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Venugopala Swamy Temple

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An Mesmerising Venugopala Swamy Temple Architecture Depicting the Grandeur of an Empire of the by-gone era 

Venugopala Swamy Temple | Pic Courtesy:

Another rare millennia-old temple that tourists visiting Mysuru miss out on visiting is the Venugopala Swamy temple, as the temple is not marketed properly. So, the outsiders hardly know about it. The vast temple complex is in a place that is surrounded by Kaveri river water on 3 sides. The other (forth) side of the complex connects to the landmass.

The ideal day to visit is on a rainy day during monsoons when it is pouring and the river Kaveri is flowing to the brim. Any visitor is sure to get lost in the warm embrace of the beauty of nature on the outside, and the breath-taking grandeur of the temple architecture on the inside of the complex. Let’s shed some light on the temple architecture to know it in brief.

Brief Introduction of the Temple Architecture

The Hindu temple architecture of India is several millennia old, as the style of design varies from region to region. It has many varieties of style, though the basic nature of the Hindu temple architecture remains the same. It reflects a synthesis of arts, the ideals of dharma, beliefs, values and the way of life cherished under Hinduism OR Sanatana dharma.

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Types of Temple Architecture

The architectural principles of Hindu temples in India are elaborately described in Shilpa Shastra. Shilpa Shastra mentions three main types of temple architecture –

  • Nagara or the Northern style 
  • Dravida or the Southern style
  • Vesara or Mixed style

There are regional variations under each style of architecture, as emperors representing various empires tried to experiment on the designs and came out with their unique style and substance. Thousands of temples, big and small, bearing their signature style, can be seen all over India.  

In the south of Deccan plateau OR south India,  many empires flourished over the past 2000 years. Various temples were built during their reigns which are known for their captivating elegance, breath-taking sensual beauty and mind-boggling precision in science and engineering. Some temples are so massive that one life is not enough to observe, record and understand the subtle messages that these exquisite stone art carvings convey to mankind. 

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Aerial View of Venugopala Swamy Temple | Pic Courtesy:
Aerial View of Temple | Pic Courtesy:

Astonishing efforts to build these Temples

Each temple employed thousands of sculptors, architects, supervisors, labourers, and those who put to use thousands of animals – elephants, horses and donkeys for transporting the materials. Now imagine the supervisors who coordinated with these people without any modern gadgets, and how they did their job? There were “NO” drilling machines to drill holes on the stones, lathes to turn stones into cylindrical pillars, milling machines to millstones to render a perfectly smooth surface, yet they did all that and more without modern equipment. The art, sculpted on every inch of the complex including the roof of massive temples, is so mesmerising that at a few temples one can get to see the paint – made of herbs, veggies, barks, wild berries, minerals etc. It has been more than 1000 years since the interiors of these temples were given herbal painting, and they exist even today. In contrast, modern chemical-based paints hardly last for 2 decades.

These complexes withstood massive storms, droughts, destructive lightning thunders, invasions and plundering from the enemies of the land, yet they “stand tall” saluting all those people who shed their “sweat and blood” in order to build these fascinating structures, centuries ago.

Famous Dynasties of South India

  • Kadambas – Kadamba architecture
  • Pallavas – Pallava architecture
  • Hoysalas – Hoysala architecture
  • Cholas – Chola architecture
  • Pandias – Pandia architecture
  • Cheras – Chera architecture
  • Kakatiyas – Kakatiya architecture

Each dynasty had many monarchs, and each monarch built these magnificent temples when they were at the peak of their reign. During their rule, it is said, people led a happy and contentious life driven by “Sanatana dharma”, while the society was prosperous.

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Venugopala Swamy Temple – A 12th Century Marvel

The Venugopala Swamy temple, bearing the Hoysala style of architecture was built in the 12th century CE at a place called Kannambadi Village near Mysuru. It was built around the same time as the Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura was built, in the Mysuru district.  The huge temple complex was submerged while building a dam – Krishnaraja Sagara dam in 1930, along with Kannambadi village. 

The dam was built at the new kannambadi village, which stores the Kaveri river and helps in irrigating millions of agricultural land. 

More about the temple can be known from the Wikipedia site – click here

Aerial View of Temple | Video Courtesy:- Srihari Khoday

How to reach there?

The Venugopala Swamy temple is a must-see place for all, and it is located at Hosakannambadi Village – 9 km by road from Brindavan Gardens and 30 km from Mysuru city. One has to spend at least half-a-day to observe and relishing the beauty of the temple. Taxis can be hired to visit the place from Mysuru city.

Important Information

  • Open for Devotees/Tourists between 9AM to 6 PM (Note: Currently Temple is temporarily closed for Devotees/Tourists) due to Covid19 guidelines.
  • Videography / Photography / Drone cameras are strictly prohibited. You can use mobile phone outside the temple (Inside temple premises strictly prohibited)
  • Devotees/Tourists are suggested to maintain cleanliness, sanctity and serenity of the temple
  • Though there are a few shops selling bottled mineral water and light snacks nearby, it is better to carry water and other light snacks/ drinks for consumption outside the temple premises.
  • Consumption of any kind of food and beverages are strictly prohibited in and around the temple premises
  • Tourists/Devotees are strictly advised not to litter the place

Read more about:- Temple Restoration by Khoday Foundation 

Also Read:- Keshava Temple, Somanathapura

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