Temple at Somnath-pur 51241
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the temple at Somnathpur in Karnataka from the 'Photograph album of Major General Jackson Muspratt Muspratt-Williams', taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s. The Keshava Temple at Somnathpur, completed in 1268, is one of the best preserved of the temples built in the Hoysala period. The Hoysala dynasty reigned throughout Southern India from the 11th to the 14th centuries and patronized the construction of numerous temples. The temple in this view consists of three shrines dedicated to Keshava, the god Vishnu under his three aspects, approached through a columned mandapa or hall. On the outer walls of the temple, at the lower levels, there are friezes of elephants, horses, makaras, geese and foliated scrolls. A procession of gods richly encrusted with jewels and ornaments is set in the various projections of the walls created by the stellate plan of the sanctuaries. Above the panels, pilasters support miniature temples. The sanctuaries have pyramidal towers of diminishing storeys and dome-like roofs at the summits.