This was the Hoysala temple constructed in Kannambadi village during 12th century. When KRS reservoir was built, the village along with its temple were submerged. I do not think any efforts were made to relocate the temple at that point of time. Priorities in those days might have been different.
It was in the summer months of year 2000 when I first heard about this temple. News papers had reported that the temple had made its appearance due to low water level in KRS reservoir. I and my friend Vivek were very excited on reading that news. Since we had nothing to do on that afternoon, we went to KRS. I remember walking on the dam for entire entire length to reach the other side and walk along the backwaters. It was a wonderful experience. We had no cameras at that time and the experience was embedded in our memories only.
The temple made its appearance again in 2003. It was decided to relocate and renovate the temple. Khoday’s foundation (led by liquor baron Hari Khoday) took up this activity. The temple was relocated 1 km from its original location to hosa Kannambadi village. When the reservoir is full, the water would touch the outer walls of the temple. The KRS dam is visible from the temple.
I had heard about the relocation and thought about visiting the place from long time but got materialised few weeks ago. It was just 9 km from Brindavan gardens. The last two km of road was in a bad condition. The temple complex looked huge from outside. A large area was dedicated to parking which is very much required considering the number of people visiting the temple. A sad part was that a board mentioned that all types of photography was banned. But in reality only SLR’s were banned while mobile cameras were allowed. I felt it as a foolish decision.
Considering the temple was under water for nearly 3/4 of the century, there must very less remains of it for renovation. It was also reflected as most of the temple structure looked new with very few old structures. A stone chariot which is basically a replica of the structure in Hampi was also constructed outside the temple. It looked like it was mainly built for attraction rather than to recreate the old temple surroundings.
The guards are the entrance of the temple were warning people not to use camera inside the temple. What caught me attention was that they were telling that “This God does not accept money. Don’t give any offering.” Sounded funny but it was very true!! The internal part of the temple looked like a typical Hoysala structure with modern look. At the entrance, there was also some information about the history of the temple and the efforts for renovation.
It was sunset time by the time we came out of the temple. It was time to head to backwaters of KRS. While a lot of people concentrated at the water near the temple, we walked a bit inside to find a nice and secluded spot. A beautiful place to spend the evening.
Overall, it was a good visit. The effort spent on renovation must be commended.