Kesava Temple, one of the most famous Hoysala
temples, is situated at Somnathpur, about 140 km south-west of Bangalore
. Built in AD 1268, the temple is dedicated to Lord Kesava (Lord Krishna
Kesava Temple is considered as an outstanding example of the fully evolved style of Hoysala architecture.
The temple shrine is housed in the middle of a walled compound, around which runs an open verandah with 64 cells. The temple itself, stellar in shape, has three profusely carved pinnacles with a common Navranga and stands on a raised platform. The outer walls of the temple spots a number of railed parapets running the whole way round the shrine, bearing elaborately carved sculptures of Lord Vishnu and other deities - as many as 194 idols, of which 114 are female figures. Like all other Hoysala temples in the country, the images on the outer walls bear on their pedestals the names of the sculptors who had carved them.
Though the temple is believed to have crafted by the legendary Jakanachari, at no place could one find any mentioning of his name. Some scholars even say that there wasn't any master builder by the name of Jakanachari at all.
Situated on the banks of Cauvery River, the temple is 33 km from Mysore. Kesava Temple can be reached by bus from Mysore Central Bus Station.