The Kirthi Narayana Temple provides an interesting contrast to the other temples in Talakad, not least because it is the only temple in the town dedicated to Vishnu rather than Shiva.
It’s also the only temple that is built in Hoysala style, having been constructed during the reign of the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana by his guru Ramanujacharya during the twelfth century AD. Indeed, like the five Panchalinga temples in Talakad, it is also part of a quintet of temples. Known as the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams, these are spread over a much wider area than the Talakad Panchalinga, with the others being located in the towns of Melkote, Tondanur, Belur, and Gundlupet.
Much of the temple is still buried under the sand, and the only structure that is fully visible is the rather impressive inner sanctum which features a two-meter high statue of the main deity, Naryana, a manifestation of Vishnu.
Apparently, the inner sanctum was moved brick by brick from its original site to a new foundation and then painstakingly reconstructed by a team of expert archeologists. Quite a feat of engineering!
The inner sanctum stands alone in the grounds of the Kirthi Narayana Temple.
A side view of the inner sanctum of the Kirthi Naryana Temple.
Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Kirthi Naryana Temple itself and nearby floodlights.
I wonder what secrets lie underneath the sand of the temple courtyard.