The Chennakesava Temple of Somanathapura, built during the rule of the Hoysala Dynasty of Karnataka, illustrates the prolific skills of the sculptors of that era. It is a sheer exhibition of Hindu scriptures moulded in lifelike sculptures. For an artist, it is a temple where the creators left behind an art gallery for the generations to come. Even for a layman, it would have been a school to grasp the unwritten mythology through an easy pictorial representation. Historians claim it to be an artwork that led Hoysalas to the zenith of their architectural glory. This ornately chiselled ancient temple of India is located near Mysore and is also accessible from Bangalore by road.
Being a non-functional temple, it opens only at 8:30 am and closes down before the sun sets by 5:30 pm. On any weekend it would be a sea of humans in the temple complex. However, weekdays are quiet and only a handful of tourists come for a visit here. We went on Thursday noon and we were around 10 people on the premise at any given time. We took about two and a half hours to completely understand the stories depicted in each sculpture. Read more