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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 37: Sowmyakeshava Temple, Nagamangala

Nagamangala, which is a Panchayat town in Mandya district of Karnataka, hosts the majestic Sowmyakeshava Temple at the heart of the town. The temple was constructed around 1170 AD according to the available records, which dates this back to the period of Hoysala ruler Narasimha I, son of Vishnuvardhana. But the temple got great patronage from his son, emperor Veera Ballala II.

The temple is a trikuta architecture, with the calm Keshava statue adorning the central sanctum and Lakshmi Narasimha and Venugopala making up the other two sanctums. There are intricate carvings inside the temple all around the navaranga and the pillars, while the outer style denotes nagara style of architecture. A huge entrance Gopura and the shrine on top of the main sanctum have been rebuilt later, in the Vijayanagara style.

The main attraction within the temple where daily puja is still conducted with the same fanfare as can be seen at Belur, is the image of "Naga" the snake head right at the inner centre, as part of the main Bhuvaneshwari inside the temple. While all Hoysala temples have intricately carved inner ceilings, this one, in addition, contains the snake structure encircling the carvings.

Here is a video: