Temple: Lakshminarayana Temple
Lakshminaryana Temple – Overview
This is a three-celled temple and hence has three garbhagrihas, the main one containing the idol of Lakshminarayana and the North and South facing garbhagrihas have the deity’s of Sri Venu Gopala Swamy and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha respectively. Due to its intricate artwork and beautiful sculptures, this temple has been compared to the famous temples at Javagal, Nuggehalli, Somananthapur and Aralukuppe.
Lakshminarayana Temple – History
The Lakshminarayana temple was built in 1250 A.D by King Vira Someshwara. At this point of time, Hoysala architecture was at its peak. The temple has been very well maintained and has not been damaged by the many decades it has seen. One or two of the idols have been remade in the 1950s, but the rest are original.
Lakshminarayana Temple – Architecture
The temple is a trikutachala and is built on a platform that resembles a star. This platform is raised and has a pillared hall or navaranga in the centre and the three shrines around it. The main shrine containing the idol of Lakshminarayana is the only one that has a sukhanasi and a tower and the most decorative interiors. The entire temple is built out of Soapstone and incorporates the typical Hoysala jagati which elevates the temple over the ground by a meter.
The navaranga is the first thing you’ll see when you enter the temple and has four beautiful lathe turned pillars dividing the hall into nine cells. Each pillar is beautifully carved with sculptures of young dancing girls in various graceful and elegant poses. Each cell has a unique design on the ceiling that brings out the true talent and imagination of the sculptor.
The statue of Sri Venu Gopala Swamy was built more recently. The Sri.Lakshmi Narayana idol is a magnificent piece of art and has tiny intricate detailing that makes it very attractive. Between the Lakshmi Narayana idol and the last idol of Lakshmi Narasimha, there is an idol of Parvathi with her foot on the chest of Mahishasura which has caused it to cave in.
The base, like all Hoysala temples has the six layers of decorative pattikas that comprise of swans, elephants, horse riders, leafy scrolls, various gods and goddesses and scenes from Hindu epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
The mid section of the temple is richly decorated with sculptures of various Gods, Shiva being the most prominent having over 120 images of him in various forms, dancing Saraswathi, Brahma, Ganapathi, Yoga – Madhava, Kalinga – Mardhana, dancers, musicians and many other deities. Unlike the other temples of this kind, most of the sculptures and images at the Lakshminarayana temple are intact and have been very well preserved.
Lakshminarayana Temple – Religious Significance
In honor of Anjaneya, during the Month of April every year, a fair called the Rangada – habba is held in the complex of the temple. It is an overnight event where the people from the surrounding villages of Mandya come wearing colorful disguises, dance and sing praises. This fair is similar to Holi as the people spray saffron water on each other. This is the best time to visit this temple.
How to Get to Lakshminarayana temple
K R Pet can be easily accessed from cities like Mysore, Bangalore and Hassan. By road, Hosahallu village is 60kms from Mandya, 50 kms from Mysore and 160 kms from Bangalore.