September 1, 2017

Kere Thonnur Ramanujacharya Temple and Hosaholalu

Beautiful village with a huge Lake which never dries and many Vaishnava Temples in and around, yes that is the place we are going to see now. It is called Kere Thonnur or Thondanur in Mandya district. There is a small hill and a huge lake with paddy fields. This is again a perfect day trip from Bangalore. 

Kere Thonnur (or) Thondanur and Hosaholalu
140 Kms from Bangalore and 30 Kms from Mysore
Time Needed
10 to 12 hours including driving (Bangalore), 1 hour drive from Mysore
Places to see
1. Nambi Narayana Swamy Temple
2. Sri Gopalakrishna swamy Temple with Sridevi and Bhudevi
3. Yoganarasimha and Sri Ramanujacharya Temple
4. Venkataramana Temple on the small hills - you can drive up to see the beautiful view of entire Kere Thonnur lake from here.
5. Statue of Shri Ramanujacharya and the lake Thonnur
6. Lakshmi Narayana Temple at Hosaholalu - Here three shrines are there. Venugopala on left, Lakshmi narayana in middle and Prahladha on right side
7. Bhuvaraha swamy Temple
Note: Check the Nearby place Melukote if you have lots of time.
Local Guides
Very old Vaishnavaite temples with inscriptions and Ramanujacharya statue, Beautiful Lakshmi Narayana Temple with intricate carvings
Stay options
On the way to Mandya you get to see plenty of options in NH, but none in this village. So carry enough snacks and water. Try the local fresh coconut in this village. If you have plans to visit Melukote you can have lunch there. Visit my blog for more details.
Best time to visit
Anytime, Throughout the year
Nearby Places

It was on a Saturday during the long weekend around 15th August we were wondering where to go. Decided to visit temples and got to hear from friends about Sri Ramanujacharya temple and Sri Lakshmi Narayana temple close to Mysore and Mandya. This is very unique temple for Sri Ramanujacharya. In Tamil, Thondan means a disciple and oor is a town. 

Connection with Sri Ramanujacharya

It is said that, Sri Ramanujacharya from Srirangam, escaped from persecution of King Kulothungan and walked along cauvery river and reached here. He was welcomed by his disciple named Nambi. This place was also called Thondanur as per the inscriptions. You could see old inscriptions in both Tamil and Kannada. It is also believed that this Thonnur lake never dried up since 1000 years.

Note: If you want to know more about Srirangam and other important places please read my very detailed blog on Trichy here.

The Hoysala King Sri Bitti Deva or Vishnuvaradhana who was the Jain follower, renounced Jainism and became Vaishnavaite because of Ramanujacharya. That King's daughter who was possessed by evil forces got relieved off by the prayers and powers of Sri Ramanujacharya and hence the king got converted and started to believe this Vaishnavism.

Small story about Sri Ramanujacharya 

There was a scholar named Thirukkotiyur Nambi who knows the meaning of most of the sacred mantra and Ramanuja tried multiple times to learn these from him. In eighteenth attempt Nambi agreed to teach him with a promise from Ramanuja, that whoever listens or chant this mantra will directly reach Vaikuntam or heaven and if Ramanuja tells this to anyone he will reach hell. After listening to the mantra, Ramanuja was so excited and thought to himself, what if we tell this mantra to entire Humanity and all can reach Vaikuntam. He then climbed on top of the temple and started chanting the mantra at his high voice, Hearing this news, Nambi called him and asked why did he reveal the mantra to everyone. Ramanuja replied very politely saying "by chanting and teaching the mantra to all, entire humanity can reach Vaikuntam and it is only him who will reach hell and it is perfectly fine with me". Then Thirukkotiyur Nambi embraced him.

The bag that Sri Ramanujacharya used, is been preserved and kept in this temple alongside his statue in glass enclosure.

Though the temples looks pretty simple, the main deity are looking so beautiful. You must also see the Tamil and Kannada inscriptions, murals.

Planning the trip

This is again a perfect day outing or weekend break from Bangalore or Mysore. If you can start early in morning, you should be able to cover all these places and come back to Bangalore by evening. If you are in Mysore, then these places are very close i.e. 30 Kms. 

All the temples listed here in this blog are having daily Pooja and timings. The temples open at 10 or 10:30 AM in morning. The priest stay very close by. Ask locals for the house of priest and call him to open the temple if in case it is closed. On Saturday/Sundays there are good number of visitors and for sure the priest will be available. 

First you may want to visit 1. Nambi Narayana temple. Direct opposite to this, is the 2. Gopalakrishna swamy temple. Behind Nambi Narayana temple you will find 3. Ramanujacharya temple. From this temple you can see a school on right side, go through that and there is a way to go up the hill. You can drive with your car. It is a mud road. On top of the hill is the 4. Venkataramana swamy temple. From this hill you could see the entire lake and surrounding. You get a beautiful view from here. Get down from here and see 5. Ramanujacharya statue on the way to Thonnur lake which is a good picnic spot. Please be careful not to get inside water. 

