I absolutely loved checking out Somanathapura Keshava Temple- which is not something I usually say about temples. This is one of my 8 favorite day trips from Mysore.
I know that the temple is the main attraction here, but even more so, I loved just walking through the small walkways between homes in this village. We did do a temple tour and for the first time I actually enjoyed it.
Normally when I visit a temple I look around confused and leave. Because I was on a tour with goMowgli I actually learned what the temple sculpting meant. First time on a tour, first time learning about a temple, ha!
Somanathapura Keshava Temple
This place was incredibly interesting as some of the art told the story of evolution, while actually telling of Vishnu’s reincarnations (although I’m pretty sure a very devout Hindu would not see Vishnu’s reincarnations as evolution, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but found it interesting how they mirrored one another).
The Hoysala used to run all of South India back in the day and built lots of places just like this. This one is one of the most conserved and is a heritage site.
You can see an the noses have been cut off by Muslim invaders who knew that Hindus couldn’t worship a broken idol. I personally loved the piece where Brahma’s wife has her foot on a stone which is being held up by an elephant trunk.
The columns inside where made by elephants walking in circles.
noses missing, columns made by elephants
do you see the elephant working very hard to keep that pillar up under her foot?
TIP: one of the perks of being with goMowgli were cool surprises. Here they pulled out some postcards and took me to this tiny post office to mail them out! I sent three.
We walked through the old streets and I got some amazing photos on the way. I even got invited into a class room and met some cute little kiddos.
photo edited to hide my parents address ;)
Practical information: this is 35 km from Mysore and is accessible by local bus, or as I went through the tour company goMowgli. This is one of many places I recommend as day trips from Mysore.
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