Saturday, May 2, 2009

Places to see around Srirangapatna – Somnathpur, Talkad


Somnathpur is famous for Prasanna Chenna-keshab Temple. On the star-shaped high podium there are three temples or Trikootchala side by side. Temple of Chennakeshab is in the middle of a rectangular courtyard (70x55 meters). In the temple different gods are placed in 64 alcoves. To the right there is Janardan and to the left Venugopal. In the absence of the main idol, a new image of Lord Chennakeshab has been established. A 6ft image of Vishnu with conch, wheel, club and lotus in four hands is beautiful.. Venugopal or Sree Krishna can be seen with a flute in his hand and leaning on a tree.

In the golden period of Hoysal dynasty, General Soma of king Narasimha III of Dwar Samudra set up a new village after his own name and built this temple. It is one of the classic examples of the erstwhile architecture. This is yet another major work of the renowned sculptor Yabanacharya. The height of the temple is 10 meters and it was built without using any cement.This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel

Sukhnasi, the Biman of the temple (hall-made of pillars) and Nabaranga are all highly decorated. On the wall, Lakshmi and Narayan on Garuda's back, Indra and his wife Sachidevi on Oirabat (elephant), dance of Ganesh and other animals, hunters, dancers and stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata are depicted finely. Images of Vishnu's ten incarnations are also found. Rows of elephants, symbolising power and stability; horses, symbolizing speed; rows of ducks, design of trellis are excellent.

While you are visiting Karnataka, don’t miss this beautiful temple. This temple is still intact and very nicely maintained. Temple remains open from 9-00 am to 05 00 pm.

How to reach Somnathpur:

Somnathpur is 26 km from Srirangapatna by bus; 40 km from Mysore (crossing Cauvery), 121 km from Bangalore and 37 km from Shivasamudram. Buses are available from each place.

For accommodation, there is Hotel Mayura Keshav of Karnataka Tourism, adjacent to the temple.This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel


Enthusiasts may tour Talkad, the old capital of Ganga and Chola dynasties situated 30 km to the South East of Somnathpur on the way to Shivasamudram by bus. There are hundreds of anecdotes about Talkad, which is on the left bank of Cauveri with six temples in Dravidian style. Carved in 1360 AD on granite stone, there are images Lord Shiva in various poses in Baidyeswar Shiva Temple. In front of the temple two devotees of Lord Shiva, Tala and Kadu, the two door-keeper brothers who were blessed of immortality by Lord Shiva, remind the glory of the golden age of the dynasty. The name Talkad is derived from the names, Tala and Kadu. These brothers found the image of Lord Shiva while they were clearing the jungle. Another strange event is the changing color of the linga image of Pataleswar. It becomes red in the morning, yellowish brown in the afternoon and white in the evening. It is equally strange that there are other temples but these are buried under sand. Once in every 12 years these temples are brought out on the eve of the Panchalinga festival in the month of Kartick (mid Oct to mid Nov).
This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel

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