Turuvekere is a small town which is located about 125 km from Bangalore. A major chunk of Karnataka was under the reign of Hoysala Dynasty from 11th to almost 14th century. During this period, the artisans of the dynasty built galore of temples, spread across all the regions that came under their reign.
With Belur and Halebid being the capitals, and the towns that have most of the architectural relics, people tend to forget about places like Turuvekere. It houses a few beautiful Hoysala temples that simply cannot be forgotten. In fact, Turuvekere was known as an "Agraharam", which translates to "town of learning", hence it was an important part of the dynasty.
Here are the temples of Turuvekere.
Chennakeshava Temple Of Aralaguppe
Situated 4 km from Turuvekere, is the village of Aralaguppe that houses a temple of Chennakeshava. Being an extraordinarily huge temple, the plan of the temple is a 16-star pointed structure. Along with a beautiful structure that follows the original style of Hoysala architecture, an intricately detailed design can also be found on the ceiling of the mantapa.
Moole Shankareshwara Temple
Unlike the Chennakeshava Temple which follows the Dravidian style of architecture, historians believe that Shankareshwara Temple follows Bhumija Nagara style or North Indian style. The fact that the temple is built on a semi-stellate base and the style of building are the only two factors that do no coincide with the basic skeleton of a Hoysala structure.
Apart from that, this magnificent temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The term "Moole" in Kannada means corner, so some believe that since the temple is tucked in a corner of the town, it got the name. Another theory is that the term "Moola" which means origin, might have been turned to "Moole" over the years.
This is a grand yet underrated temple amongst all that is found in Turuvekere. Built by Mahadandanakaya Somanna, it is an attractive temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The idol of Lord Shiva is crowned with serpent hoods, and is an exemplar model of great sculpting since it is carved out of a single stone.
The Shiva's idol also has Goddess Ganga placed on the head, that is, a fountain of water flows from the top, which is a depiction of River Ganga. The entrance of this temple houses a huge idol of Nandi made of Blackstone locally called as the Turuvekere Kallu. The idol is almost 7-8 ft in height.
Sometimes known as the Chennigaraya Temple, the Chennakeshava temple of Turuvekere is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Chennakeshava in Kannada means "handsome Keshava". Lord Vishnu is also known as Keshava. Built around the 1263 AD, this temple has all the distinctive features of Hoysala architecture.
It has an ekakuta (single-shrine), one closed and an open mantapa (hall), connected by a vestibule. The temple houses a 6 ft tall carving of the idol of Lord Vishnu. Chennakeshava Temple has Lord Vishnu as the presiding deity, which is slightly different from the rest of Hoysala temples, which is usually Lord Shiva.
All these temples can only be completely understood and appreciated with just a visit.
How To Reach Turuvekere
The Bangalore International Airport is the closest one to Turuvekere, located at a distance of 145 km. It connects with all major cities of India such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata etc. From here, KSRTC buses are available to Turuvekere or the neighbouring towns. Among the many highways connecting to the town, NH 75 and NH 150A connect Turuvekere to Bangalore.