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The prominence of the city, Somnathpur, lies 26 km off Srirangapatnam, is due to the existence of the divine Prasanna Chennakeshava temple. On a star-shaped base the three adjoining temples of Somnathpur is definitely the holiest and foremost attraction both for the group of tourists and devotees.
70 * 55 meters rectangular floor of the Chennakeshava temple, houses the deities, Janardan in the right hand side and Venugopal in the left hand side. Besides the chief deities, several other holy deities reside inside 64 contiguous tiny bays. The idol of the temple was reconstructed after the main idol was lost. 6 feet long idol of the deity, Vishnu, is there in the temple with Conch shell, Wheel, Club and lotus. Another idol of the deity, Krishna, is placed on the premise and is leaning on the trunk of the tree, has a flute in his hand.
The Keshava temple was built in 1268. This sanctified temple pulls huge number of devotees and tourists for its elegant architectural depictions. This is a marvelous creation of the architect Jabanacharya. Cement was not used at all when 10 meters tall consecrated temple was constructed. Sukhnasi (hall with pillars) and Nabaranga, the integral parts of the temple, look astounding for their architectural gracefulness. The residing deities, Lakshmi Narayan, Indra, Sachi Devi, Dancing Ganesha, along with the pictures of various animals, hunters, dancers, stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagawat make this temple a majestic attraction. Idols of the deity, Vishna, are also engraved on the walls of the temple in ten different forms. A number of elephant idols and idols of horses are embossed on the walls as well to represent the power and speed respectively. A number of engraved ducks are also prominent on the walls of the temple. This temple depicts Jafri architectures as well. Tourists and temple lovers who visit Karnataka should witness the style and grandeur of the temple at least once. This is one of the most astonishing temples of South India. The inspiring and imposing architectures of the temple are still very famous and prominent. The temple authority takes very good care of the idols and creative creations of the temple.
Talakad, another nearby historical destination, about 30 km towards the south- eastern side of Somnathpur, was the primeval capital of Ganga and Chola dynasties. On the left hand side banks of the Kaveri River, Talakad, is a dessert-like town of Karnataka. The scenic and spiritual Talakad used to house more than 30 temples which are now buried in sands. 6 divine temples, however, amidst green woodland, still depict magical Dravidian architectures.
Watch the Hindu deity Shiva, in various postures, on the pious throne of the Baideshwar Shiva temple, built way back in 1360. Two idols of brothers Talu and Kadu, blessed by Shiva, are standing as if both of them are protecting the temple from evil forces right at the entrance of the temple. The name Talakad or Talakadu was derived earlier from the names of the disciples of Shiva, Tala and Kadu. It is believed that these two brothers were responsible for the deforestation while discovering the Shiva idol.
Some opine that the Pataleshwar Lingam idol, positioned in the vicinity, changes its colors often. The idol looks red in the morning where as it takes the color of brown and white in the afternoon and evening respectively.
Plenty of other temples are also dotted around the locality. However, sands have covered most of these temples. Many of these temples are excavated after wiping the thick sand coat during Pancha Lingam festival, held once every 12 years, in the month of Karthik.
How to reach: Direct buses are available to Somnathpur from Srirangapatnam. Tourists who want to visit Somnathpur directly from Mysore have to change bus at T Narisipur because not many direct buses are available to Somnathpur from Mysore. The best possible option to visit Somnathpur is to hire an own vehicle from Mysore or Bangalore or Srirangapatnam.
Where to stay: Hotel Mayura Keshav, adjacent to the Somnathpur temple, is the best place for the tourists to stay overnight at.
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