- Kirthi Narayanaswamy Devalaya
This historical town was hailed as prime Hari-Hara kshetra and it enjoyed the
status of capital for the Ganga dynasty for sometime. It is surrounded by river
Cauvery on all four sides. Its name is derived from two Kirata sisters called
Tala and Kadu, who lived in the dim past. Moreover, it was popular as Gajaranya
kshetra due to Maharshi Somadatta, who attained emancipation here. Its long
legendary episodes link themselves with kings, sages and divinities. During the
Chola regime, many temples for Hari and Hara were built and their extensive
patronage turned it into a pilgrim centre. Later it was annexed to Hoyasala
empire by Vishnuvardhan, the valorous Hoyasala emperor who built and renovated
temples many. He was conferred with the honorific title of Talakadugonda for
defeating the Chola king. After the fall of Hoyasalas, it enjoyed Vijayanagara
rule for sometime and lastly came under Odayars.
countless shrines along with the famous Pancha Sivaalayas were washed away by
the fury of Cauvery many times. To add to this, the potent curse of Alimelamma,
wife of Tirumalaraya, completely submerged its glory in the sand dunes. Among
the temples worthy of visitation, the first is Kirthi Narayana temple built by
Hoyasala Vishnu Vardhan in token of his victory over Chola king. Known for his
passion for building of temples, he made it a jewel among temples of this
region. It has all the parts in vast dimensions and imposing statures adorned
with superb sculpture and excellent architectural designs.
image of Chaturbhuja Kirthi Narayana is ten feet in height and chiselled to
perfection. It raises the visitors hands at first sight itself. The facial
features mirror the ace artistry of the sculptor. Its mini-shrines contain
several adorable deities, like Iakshmb Nammalwar; Vedantacharya etc.
It is 42 km off
Mysore in the T.Narsipur taluq, accessible by bus.