Sompalyam: Hidden treasure in Andhra Pradesh
Overview: Sompalyam is around 160km from Bangalore and is in Chittoor District of AP. This temple can be reached from Bangalore via Hosakote - Chintamani - Kothakota. We left at 4am so we could reach there by 7:30am.
The first striking feature of this temple is the 52 feet high ornamental Dhwajastambha, highlighting of the brilliance of the Vijayanagara rulers.
The outer mantapa pays tribute to the female and male warriors who played a role in protecting the empire. There is a huge Uyyale mantapa also, similar to the King's Balance in Hampi. As we enter the temple through the main Gopuram, the first sight which captures our eyes is the stone chariot carved out of granite. Yes, you heard it right. The stone chariot which can be seen in Hampi and Tadipatri, can also be seen here, though smaller in size. The ceiling of the temple is decorated with colourful murals, depicting the scenes from Ramayana.
The Kalyana Mantapa is exquisitely carved out of black soapstone and has captured all the minute details, including those of the deity of the temple, Krishna, or Chennakeshava.
There are some beautiful 3D artwork as well which can be seen at one square mandapa near the entrance, depicting a monkey. Before wrapping up, one thing we cannot miss in Vijayanagara temples is the musical pillars, which makes distinctive sound when tapped.
There is a small Hanuman temple just a few metres from this temple which can be visited. From here one can view the remnants of the fort which existed here in the hillocks.
|Chennakeshava temple Sompalyam
|Pillar at Sompalyam
|Paintings at Sompalyam
|Hanuman at Sompalyam
|Hanuman temple at Sompalyam