The Keshava Temple Somanthapura – An Architectural Majesty
Keshava temple that was constructed in the 12th century is known for its architectural creativity of the Hoysala Kings. Samantha a General officer during the rule of King Narasimha III took up the initiative of Keshava Temple. Hoysala had many splendid rock cut temples but only Keshava Temple is surviving at present.
Somanthapura situated on the banks of river Cauvery is a village known for its serene beauty. The major attraction of this place is the Keshava temple. Somanatha who was a commander during the rule of Hoysala dynasty got this temple constructed. Both religious and cultural activities are given equal importance.
It’s a wonderful temple engraved of rocks. It has got a beautiful borderline with interesting adorned campus and a large gate that welcomes all the visitors. You get see the temple which is placed upon an elevated platform in the shape of a star. The temple holds a beautiful art of sculptors. Inscriptions on the rocks portray some scenes of the Hindu mythology. Complete upper row of the temple walls is carved with the images of Lord Vishnu. At the entrance you can find 3 different holy places and 3 sanctums for 3 Lords that is adorned with interesting inscriptions and sculptors. The chamber located in the South is for Lord Venugopala that holds a hugs statue of the Lord Venugopala on a platform. Sanctum in the north is of Lord Janardhana with which has a huge idol of Janardhana and the central hall is for Lord Keshva. Initially it had a statue but later due to some disaster it got demolished. In order to attract the tourists some pillars of exclusive artwork is placed here. The upper part of the sanctums has obscure rock carvings that can be viewed from far distant.
From the above description of the temple it shows the hard work of the architects of the olden days who held both in combination the holy spirits as well as culture and tradition of the people. It showcases beautiful stonework and architecture of ancient Hindu mythology embraced elephants that are considered to be a bearer of the universe. One can say that this temple represents the entire universe.