CTET Paper-I English: Questions 73 - 81 of 294
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The small village of Somnathpur has a magnificent temple, built around 1268 AD by the Hoyasalas of Karnataka- one of the most richest temple builders. Belur and Helebid are among their better know works. While these suffered during the invasion of the 14th century, the Somnathpur temple stands more or less stable in near original condition.
This small temple has divine everyone with its beautiful sculptures and vitality, covering almost every inch of the walls, pillars and even ceilings. It has three shikharas and stands on a start shaped platform with 24 edges. The outer walls have a profusion of detailed carvings: the entire surface runs over by a carved plaque of stone. There were vertical panels covered by exquisite figures of Gods and Goddess. Vishnu seemed the most popular, with many of his incarnations being depicted. Shiv, Brahma and Indra weren’t left out and there were plenty of female deities too Durga and Saraswati. There were shapely nymphs too, some carrying an ear of maize. The elaborate ornamentation, very characteristics of Hoyasalas sculptures, was a remarkable feature. On closer look and it is worth it- the series of friezes on the outer walls revealed intricately carved caparisoned elephants, charging horsemen, stylized flowers, warriors, musicians, crocodiles and swans.
The temple was actually commissined by Soma Dandanayaka or Somnath, he naed the temple after him, the minister of the Hoyasalas king, Narsimha the Third. The temple was built to house 3 versions of Krishna. The inner center of the temple was Kalyana Mandapa. Leading from here were 3 corridors, each ending in a shrine, one for each kind of Krishna - Venugopala, Janardana and Prasanna Keshava, though only 2 remain in their original form. In the darkness of the sanctum, I tried to discern the different images. The temple’s sculptural perfection is amazing and it includes the doors of the temple and the 3 beautifully designed towers.