Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple, KRS backwaters

This temple has a very interesting story to tell. The original temple was built around the 12th century in the typical Hoysala architecture. Some temples built around the same time are the Chennakesava temple of Somanathapura, Chennakesava temple of Belur and the Hoysaleswara temple of Halebidu. The temple was built in the current day Kannambadi village and dedicated to Lord Krishna. The main idol of the temple is Lord Krishna playing the flute as a cow herd.

When the construction of Krishna Raja Sagara dam was completed and the dam became operational around 1930, the entire village of Kannambadi was supposed to be completely buried underwater. So the village was relocated to a nearby place called Hosa Kannambadi meaning new Kannambadi. The main idol of Venugopalaswamy was shifted to a new temple in the rehabilitated village before the submersion and the old temple was let to be submerged.

For more than 70 years the temple lay underwater and appearing only during drought years when the water level in the dam goes down. Because the temple was built entirely with stone, it stood steady under the water for over seven decades without getting ravaged or dissolved. Then the Khoday foundation took it upon themselves to relocate the submerged temple stone by stone.

The new site is about one km to the north of the original site; the backwaters would touch the outer walls of the temple if the water level of the KRS touched its maximum capacity. The architects involved in the relocating of the temple had shot the original temple on video, taken over 16,000 photographs, and marked each and every slab used in the construction of the original temple. Each and every temple stone was removed and reconstructed at Hosa Kannambadi with trained artisans and sculptors, with half a dozen experts from Tamil Nadu also involved in the reconstruction.

Stone chariot @ Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple
Stone chariot @ Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple

So now that the temple is relocated, the temple is attracting a lot of devotees and architectural enthusiasts from around the place. This is one of the best temple reconstruction I have ever witnessed. These kinds of works happen often in places like Hampi done by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). But left to no care after the work is done, but Venugopalaswamy temple is well maintained and is kept clean with clean rest rooms and a vast parking lot. The temple is also well staffed with securities and house keeping staff.

Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple
Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple

Sunsets are always beautiful, viewing sunsets close to a water body is even more beautiful and if you have a beautiful artistic building even close to the water body, it just adds more beauty to the day. I visited the temple around the sunset, the KRS backwater, the temple and the monsoon sky was so beautiful and left a very good impression on me.

The Buffalo @ KRS backwaters
The Buffalo @ KRS backwaters

After visiting the temple, I took my car to the KRS backwater close to the waterbody and spent some time there reading a book (Yayati) I was reading then.

If you are around Mysore do visit this place. The temple is just 9 km away from the famous Brindavan Gardens.


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