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Old 9th July 2010, 16:57   #1
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Default Somanthapura, Hoysala Keshava Temle

Distance: 120kms from Bangalore City Limits(intersection of NICE Road & Mysore Road)

Time taken : 3hrs

Road Condition: NHs in top condition. SHs are good with a few patches that are being worked on.

Saturday, May 01, 2010 6:30 AM,

We were in our little WagonR and out on the road. 7:00 AM we reached the city limits on Mysore Road. The wheels were handed over to Jayram (our driver), Rajib had driven us through the city for about 20kms from home.
After a short coffee break at Udupi Upahar across the road opposite to R V College of Engineering, we headed for Channapatna, reached around 8:00 AM and gorged in some breakfast. A wooden horse took my fancy and we got it for Roddur, it cost us about 300 INR.

At Maddur we took a diversion from the Mysore Road heading towards Malavalli, from the town crossroads of Malavalli we turned right and went straight upto Bannur, there we turned left and drove on for some 15mnts. 10:30 Am we were there, a big board exposing the temple’s existence stood on the right side. The approach road to the temple ends in a parking lot in front of the temple’s relaxingly inviting manicured lawns, huge shady trees and a winding pathway through them.

The parking lot has clean free toilets and small snacking outlets. Stands are not allowed inside the courtyard & the temple but photography is. Entry fee is Rs 5/- for Indians and SAARC nationals, Rs 100/- for foreigners. No charges for a still camera but Rs 25/- for a movie.
A little walk along the pathway and we reach the entrance of the temple. It was built by the reigning Hoysala monarch Narasimha III (1254-91 CE), the master architect being Jakanachari. Shoes have to be removed before entering the temple.

We enter through a low door framed by lathe-turned columns onto an open verandha that runs around the temple along the rectangular courtyard and has 64 cells. A few steps take us down to the courtyard which houses the ornate temple at the centre on a raised star shaped platform.

Weekends experience noteworthy footfalls, interestingly from all religious sects. It’s a non-active temple, thus everyone is welcome. The carvings are so intricate and in every possible space that it took some 3hrs for Rajib to photograph 25% of them. There are gods and goddesses, there attendants, stories from purana, elephants, horses, birds and yalis.

The interior is strangely less populated with regards to the sculptures, with lathe-turned columns being the major feature along with the ceilings beautifully carved, 16 in all. The three shrines were dedicated to Lord Janardana on the north, Lord Venugopal on the south and Lord keshava in the middle, all facing East. The other two lords are still sitting pretty for more than 700 years but Lord Keshava is not to be found.

Maintenance work has rendered the open verandha mostly unavailable and thus killed many a great angles to a photographer’s disappointment, but then it is essential to preserve this beautiful work of art for generations to come.

Around 2:00 PM we were back in the car. Hitting the main road we turned right towards Kapila Kabini sangam. The village of Somnathpura amidst lush green fields along the left banks of the river Kapila is a treat to the eyes. The winding road takes us to a bridge on the river across which is T-juntion, which houses a petrol bunk. One road goes towards T-Narsipur and the other towards Mysore 25kms away. This road is a bit out of shape but repair work is on. We saw a huge banayan tree on our left and a serene lake to the right on our way before spotting the chamundeshwari temple on the hills.
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Old 9th July 2010, 20:28   #2
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Nice start. I plan to do this and Shivasamundaram in another 2-3 weeks!
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Old 10th July 2010, 14:58   #3
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Crisp one. Would expect more photos to come - 3 photos after 3 hours of effort does not do the justice.

You could have clubbed Sivasamudram, Talkad as well.

Name of your child is unique and nice.
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Old 10th July 2010, 17:43   #4
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I've always wanted to visit this temple but the road conditions have held me back.

Some reports claim that roads are virtually non-existent, but it appears that the roads have recently been repaired ?

So the Maddur->Malavalli->Bannur is decent now ?
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Old 10th July 2010, 18:30   #5
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Originally Posted by MoutushiG View Post
Entry fee is Rs 5/- for Indians and SAARC nationals, Rs 100/- for foreigners.

India really shines! This kind of "business sense" would attract atrocious comments from Lonely Planet etc. and surely keep foreigners away.
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