Lord Venugopala Swamy Temple is at Hosakannambadi, once a village, near Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS). It was built by the kings of Hoysala dynasty in 12th century AD in their architectural style as adopted in Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura near Mysore. According to historical records the temple complex was in a vast area of 50 acres of land. It consisted of symmetrical building together with two 'prakaras', verandahs on both sides of outer gate called ‘Mahadwara’, yagashala and kitchen. There was another Mahadwara leading to inner hall. The sanctum sanctorum in the center of the main hall had the idol of Lord Krishna holding flute. One can visit and see the structure and appreciate the ancient architectural beauty only when the water level in KRS goes down, normally in summer during July or August.
It was Sir M Visweswaraiah that planned to build the KRS dam across Cauvery River at the village Kannambadi, in 1909, when he was Diwan of Mysore Maharaja. As a consequence a large extant of land including Kannambadi village and temples were submerged in waters. At the direction of then Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV the new village ‘Hosakannambadi’ came up, the residents were all shifted to new camp. However this beautiful structure could not be shifted nor could such a structure be constructed as such. Only certain idols of Gods in this and other temples were shifted to new temples built in the new village.
In the process the old village Kannambadi was inundated underwater by 1930 but could see the temple whenever the water level in the reservoir came down or receded. Such a rare event happened during 2000s, which were drought years. The whole of the temple could be seen in those days. Thousands of people (including me) thronged around here with all curiosity to see the ‘once upon a times grand old temple’ (without idol of god). Later the task of relocation and restoration of that temple near the rehabilitated village, close to original site, took place.
In order to construct the new temple as it was, by using the very same stones of the original temple, the Engineers and Architects have taken more than 16,000 photographs, and marked each and every slab used in original structure. They made sincere efforts successfully by marking each and every temple-stone and after removing them used and reconstructed at Hosakannambadi with trained artisans. The talented sculptors who were experts in temple construction from Tamil Nadu were involved in this task.
Their task was fulfilled during December 2011, when the temple restoration was completed. It became a tourist attraction in Mysore. Now backwaters would touch the outer walls of the new temple only when the water level in KRS exceeds its maximum capacity (124.80’). What was once upon a time a chance visit during drought season, when there was dearth of water, food and other facilities, it was a golden opportunity for tourists to visit.
It is quite interesting for tourists visiting Brindavan Gardens to witness the backwaters, which is at 6km from Brindavan Gardens. The beautiful eye-catching scene of the setting sun over the expansive water body cannot be missed. Many people would be drenching themselves in the waters to enjoy in the pleasant and cool environment.
Besides these there are very many other attractions in and around Mysore City. The Dushhera festival is world re-knowned and every year the procession of caparisoned elephants draws millions to this city just to witness the wonderful spectacle. You also have places of interest like The Regonal Miseum of Natural History, the Oriental Research Institute, many yoga institutes and spas, the close-by B.R.Hills, Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta or Hill, nearby hill stations Ooty, Sultan Battery, Madikeri, wildlife destinations like Nagarahole National Park, Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National park, bird sanctuaries like Ranganathittu, Kokrebellur, waterfalls at Shivanasamudra and plenty of other wonderful sight-seeing spots.