Sunday, December 29, 2013

A day trip to Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura, Mysore

We weaved in and out of the departing buses at the Mysore bus depot trying to find which bus to take us to Somanathapura. The honking of the buses extravagant loud blow horns are ridiculous and deafening. The chaos heightens the senses and puts you in a state of alarm and frenzy, all until you find the bus you are meant to be on and you can sink into your seat.

You double check you are on the right bus and are given a double side head wobble. I am still unsure of the difference from one head wobble to the next, but I had faith he understood where we wanted to go. 

Sitting at the front of the bus isn't my favourite spot as the blow horn is constantly in use. We dodged in and out of traffic and near missed various animals, people, shepherds with their flocks and bumped along the stones and potholes they call a road. You need to remind yourself you are not in the movie 'Speed', this is normal Indian daily traffic. It's best just not to look out the front window. 

We safety arrived at one bus station at Bannur where another bus came shortly after to take us the rest of the way.  

Next stop Somanathapura, most famous for its Chennakesava Temple, located about 35kms form Mysore city. 

After paying a small fee of 100 rupee for westerners (10 rupee for the locals) a short walk down a garden path takes you to the temple. 

The main temple is constructed on a raised platform with symmetrical architecture. It was built in 1268 under Hoysala king Narasimha III, when the Hoysala Empire was the major power in South India.

Keeping up with the history of the Hoyasalas, the temple is made of soapstone. The workings are intricate and fascinating. 

Both the interior and exterior of the temple are nothing short of amazing with smoothly carved pillars with detailed work.

We visited the Chennakesava Temple at the start of November and it seemed to be a good time to go. Not many people were there so you could really sit and appreciate the detail of the magical architecture.

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