Somanathapura Keshava Temple: Facade and Entrance

Facade and Entrance of the Keshava Temple located at Somanathapura in Karnataka, India.

Facade and Entrance of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple

Facade and Entrance
Located 25 miles southeast of Mysore, the Chennakeshava Temple at Somanathapura is one of the finest temples built during the Hoysala period. 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, it is a temple 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
Somanathapura Keshava Temple – A Masterpiece of Hoysala Temple Art
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Bracket Figures
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Navaranga
Belur Chennakeshava Temple – Garbhagriha Exterior
Kappe Chennigaraya Temple
Badami Cave – 1, Badami Cave – 2, Badami Cave – 3, Badami Cave – 4

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