Chennakesava temple, Somanathapura, Karnataka, is located 35 km east of Mysore.
Built in 1258 CE by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of Hoysala King Narasimha III, it’s one of the most ornamented Hoysala temples.
The Trikuta (3 shrines) temple is intricately carved inside and outside. The 16 navaranga ceiling panels stand as a glowing testimony to the Hoysala art, craft and architecture.
The outer walls are filled with carvings, miniature deity reliefs, scenes from Puranas, a variety of animals and common life scenes. It’s astonishing!
Sadly the Kesava temple was badly damaged a few times in incursions – It was repaired in the 16th Century CE by Vijayanagara Kings, and in 19th Century by Mysore rulers.
Oh, What a creation!
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