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|Keshava Temple, Somnathpura, Karnataka|
|The Keshava temple in Somnathpur, a small village on the banks of the river Cauvery, near the city of Mysore (38 kilometers away) in Karnataka, is believed to have been built (around AD 1268) under Somnatha (a general in the army of Narasimha III) of the Hoysala dynasty. The temple is famous for its elaborate and intricate sculpturing. The Keshava temple is the best-preserved monument of Hoysala architecture.|
|The temple is enclosed in a walled courtyard that has a gate and a porch. The temple is built on an elevated star shaped platform. The platform on which the temple stands is guarded by seated lions. The actual temple base rises straight out of the platform and is composed of a series of bands that wind around the star form of the building. The shrines sit at the center of a courtyard bounded by a rectangular perimeter of cloisters and subsidiary shrines. An entrance pavilion is set into the east side of the courtyard.
Every corner and angular projection of the central wall space of the temples is inhabited by familiar deities. They appear in all their glory, adorned with heavy jewels, towering crowns, bangles on every arm and chunky anklets on their feet.
The sides of the raised platform are decorated with richly carved friezes, portraying rows of cavalry, elephants and scenes from the epics. The rows above have sculptures of Gods mainly Vishnu in various forms. The shrine has three shrines and three sanctums. The temple has three intricately carved pinnacles and a common
Navranga. The northern sanctum has the idol of Lord Janardhana and the southern sanctum has the idol of Lord
Venugopala. The main hall has exquisitely turned pillars and ceiling panels. The image of Lord Keshava that once adorned the main hall is missing today.