When stones come alive!!


Chennakesava temple entrance.

My recent trip to the Chennakesava Temple was both exhilarating and awe-inspiring. Located in a town called Somanathapura near the city of Mysore in Southern India, the temple was built by a commander of the Hoysala empire in 1268. The Hoysala architecture is  full of grandeur and as I stepped in, I felt like going back in time. The temple is entirely made of soapstone and it is difficult to comprehend how the task was accomplished at a time when there were no machines.


One of the temple corridors.

The symmetry of the temple architecture, the intricately sculpted shrines of Gods and Goddesses on the walls and spectacular pillars that support the temple speak volumes on the skills and aesthetics of the temple architect and the builders.


The corridor that leads back in time!

I was very impressed by the detailing of the sculptures on the temple walls and they beautifully highlight the way of life at that time. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu and there are many impressive sculptures of his different forms on the temple walls. Other sculptures depict the prosperity of that time in the form of the richly decorated chariots used by the kings, the soldiers and citizens riding horses,dancers, musicians,intricate carvings of gems and jewellery such as lockets, necklaces and rings and of woman flaunting hair styles that were in fashion at that time.


The intricate sculptures on the temple wall.


Lord Vishnu coming alive.


Another brilliant sculpture of the deity.


The temple in all its glory.


Beauty in complexity.


History etched in stone.


The panoramic view of the temple as I bid goodbye.

I thought that the visit to the temple would be a spiritual one but more than spirituality, all my attention was stolen by the magnificent architecture that was spread all around me. So, the blame is on the architects; they should not have made such a structure that is even more beautiful that the Gods it is dedicated to.

12 thoughts on “When stones come alive!!

  1. The stone carving is simply astonishing. Hundreds of gifted carvers must have worked flat-out for many years to produce that wealth of detail, and, as you say, without a power tool to their names.

    As to spirituality, Pankaj, you sound like a New England puritan. One man’s spiritual is another’s outrageous fancy stuff with you and I falling somewhere in between. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Your photos are remarkable.

    On Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM, GLOBAL SAFARI

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