The origin of the Hoysalas is a matter of much interesting speculation and controversy. Like their distinguished contemporaries, the Seunas, the Hoysalas too claim their descent from Yadu (Lunar Dynasty) and call themselves the Yadavas. The conventional titles like, "Yadavanarayana", "Yadavakutambrad-yumani" and "Dvaravatipura-varadhisvara" are common to both the Seunas and the Hoysalas. These details are compiled from internet and by various sources by the Blogger over the years.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nambi Narayana Temple (1120 A.D), Tondanuru, Pandavapura Taluk, Mandya District.

Unable to withstand the torments of Chola King Kulothunga, Ramanujacharya, the saint-philosopher, who propounded the Vishistadvaitha philosophy had fled Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. He took refuge at Thonnur, a small village near Melkote in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district. Many scholars give different versions about how long he stayed there, but it seems that he had a lengthy sojourn here going by many events and legends connected with him. Bittideva, the Jain King of the Hoysala dynasty, was attracted by Ramanujacharya's teachings and became a Vaishnavite and called himself Vishnuvardhana. It is said that Thonnur became the second capital of Hoysalas during this period.

The two temples that capture the attention of visitors here are the Nambi Narayanaswamy Temple and the Venugopalaswamy Temple. Legend has it that the temple of Nambi Narayanaswamy got this name as Lord Narayana graced Nambi, a disciple. This temple was constructed in the 12 th century AD during the regime of Vishnuvardhana to commemorate his victory over the Cholas at Talakadu. According to an inscription, Suragi Nagaiah, one of the generals of King Vishnuvardhana, built this shrine. The temple has a Navaranga, a Maharanga Mantapa, an Ardha Mantapa, a Shukanaasi, a Garbha Griha (Sanctum Sanctorum) and a big Paataalankana.

To the right of Narayanaswamy, there is an image of Lakshmi. Gadha (Mace) and Padma are found on the upper hands. Sridevi and Bhudevi flank the nine-foot high main deity on the right and left sides respectively. The images of Narayanaswamy, Sridevi and Bhudevi are carved out of a single stone.

In Navaranga, among other pillars, four are in soft stone. The remaining is in granite. Ornate designs of flowers and beads are carved on these pillars. According to experts, the four similar soft stone pillars were forerunners to the pillars found in Belur and Halebeedu temples.

The images of astadikpaalakaas are also found here. The Ardhamantapa has the padukaas of Ramanujacharya. The Vimana of the shrine is in Dravidian style and built of mortar.

Fifty pillars adorn the Maharanga Mantapa. The Paataalankana has 40 octagonal-faced pillars. 45 feet high Garudagamba lies in front of this shrine. Some scholars are of the opinion that the Paataalankana and the Maharangamantapa are subsequent additions.

The Venugopalaswamy Shrine, located opposite to the Nambi Narayanaswamy Temple, has a basadi-like Gopuram. The temple has a Shukanaasi, a Navaranga, a Mukhamantapa and a Garbha Griha. Parthasarathy is the main deity here. Sridevi and Bhudevi idols are found to the left and right of the main image.

There are Tamil and Kannada inscriptions in the Mukhamantapa. An idol of Aravinda Nayaki lies in the second praakara with lotuses in two upper arms. The other two show abhaya and varada mudras. In front of this idol lies the Kalyana Mantapa, where Kalyanotsava is held.

A big pillar, used for swinging idols during important occasions, is seen outside the temple. Historians opine that this shrine is older than the Nambi Narayanaswamy Temple. It is also said that four generals carried out extension work in this temple.

Mandya district has many temples built in Hoysala style. But shrines in Thonnur are special, as they are built in Chola style. It is said that many Tamilians settled here after Ramanujacharya's arrival. Probably, this factor might have influenced temple construction in a particular style.


  1. i like kere thonnuru .am a research scholar at mysore university my topic is hoysalas historical sites in pandaavapura taluku .so if know about sources plz send my email; rameshads97@

  2. hi im thonnddanur(Kere tonnuru) Sri Nambi Narayana Swamy temple archak more information about this temple and seva contact this num 9741740561 or 9741819202