IOL Excursion

Wednesday, July 27th

After breakfast at the Olympiad venue, we depart to Somanathapura (43 km) and visit the Chennakesava Temple. Our visit will have ample time to explore the temple complex and embrace the rich history of the area. We then move to a resort nearby for a meal in traditional Karnataka style.
Post lunch, we head to the Shivanasamudra waterfalls (43 km). After visiting both branches of the falls, Ganganachukki and Bharachukki, we return to the Olympiad venue (85 km) in time for dinner.

Somanathapura and Chennakesava temple

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Somanathapura houses the famous Chennakesava Temple which was built nearly 750 years ago. The temple is one of the finest examples of architecture from the Hoysala empire (11th-14th century in the state of Karnataka).

Its star-shaped symmetrical architecture, fine sculptures on equally prominent shrines, and panel sculptures form a cloister that speak of good taste. The temple is made entirely out of soapstone, and its walls and ceilings are adorned with intricate carvings typical of the Hoysala era.

The sculptures are both of deities, as well as depictions of affluence of that age including members of the royal family riding richly decorated chariots, soldiers and commoners riding horses, camel drawn vehicles, dancers, musicians, hunters armed with bows and arrows.

The friezes on its outer walls with carved rows of caparisoned elephants, charging horsemen, and mythological birds and beasts are spellbinding. The overall effect of the decorated towers, wall images and sculptures is well-balanced.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Shivanasamudra Waterfalls

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The beautiful Shivanasamudra waterfalls that arise from the Kaveri River have two branches, Ganganachukki and Bharachukki. Asia's first hydro-electric power station is also located at the waterfalls.
Gaganachukki is a huge horsetail waterfall and the tranquil Bharachukki is a jagged roaring cascading waterfall. There is plenty of space to relax at the Bharachukki falls – visitors can take a dip in the river or enjoy a coracle boat ride to reach the mouth of the massive waterfall. The area is surrounded by forested hills and lush green valleys, and is a paradise for nature lovers.