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Venugopala Swamy Temple – Hoysala’s architectural marvel

Venugopala Swamy Temple in Hoysala

The Venugopala Swamy Temple in Mysore is a lovely representation of Hoysala architecture. It also stands testimony to the faith and determination to the local people who wanted their lost temple back.

Venugopala Swamy Temple
Venugopala Swamy Temple in Hoysala

Venugopala Swamy Temple History

This 12th Century CE temple was a huge temple dedicated to Krishna as the Flute-playing cowherd (Venugopala). It was located in Kannambadi Village near Mysore city.

In the 29th century, Sir M. Visvesvaraya envisioned a plan for a dam to control the flow of the Cauvery River here.  However, the dam posed a threat to this village. The Maharaja of Mysore, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV had a new village (Hosa Kannambadi) constructed nearby. The people of the old village moved here. The temple’s main idol found a new home in Hosa Kannambadi.

The first phase of construction of the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam ended in 1930. By then, the original Venugopala Swamy Temple along with the entire old village of Kannambadi was under water.

The villagers of Hosa Kannambadi would occasionally be able to see the old temple. It invoked a mixed reaction in them. They were happy to see the temple. Yet the lowered water levels gave warning of an impending drought. This situation continued for over seven decades.

The Relocation Efforts

Sri. Hari Khoday, a businessman and philanthropist, initiated plans to restore the Venugopala Swamy temple. Under his guidance, the Khoday Foundation funded a massive relocation and restoration endeavour.

Meticulous Process

First, a group of architects took innumerable photographs and videos of the submerged temple. They also marked and numbered each and every stone before the dismantling process began. It was a massive effort which involved engineers, artisans, sculptors, and other experts. The reconstruction finished in 2011.

Each and every stone was shifted and reconstructed precisely at the new site. The damage caused by years of submersion were painstakingly removed. The temple now looks almost new.

Venugopala Swamy Temple amidst the state's beauty.
A beautiful View of the Venugopala Swamy Temple’s Surroundings

Originally, the Khoday Foundation planned to relocate the temple in a central region within Mysore city. However, the people of Hosa Kannambadi did not want the temple to leave the neighbourhood. So, the relocation site changed. It is now just 1 km away from the old site, to the north.

More Interesting Facts About Venugopala Swamy Temple

Location of the Temple:  Venugopala Swamy Temple Mysore is located just 9 km away from Brindavan Gardens in Mysore.

Venugopala Swamy Temple Mysore Timings: You can visit this temple from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm. It opens again for evening Darshan, you can visit between 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Other Attractions: The backwaters of the KRS Dam attracts numerous voters besides pilgrims. You can enjoy the sights of lovely sunsets over the backwaters from within this temple.

Venugopala Swamy Temple Architecture

This temple reflects the Hoysala style architecture. The whole temple is on a slightly raised platform. Pillared hallways lead to the main sanctum. As you walk along you can admire the lovely details on the pillars, the patterns carved on the ceilings, and the lovely shikara over the main shrine. Further, there are more shrines along the hallway for other deities. In all, there are 42 shrines, with 17 along the northern and 12 on the southern sides. These shrines are for different deities. These include the 10 avatars of Vishnu.

The Deities At Venugopala Swamy Temple

The main shrine is for Krishna in the Venugopala form. In the original temple, there was a Honne tree behind the idol. However, this feature was lost in the relocation process. So, the original sanctum sanctorum remains closed.

There are numerous shrines along the hallways for various other deities like Hayagriva, Harhara, and Brahma.

Another view of Venugopala Swamy Temple
View of Venugopala Swamy Temple during sunset.

How to Reach Venugopala Swamy Temple

The backwaters of the KRS Dam have freed a small peninsula. The temple is located here. From Mysore, just travel along the route to the Brindavan Gardens. After crossing a bridge near the KRS Dam, keep heading straight on to reach this temple. After this, you will have to follow a route map and travel a few more kilometres to reach this temple.

You can also get a bus to Brindavan Garden from Mysore, then find an autorickshaw to take you to this temple.

How to reach Mysore? You can fly to this city, or get a bus from Bangalore or other nearby places. Mysore is also well connected by the railways.

Stay In Mysore

Mysore is a prime destination on Karnataka Tourist Map, so you will have a lot of hotels here. Plan a tour of Chamundi Hills, Brindavan Gardens, Venugopala Swamy Temple Tirumala, and other places nearby.

Venugopala Swamy Temple in Mysore is a beautiful temple to visit. Its history of submersion and relocation makes it an even more fascinating destination. If you live in Bangalore, you can make this a weekend trip. If you live elsewhere, start enquiring about Mysore tour packages.