Somanathapura Keshava Temple: Main Entrance and Facade

Main entrance and facade of the Keshava Temple, located at Somanathapura in Karnataka, India.

Main entrance and facade of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple

Main Entrance and Facade
Located 25 miles southeast of Mysore, the Chennakeshava Temple at Somanathapura is one of the finest temples built by the Hoysalas. Although not as famous or as big as the Belur – Halebidu temples, it is as stunningly beautiful and intricately carved as the other two. It is an unusual temple in that it was commissioned not by a king, but by a Dandanayaka (military leader) serving in the court of Hoysala King Narasimha III. It took 68 years to build and was completed in 1258 CE.

The architecture style of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple is Vesara, which is a fusion of the southern Dravida and northern Nagara styles. It is an east-facing temple with three garbhagrihas, each facing one of the other three cardinal directions and crowned by a beautifully carved shikhara (tower). Because of the three garbhagrihas, it is known as a trikuta temple.

As the name suggests, the Chennakeshava Temple is dedicated to Keshava, a form of Krishna, the eighth Avatar of Vishnu. Standing inside each garbhagriha is an idol portraying a form of Krishna.

The sculptural reliefs on the outer walls depict a variety of Hindu gods and scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Puranas.

Other views of the temple
Rear View
Northwest View
Southwest View

Related Pages

Hoysala Temples
Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Outer Wall
Kappe Chennigaraya Shrine
Badami Chalukya Temples
Badami, Cave – 1, Cave – 2, Cave – 3, Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole

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