Somanathapura Temple is about 1,000 year old temple dedicated to lord Vishnu, and despite its name is not connected to Somnath in Gujarat or Lord Shiva in any way. It's under care of archaeological survey on India and is small but beautiful temple. Afternoon sun didn't help though as stone flooring was as hot as simmering pan. Temple is in village area and there is nothing to eat around, nor we found any suitable lunch option on the way from Mysore to Somanathapura so please get something packed from hotel/city! We left for Bangalore directly from there and reached in evening around 7 pm.
With couple of tea stops mid way we reached the first destination for the day Somanathapura village in about 2.5 hours. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the village is the 13th century Chennakesava temple. An epitome of the Hoysala architecture the temple complex bore the brunt of the feud and then subsequent attack from Muslim sultanate. Many of the structures are either damaged, in ruins, or missing. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and consists of pillars as well as the main temple made out of soapstone. The 3 shrines here depicts the 3 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The stone courtyard is where we lazed for a short duration, the calmness around providing that soothing feeling.
A beautiful Hoysala Temple from 1200 AD.
Somnath, one of the most powerful ministers of Hoysala Dynasty, built Somenathpura Keshava Temple. This stone craved temple of lord Krishna is standing there for last 750 years yet it is still in good shape and looks so lively! The site is a protected heritage site managed by ASI and I must say they are doing a commendable job. We spent some time in the temple and watched the beautiful sculptures in as details as possible. I was amazed to see the degree of perfection to which those were made! Remember they did not have robotic laser cutters, it’s all by simple hammers and chisels!