|With 3 Garbgudi. 3rd one not visible|
So on our way to Nagarhole, we decided to take a detour and visit Somanathapura too. The initial plan was to take Mysore road, have a great breakfast among the innumerable number of eateries lined up and then move towards Somanathapura via Maddur and Malavalli. But thanks to the long weekend, even before we could enter Mysore road we encountered a never ending jam. After consulting the google maps and getting to know the traffic snarls in this particular route leading all the way to Mysore , we made a quick getaway into NICE road and then into Kanakpura road. This was probably our best decision for the day. Kanakpura road had very minimal traffic and also well maintained. We averaged close to 90+ non-stop throughout the entire journey. But on the downside we couldn't find any decent eateries and hence had to reach Mysore for our brunch.
Anyhow just before reaching Mysore there is a diversion towards Somanathpura. This temple town was peaceful, with very minimal commercialization in sight. We employed a guide to take us around and to explain the intricacies of the place. He charged 300 bucks for his services. There are so many interesting features of this temple. For starters there are 3 garbagudis , arranged in a star formation which makes it all the more unique. For those interested to know Belur has 1, Halebidu has 2. Further this temple was not directly built by the ruling king, but by a local chieftain named Somanatha . Hence I assume there was pressure on him not to make this place grander than Belur or Halebid in terms of grandeur and scale.
After spending close to 2 hrs in this peaceful place it was time to move onwards on our journey. We finally got the opportunity to visit this after missing out on it for close to 4 previous trips. I highly recommend visiting this place for 2 reasons. First for the unique temple architecture and second for the tranquil surroundings.