There are very few architectural marvels in this world, that just leave you breathless the minute you witness it. One such magnificent temple is here in Karnataka. Situated just 3 hours away from Bangalore, experience a slice of Hampi at the 700-year old Venugopala Swamy Temple, in Hosa Kannambadi village. This 12th-century temple was built by the Hoysalas. It was submerged underwater for 70 years when the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) Dam was built. And every time the water level dropped it would gradually resurface. Today, this temple stands tall for its breathtaking architecture, beautiful sunset views and its divine deity of Lord Krishna playing his flute. This is just the beginning. Read on to find out more about this mystical temple near Bangalore, that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.
The Fascinating History Behind The Venugopala Swamy Temple
The majestic Venugopala Swamy Temple was built by Hoysala rulers in the 12th century. On building the KRS dam, the entire temple structure and the Kannambadi village submerged underwater. During this time, King Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar ordered for the construction of a new village, named Hosa Kannambadi. And in the year 2000, the entire temple resurfaced when water levels in the reservoir dropped. The interesting fact was that the temple remained intact despite being submerged underwater for 70 long years.
On witnessing the architectural splendour of this 700-year old temple, the late Hari Khoday of Khodays Foundation took the responsibility to recreate the magnificence of this age-old temple. Khoday Foundation took extreme care to relocate each and every block of the old temple. The temple relocation cost around ₹2.5 crores. Over 200 people were involved in this humongous effort which officially commenced in May 2003. Venugopala Swamy Temple was successfully relocated in 2011. The new temple complex majorly comprises of old stones from the ancient temple. But it’s given a good polish, which makes it look absolutely new. So its currently situated at Hosa Kannambadi village, around 30km away from Mysore.
Exquisite Architecture Greets You At Venugopala Swamy Temple
Now that we covered the fascinating history behind this ancient temple, let’s head straight to the highlights here. Driving down to the Venugopala Swamy temple is like a fun 3-hour road trip. Lush green coconut trees envelop the roads.
And clear blue skies with cotton clouds give you a glimpse into the magnificence that awaits you. The minute you turn off from the rocky road you will witness the wide expanse of the KRS backwaters. And that’s when the massive granite complex of Venugopala Swamy Temple welcomes you.
Step into the mesmerising courtyard and low and behold! The exquisitely sculpted smaller courtyard greets you. This will surely remind you of the Vijaynagara ruins of Hampi. In fact, right in the main courtyard, stands a tall replica of the Hampi Stone Chariot. This is a favourite spot to click pictures and preserve them for posterity. Didn’t we tell you, that you can experience a slice of Hampi here?
Every inch of this breathtaking temple structure whether its the ceiling, the walls the pillars are all engraved with stunning motifs. The temple till date houses the original idol of Venugopala Swamy, or Lord Krishna playing his flute as a cow-herd. But when you step into the sanctum, you are not permitted to click pictures. Nevertheless, the jewel-studded glimmering eyes of the diety will captivate you. It’s truly a sight to behold. Every corner of the ancient temple structure has a story to tell.
Enjoy A Picturesque Sunset And A Perfect Day Outing At The Venugopala Swamy Temple
Deities of gods, goddesses and rivers like Lakshmi, Rahu-Ketu, Narmada, Ganga, and more surrounds the sanctum. They are all housed in their own individual cells. But when you’re here, be sure to keep at least 2 hours in hand, to explore this vast temple complex. This is indeed a serene spot where you can sit in the courtyard and watch the calm backwaters. Spend some quality time with your loved ones as you await the glorious sunset here by the backwaters near the temple. The skies turn all splendid shades of yellow, pink, orange as they make way for the sun to descend.
The beautifully manicured gardens and benches for visitors will keep you company. There are also small mantapas around the temple. Watch the dam in full capacity as the waters lash the boundary walls of the temples from all the sides. When you have soaked in the marvel of the exquisite architecture and the serenity of nature, make your way to the tapri nearby. Munch on delicious crispy pakoras and piping hot chai as you enjoy a fruitful day out of divinity, and nature with your loved ones. Venugopala Swamy Temple is definitely one of the best temples in Karnataka that will surely offer you a slice of Hampi. In the meanwhile, venture out on this virtual tour all the way to Hampi.