Dedicated to Lord Vishnu is the Saumyakeshava temple (also known as the Anantha Kshetra, Nagamangala Paniparaha Kshetra) right in the middle of the town of Nagmanagala, Mandya district (Karnataka). With the residing deity as Sri Soumya Keshava Swamy the temple is about a thousand years old and was constructed by Hoysala Pallegara Sri Jaya Deva Raya. The temple holds the Raghu-Kethu Pooja as the most important and well known ritual in the temple.
About the Temple
Built in soapstone and granite (12th century) the temple imbibes glimpse of of Hoysala, Vijayanagara and post-Vijayanagara features because of being renovated by the successful rulers of these times. The mahadvara, prakara and patalankana are symbolic of being added in the Vijayanagara period. The trikutachala temple has a garbhagiha, an antarala, a navaranga which has two shrines on the north and south respectively, a large pillared mahamandapa which opens into a jagati on the east; according to the temple plan.
Raised on a Jagati the temple holds the conventional mouldings (adhisthana, single plastered wall, an austere sikhara without the typical Hoysala carving, are still found retaining the majesty) and is stellate inside the Mahamanadapa in the Sanctum area. Standing on a Garuda pedestal the image of god Kesava (Saumyakeshava) in the sanctum is six feet high and holds a serene expression while being exquisitely sculpted. The Navaranga has its pillars and ceilings embellished with varied and attractive designs. Other important features of the temple are the seven storeyed lime and brick tower over the eastern entrance, the magnificent figures of the Gods and Goddesses and the other sub shrines.
It lies among the most ancient temples with attractive architectureal stone work. In front of the main Deity is the central manadapa which has intricately carved stone structures. In the middle of which is carved Adhisheshan-the head of which is Raghu and the tail as Kethu- around which are engraved 108 conches. Devotees who wish to perform the Raghu Kethu relief Pooja are asked to stand beneath the Adhisheshan. Some of the Poojas here are believed to get rid of problems which include: santana bhagya (wealth), mental illness, delay in marriage and overall wellbeing of a person.
During Mahabharatha, Lord Krishna planned to start war but he was worried about the Naga Asthra(Snake arrow) which if used by Karna could kill Arjuna. Hence Lord Krishna took control over all the Nagas of the world in his shank (which controls all Nagas). In this temple Adhishesh appears in a uniquely ancient position sitting on Mandala Akara on (A big conch which lies over a heap of 108 conches) Manatapa. Nowhere else in the world, can one find the Adhi Seshan sitting in Mandala Akara position beneath the Bhuvaneshwari Mandap sitting atop of shanku.
Deepa Aradhanam is done on Ugadi in the Karthik month and on Maha Shivrathri for the 51 feet high Garuda Gamba. On this day first a pooja is held for the Garuda and then the lamp is lit through the Sarpani. Before coming to the main sanctum of Sri Sowmya Kesava Perumal is the Bhuvaneswari mandapam with huge pillars on four sides.
About The Deity
Sri Sowmya Kesava Perumal stands with sanku(conch) in his right upper hand and chakra(the wheel) in left upper hand(Unlike all the other places where are seen otherwise), padmam(lotus) in his right lower hand and Gadha(his weapon) in his left lower hand and with his consorts Bhoo Devi and Neela Devi on either side of him.
The main deity is Sri Sowmya Kesava Perumal in standing posture with his consorts Bhoo Devi and Neela Devi. He holds sanku(conch) in his right upper hand and chakra(the wheel) in left upper hand, padmam(lotus) in his right lower hand and Gadha(his weapon) in his left lower hand.
Normally sanku is seen in left hand and chakra in right hand but in this temple they are changed. To the left is the sanctum with Lord Krishna and his consorts Rukmani and Sathyabhama and on the right sanctum is Sri Lakshmi Narashima sitting on five headed Adi sesha.
The place is (the Parihara Sthalam for Naga Sarpa Dosha and Raghu and Kethu) significant for curing any type of illness in body, mind and any weakness and for those longing for marriage or child.
How To Reach Nagamangala
Mysore holds the nearest airport to this place.
Mandaya holds the nearest Railway station to Nagamangala but can also be reached by busses from Pandavapura which go from Mysore.
The place is well connected by the Bangalore Mysore Highway but can also be reached via Mandya by the KSRTC busses. It is also well connected by Bellur and Pandavapura cross.
Nagamangala, Mandya District,
Karnataka, India, Pincode – 571432.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Freedom from diseases
- Relief from adverse effects from bad planetary aspects
- Relief from bondage
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.