Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Kotalur’s – 11th Century, Sri Channakesava Hoysala Temple

The rear and the side view of the temple2.Channarayapatna is about 140 Kms from Bangalore on NH 48, Bengaluru – Mangalore toll paying high way. In short it’s known as C R Patna by the locals, its 40 Kms short of Hassan. This place is known for it’s sweet cucumbers and jackfruits. Never forget to indulge in them and bring some home.
This geographical region is full of temple tours, including the famous ones – Belur, Halebidu, Shravanabelgola or the lesser known ones viz, Mosale, Koravangala, Hassanamba and plenty like them… One edifice is more beautiful than the other, Poetry in Stone! An avid traveler would take a week to see them all. For rest and relaxation one has to head either to the coastal town of Mangalore – Udupi or the forest plantation hills of Chickmagalur.
Here we talk about a lesser known 11th century Hoysala temple of their early times. It’s ironic that this temple is not on the tourist map, eventhough it’s situated in the heart of town called, Channarayapatna. The locals don’t know it or recall it. They are all enamoured by the local newly built shrines. After a lot of going around in circles and detours, landed at this beautiful Channakesavara – Lord Vishnu Temple which is1500 years old. The town and civilisation almost engulf this edifice. The Government of Karnataka’s Muzarai department administers this temple of miracles! The temple is on a raised platform with a chain-linked fence. It’s got a narrow road running on all four sides. The temple is in midst of a residential civilisation. It also has a shrine of ‘Kalingamardina’?. This Temple deserves better care and development.
C R Patna or Channarayapatna was called ‘Kotalur’ in the earlier times. This temple looks like an early Hoysala Temple. The Prince of Holenarsipura was suffering from polio, the royal priest advised him to go to this temple and offer special prayers. Miraculously he was cured. Hence from that day this place got it’s name, ‘Channarayapatna’ after the temple deity, Channakesava – Lord Vishnu in Krishna avatar. The carved statues of the Hindu Gods are beautiful… So are the other figurines. It takes only half an hour to visit this beautiful shrine. But the trick is to find it. Just ask around. Heading only to this temple shrine will not be satisfying, request you to add a few more temples – there are quite a few!
Channarayapatna is no place to stay, the people over here are simpletons. Food available is South Indian. Carry Cash. Nearest civilisation is Hassan 40 Kms away. These places are well connected by road and rail. But, makes sense to have your own transport – Two Wheeler or Four-Wheeler. Roads are in good shape. Travel time is cut down.
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography

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