February 24, 2010

A 10th century Hoysala marvel in ruins - Kirti Narayana Temple, Talakad, Near Mysore, India

Talakad a.k.a. Talakadu, a small town near Mysore city of Karnataka state in India is famous for Cauvery river, ancient temples buried under the sand and Panchalinga Darshan. To know more about Talakad town, visit my post on Talakad.

Talakad has three temples of Lord Shiva and one temple for Lord Vishnu. The temples of Shiva - Vaidyanatheswara temple, Pataleswar temple and Maleswara temple belong to Pancha Linga sites. The temple of Lord Vishnu is considered as one of the five Vishnu temples (called as Pancha Narayana) established by the great Vaishnavite saint Ramanuja in the 10th century CE. It is also believed that this temple of Lord Vishnu, called as Kirti Narayana temple was constructed by the Hoysalas to commemorate their victory over the Cholas. This is the only Hoysala architecture found in Talakad today.

The magnificent temple of Kirti Narayana is intricately carved and stunningly beautiful due to its architecture. Unfortunately, the temple is in the ruins now. The archaeological department has been excavating various stones and statues of this temple and trying to reconstruct the temple as it was originally present. The current temple has just one shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu - a tall idol of about 8 feet which is stunningly beautiful. You can find two small idols - consorts of Vishnu, Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi, on his either sides.

You can also find a big Nandi idol and few excavated idols in the temple surroundings. This temple is definitely something which you shouldn't miss when you travel to Mysore.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Kirti Narayana Temple Temple
Site Type: Hoysala architecture, temple
Location: Talakad or Talakadu town, 50 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: One of the five Pancha Narayana sites; 10th century temple; only Hoysala architecture in Talakad;
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Local Transport: Easily reachable from Mysore; It is better to travel by car or taxi rather than depending on public transport
Hotel: It is best to stay at Mysore (50 kms from here)
Restaurants: Good restaurants are available only at Mysore

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