Lesser-known temples of Mysuru

Lesser-known temples of Mysuru

Whenever a mention of temples in Mysuru is made, the temples around the palace are prominently highlighted. However, there are a number of other tempes that one could visit, particularly in the old part of Mysuru. Some of these lesser-known temples also have a rich history.

As and when the Maharajas extended the town, they also built temples in the residential areas that were created. Those associated with the Maharajas also constructed temples as part of charity and devotion to their favourite deity. Such temples are to be seen in agraharas like Krishnavilasa, Ramavilasa and Santhepet. Most of them were built during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar III.

A prominent temple among them is Prasanna Venkataramanaswamy Temple in the Krishnavilasa agrahara. The temple was constructed by Subbarayadasa aka Gopaladasa in 1825 and was patronised by Krishnaraja Wadiyar III. A unique feature of this temple is its chitra mantapa, which is covered entirely with rare paintings. There are also a few inscriptions that reveal the temple’s history.

When Krishnaraja Wadiyar III was ruling, his chief queen, Devammaji of Lakshmivilasa, established an agrahara called Lakshmivilasada Devamba by constructing 21 houses and the Prasanna Nanjundeshwara Swamy Temple in Santhepet. The second inscription there reveals that another queen, Lingajammanni of Krishnavilasa, established the Krishnavilasada Lingamba agrahara by constructing 20 houses and the Parakala Math. In the Parakala Math, she built a mantapa and consecrated the god, Hayagriva. The third identical epigraph records the establishment of an agrahara by Queen Cheluvajammanni of Ramavilasa. This consisted of 20 houses and the Ahobila Math. Named as Cheluvamba agrahara, she got god, Lakshminarasimhaswamy, consecrated.

When Seethavilasa agrahara was formed as a continuation of the Ramavilasa agrahara, the Seetharamaswamy Temple came up. This temple has the idols of Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana in white marble. It was rebuilt a few years ago and more shrines were added for other deities.

Another important temple is the Kantha Vishweshwaraswamy Temple on Ramanuja Road. This Ishwara temple was built by Sardar M Kantharaj Urs, an adminstrator in the Mysore kingdom, in a well-spread out place in Khille Mohalla. He built Kantha Vishweshwara Temple in 1904. Another temple of significance is Subrahmanyeshwara Temple near Gandhi square. It was built in 1859 by Bakshi Basappaji, who was a minister and treasurer of Krishnaraja Wadiyar III. Besides the chief deity, idols of minor gods were also installed and consecrated in the presence of the Maharaja.

The next temple is the Chamarajeshwara Temple on Banumaiah Road. Though named Chamarajeshwara, Veerabhadreshwara is the main deity here. The idol of Chamarajeshwara in the linga form is in a shrine behind Veerabhadreshwara. This temple is attributed to Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X. Among the paintings displayed here is a traditional Mysuru painting showing Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III offering his respects to a swamiji along with others.

At the end of this road is the Manteswamy Siddappaji Temple. At the entrance of this temple stands a small stone image of interest – a cow letting out milk on a linga. Around this image is an inscription in Kannada which states that it was a sevartha (service for god) by Kempu Devajammanni, wife of Palace Maramath Bakshi Lingaraje Urs.

Similarly, there are other old streets like Thyagaraja Road which has a temple of Gopalakrishna. This temple has a beautiful image of the chief deity. It was built by Prince Krishne Urs. Devamba agrahara has the Kashi Vishwanatha Temple. The Kalamma Temple street in Mandi Mohalla is named in honour of goddess Kali, whose temple is located there, besides a few other temples like Kalabhairaveshwara and Ramalingeshwara Chowdeshwari.

Known for their association with the rulers and their officials, these temples are  worth a visit for their architecture and the glimpses they offer of the past.

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