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Somnathapura (alternative spelling: Somanathapura or Somnathpur) is a town in Karnataka close to Malavalli Taluk. The area was ruled by the Hoysala Dynasty. A minister of the Hoysala dynasty, by name Somanath, planned to establish a temple here, based on the Hoysala architecture. As Hoysalas were mainly Lord Vishnu devotees, a temple, dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with a flute (Resembling Lord Krishna) was established here, on the left bank of River Cauvery

Keshava temple from the front
Keshava temple from the backside
The lower two friezes
Statues at the outside
Statue of Krishna as Janardhana

Get in[edit]

Somanathapura is 34 km drive from Mysore to the east.

By bus[edit]

There is no direct bus from Mysore to Somanathapura, the best is to take a bus from Mysore to T.Narasipura and then another bus to Somanathapura.

By taxi[edit]

There are plenty of taxi at T.Narasipura opposite to bus stand. It will cost you around ₹250 to hire a taxi for a round trip to the temple. One way takes around 90 minutes.

Get around[edit]

Lord Channakeshava Temple is the only place of interest here. Parking is allowed outside the temple.


  • 1 Keshava Temple (Channakesava). 09:00-18:00. built by the Hoysala dynasty in 1268 CE. The Temple was subjected to various invasions, during one of which, the Main idol of the deity is supposed to be reportedly stolen, owing to its beauty. The main deity has therefore been replaced by a replica and hence, no sort of Poojas or activities take place for the Lord. Hence, it's relatively quiet and has not that many visitors. There are excellent soap stone sculptures covering the complete temple outside and showing of several Hindu gods and goddesses. Good light for photos is during low standing sun, i.e. in the morning (frontside with entrance has best light) or evening (sculptured backside has best light). Guides with governmental test will explain the temple for a fixed rate of ₹300 per 30mins. No separate charges for Focussing charges for sculptures inside the Temple levied. ₹100 for foreigner entrance, 5 for Indian, 25 for video. Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura (Q3537502) on Wikidata Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura on Wikipedia




Food has to be carried since there are no very good restaurants



Go next[edit]

Mysore is the nearest bigger city, and to the opposite direction is Bangalore.

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