On the banks of Holy river Kaveri is a tiny tranquil town of Somanathapura. Here stands the finest and most exemplary monument of Hoysala architecture known as the famous Prasanna Chennakesava Temple or simply the Kesava Temple. Consecrated in the year 1258 CE, it is a Vaishnav Hindu Temple dedicated to might and beauty of Lord Krishna (Chenna= Beautiful and Kesava= Krishna). Tourists from near and far come to visit the temple to get a view of the beautiful place. The Chennakesava temple is one of the 1500 Temples built by the Hoysala Empire kings in different parts of their kingdom, and is said to be the climax development in Hoysala temple style and yet is unique in many other ways.
A classic example of the famous Hoysala architecture, and is one of the three temples of the kind to be nominated in the Unesco World Heritage list. Unfortunately, this temple is no longer used as a place of worship because the idols have been broken and desecrated by the invading Muslim armies. However, the beauty of the temple still charms thousands of visitors who visit the site to witness the magnificent artistic and engineering achievements of the era, to seek the Lord’s blessing and admire the delicate carvings and sculptures, whose beauty is unequal and as unique as the God that it houses.