securely locked and  pujas or offerings are not permitted.
The exquisitely carved sculptures inside the sanctums, on the inner & outer walls and the intricately carved ceilings & pillars fill you with awe. How assiduously and arduously the artisan must have worked to accomplish such breathtaking sculptures.We also found some calligraphy on stone but were unable to decipher the script and unravel the underlying secrets.The colonnaded pavilions surrounding the temple raised visions of the ancient coliseums of Rome - infact the pavilions actually housed innumerable sub sanctums for worship.Contemporary stone sculptures are no match for the brilliance of this antiquarian art.You simply stand there transfixed in admiration. I am dumbfounded and unable to find the right adjectives to describe. Pictures speak more loftily than words.
It was also sad to see degradation and weathering of the sandstone ravaged due to changing climatic conditions over the centuries. Vandals have contributed their share by perpetrating needless damage (decapitation of several human and animal sculptures) and vulgar calligraphy.



 
 
 

 
 
 

3 comments:

  1. What a splendor!
    Nice photo of your wife and son under the majestic tree!

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  2. Truly impressive and the intricate on sculptural carving was marvellous and inviting to visit. I also find the trees there are in artistic shapes and curves! Worth checking

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