Forgotten Venugopal Swamy Temple, Mysore

A newly developing hot spot tourist (sacred) destination from Mysore is the Venugopal Swamy Temple. Couple of centuries back, the people of Kannambadi and other settlements around this village worshiped in this temple. It was built in 12th century AD around the same time as the Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura, Mysore district. The temple has Hoysala style of architecture.

The new temple seemed to be on an island from a distance.
New Venugopal Swamy Temple
The old stones retrieved from the abandoned temple.

Venugopalswamy Temple Submerged under Water

In 1909 after the Krishna Raja Sagar dam was built, this Venugopalswamy Temple and three more in village of Kannambadi got completely submerged and lost under water. Imagine a whole ancient temple of 12th century lost under water! Of course the settlements were moved to a safer place but the temples had to be abandoned. The then king of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV ordered construction of a new village for the residents of Kannambadi. The new village was aptly named Hosa Kannambadi (hosa meaning new). The main idol of Venugopalaswamy, Lord Krishna playing on flute as a cow-herd, was shifted to a new temple in the rehabilitated village before the temple got submerged under water.


Venugopalswamy Temple Entrance

Construction of New Venugopal Swamy Temple

During the drought of 2000 when the level of water had drastically receded the abandoned temples were visible. Philanthropist Mr. Sri Hari Khoday took up the task of relocating and restoring the temple. Wiki says: The in-house architects of the group shot the original temple on video, took over 16,000 photographs. And they marked each and every slab used in the construction of the original temple. The officials removed each and every temple stone. They planned to reconstruct the new temple at Hosa Kannambadi. Trained artisans and sculptors, with half a dozen experts from Tamil Nadu are also involved in the reconstruction.

The old pillars and slabs retrieved are not being used in this new temple. Instead they are trying to make a copy, an exact replica of the old temple. So, what will happen to these retrieved parts of the temple? Hopefully a museum will be made in the vicinity housing these old structures.

New Venugopalswamy Temple, Mysore

Walking into this brand new temple is intriguing. It has designs from past and you feel as if you are walking into brand new ‘old era’. Most noteworthy is that the chiseled new look cannot really hide that old aura. You can observe that there is no sign of modern-ness in the idols. The temple is yet to be officially inaugurated. But tourists hardly wait for such formalities and like us there were more people walking in and out of this temple. This is an ideal place to observe how Hoysala architecture is implemented. Old architecture is infused in new stones here for the temple.

I intend to revisit the temple when it is completed just to see how a modern day Hoysala Temple would look like!


How to reach Venugopalswamy Temple:

It is easy access from Mysore and easiest from Brindavan Gardens. Take the road to Kannambadi, south of KRS Dam, just 9kms. I suggest visit the temple in the evening, you will get good sunset pics with the temple in foreground and then visit the Brindavan Gardens for musical fountain show.


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37 Responses

  1. Sylvia K says:

    Amazing and beautiful temple and great captures for the day as always!! It does look like your gray time of year!!

  2. So beautiful! Great architecture!

  3. ladyfi says:

    Lovely location for a temple!

  4. Jeevan says:

    Wow! Awesome reconstruction and they well captured the essence of elegance of latter era. Excellent photos and the temple look very beautiful surrounded by water.

  5. Felicia says:

    beautiful stonework

  6. Carver says:

    Very informative post and great shots.

  7. Gail Dixon says:

    The carvings and buildings are spectacular! Looks like a great place to vacation.

  8. VaishVijay says:

    Great to know about this restored temple!

  9. Bibi says:

    Been to Mysore and the Brindavan Gardens, but not this temple…another time!

  10. Splendid captures Indrani!

  11. Temples of South India are truly remarkable with their black stone architecture and fabulous carvings. I loved your blog and the amazing pictures you have shared on this blog. I wonder when I will be in a position to visit these beautiful temples.

  12. Enjoyed my visit…great info and great photos♪

  13. MP UPPAL says:

    Temples of South India present architectural designs of high standard.

  14. Anjali says:

    It is located in such a beautiful location 🙂

  15. Yogi Saraswat says:

    beautiful stonework

  16. Very nicely written post.. Had great time reading it..

  17. ibarora says:

    thanks for sharing

  18. Nice write about a rehabilitated temple. Like the pictures

  19. Tara Nair says:

    Forgotten?!! May be that’s why it is so clean and beautiful… or else you know the visual story of other populated temples. Good read Indrani 😀

  20. Forgotten, yeah I did forget to pay a visit here last time when I was there. I was lost in the marvellous St. Philomena church that I didn’t realize what all I’m missing !

  21. This temple looks gorgeous and this is the first time I am hearing about it, Indrani. Would love to visit.

  22. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    Great architectural style… nice clicks, indrani… 🙂

  23. Amazingly beautiful photographs of a forgotten architectural gem!
    Thanks a lot for throwing light on the unknown beauty of Karnataka to the world through your travel posts 🙂
    TC, keep smiling 🙂

  24. Very interesting and informative post!

  25. Perfect timing for this post as I am traveling to Mysore in January to practice yoga! Thanks for sharing this gem – will definitely plan to visit.

  26. Ami says:

    Wow…i did not know about this temple at all. Hope to visit it once it is done. Interesting info,

  27. We made a impromptu visit to the Temple last year. But it was late in the night when we reached so couldn’t see anything much. Thanks to you got a virtual tour of the Temple :).

  28. What a beautiful temple.. I’d love to visit there!

  29. Lorraine says:

    What a beautiful temple. It definitely hasan old world atmosphere in these photographs. I would love to visit here – thank you for sharing.

  30. Vyjay says:

    This temple is new to me and I will definitely check it out the next time I head towards Mysore. It would be fascinating to see a modern temple with all elements of ancient culture and architecture.

  31. Very informative; thanks for sharing:)

  32. Mimi says:

    I love discovering all these historical place from your blog! Yet, this is another amazing spot you are showcasing us. Although I am not too keen of the new Vanugopal temple…. I have something against reconstructed, but then, this happens mostly everywhere!

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