Have your lunch and start to 6. Hosaholalu to visit Lakshmi Narayana Temple. We have seen the priest even in afternoon around 2:30 or 3 PM here. From here if you like to visit 7. Bhu Varahaswamy temple which is in Kalahalli you can use google maps to drive. 

Nearby Places

Melukote is just 20 Kms from here. Melukote is also well known place for Vaishnava Temple. Read my blog which has lots of photos on this temple. It may be difficult to cover all these places in a day. If you want to visit all these places then consider staying at Mysore overnight.


If you want to see all the places that to cover over weekends or a daytrips from Bangalore, then read my blog which has photos and all details with categorized list of all such places.

Moving onto the photos

Ramanujacharya statue at Kere Thonnur or Thondanur
Beautiful view of Sri Ramanujacharya statue and the water body in front

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu
Beautiful view of Sri Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Nambi Narayana Temple

There are Tamil and Kannada inscriptions here on the pillars and it is believed to be 1000 year old temple. The main deity Nambi Narayana is so beautiful, 18-feet tall and powerful. There are huge prakarams with big walls. See the temple tower picture below. 

Nambi Narayana Temple Tower
Temple Tower of Nambi Narayana Temple

Nambi Narayana Temple
View of temple

Information Board of Nambi Narayana Temple
Information Board

Tamil Inscription at Nambi Narayana Temple
Tamil Inscription
Tamil Inscription at Nambi Narayana Temple

Nambi Narayana Temple
Well maintained Lawn at the temple complex, great place to relax

Sri Gopalakrishna Swamy Temple

This can be seen direct opposite to Nambi Narayana temple. You need walk a little inside. Again this is believed to be 1000 year old temple. You can see murals at the entrance and on walls. The Prakarams have huge walls. The temple tree or "Sthala Virutcham" is Pavala Malli (Refer: ) which has very nice fragrance. See the picture below. Along with Gopalakrishna swamy there are Sridevi and Bhudevi. The main deity is so big and beautiful. 

Gopala Krishna Swamy Temple
Entrance of the Temple

Murals at Gopala Krishna swamy Temple Thondanur
Murals at Gopala Krishna Swamy Temple

Gopala Krishna swamy Temple Thondanur
Huge outer prakaram wall

Gopala Krishna swamy Temple Thondanur
Sign board

Pillared Mantap at Gopala Krishna swamy Temple Thondanur

Pavala Malli at Gopala Krishna swamy Temple Thondanur
Pavala Malli - Sthala Virutcham 

Tamil Inscription at Gopala Krishna swamy Temple Thondanur
Old Tamil

3. Yoganarasimha and Sri Ramanujacharya Temple

You may need to climb just 10 to 15 steps here. This is right behind the Nambi Narayana temple. The Ramanujacharya is in the form of Adisesha (on Snake) and the bag that he used is preserved in glass enclosure and kept here. 

Sri Ramanujacharya Temple Thondanur
Entrance of Sri Ramanujacharya Temple Thondanur

Sri Ramanujacharya Temple Thondanur
Information Board at Sri Ramanujacharya Temple Thondanur

4. Venkataramana Temple

You can either start climbing up from Yoganarasima or Ramanujachraya temple or just after the Nambi Narayana Temple take left before the water body and climb up this hill. This is completely driveable and cars can reach up and park. Enough space is there on top. From the top, the view is awesome. The entire lake can be seen. There is a small temple which is Venkataramana Temple. Heard that Jeeyars from Malleswaram visit this once a month. 

Venkataramana Temple Thondanur
Small Temple, from here you get beautiful view of the entire lake

5. Statue of Sri Ramanujacharya

Sri Ramanujacharya Statue Thondanur
So beautiful statue of Sri Ramanujacharya Thondanur

6.  Lakshmi Narayana Temple, Hosaholalu

This is an another example of Hoysala architecture with Trikuta or Three shrined temple. In the center you see Lakshmi Narayana and on the left you could see Venugopala and on the right there is Narasimha Prahaladha. There are ornated multi-layered ceiling and they are so beautiful. All the carvings around the temple are very beautiful. Architecture is similar to Belur, Halebidu. But many of the sculptures are damaged. 

Information Board at Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu
Ornated and multi-layered ceiling 

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu
Kalinga Narthana of Sri Krishna

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu
Adi Sesha

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

Lakshmi Narayana Temple Hosaholalu

7. Bhu Varaha swamy Temple

This is around 12 Kms from Hosaholalu Lakshmi Narayana Temple and the Varaha murthy shrine is 18 feet tall and beautiful. Goddesss Bhudevi is seated on left lap. This seem to be 1000 years old. 

Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple Kalhalli
Temple Tower and view of Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple Kalhalli

Hope you liked the photos and details. Share with your friends and feel free to add your comments and suggestions below in comments section. Thank you.

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