Divinity by the water

Visit the renovated temple of the age-old Venugopala Swamy Temple near KRS Backwaters

Venugopala Swamy Temple, KRS Backwaters

The first thing you see when you turn off from the rocky road is the wide expanse of KRS backwaters. Then the massive granite complex looms into the picture. A cool breeze caresses you as soon as you step out of your vehicle. Venugopala Swamy Temple is a beautiful and serene spot which is not known to many.

Venugopala Swamy Temple was originally a 12th-century temple built by the Hoysalas. However, it was submerged when the KRS Dam was built. It used to resurface whenever the water level in the dam used to drop. Finally, the temple was relocated to Hosa Kannambadi village.

The late Hari Khoday of Khodays Foundation took it upon himself to recreate the splendour of this age-old temple albeit in a more magnificent manner. Extreme care was taken to shift each and every block of the old temple and more than 200 people were involved in this humongous effort, which officially began in May 2003 and was completed in 2011. The new temple complex is largely made up of the old stones from the old temple, but have been given a good polish, which makes it look absolutely new!  

Sunset at KRS Backwaters
Sunset at KRS Backwaters

Once you enter the main courtyard, another exquisitely sculpted, smaller courtyard greets you, which might just remind you of the other famous Hoysala temples in the state. Every inch of the structure, be it the ceiling, the pillars, the walls, has been stunningly carved with various motifs. The temple still houses the original idol of Venugopalaswamy, which is Lord Krishna playing his flute as a cow-herd.

The sanctum is surrounded by idols of gods, goddesses, rivers such as Lakshmi, Rahu-Ketu, Narmada, Ganga, and more, all housed in their own individual cells. Right outside the main courtyard stands a tall replica of the Hampi Stone Chariot, a favourite backdrop for many selfie-enthusiasts.

Beautifully manicured gardens surround the entire complex along with benches for visitors. Small mantapas have been established all around the temple, too. When the dam is at its full capacity, the waters lash the boundary walls of the temple on all three sides. The temple gets the maximum footfalls during the evening, especially around sunset. It’s also an ideal spot for birdwatchers. What are you waiting for? Head to this scenic spot now!

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Divinity by the water

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