Despite attracting thousands of devotees every day, the road has not been given attention
Mysore/Mysuru: One of the most prominent tourist spots near Mysuru is the Venugopalaswamy Temple at Hosa Kannambadi village, near Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam.
Every day thousands of tourists come here from far-flung areas beyond Mandya and outside Karnataka but sadly, the surroundings of the beautifully constructed Temple, an architectural marvel, lack motorable roads and other facilities.
The approach road to the Temple is about 2 kms from the main village road and it is in a pathetic state and has not seen a coat of asphalt at all. The road is laid with jelly stones and filled with potholes and knee-deep craters. Four-wheeler drivers find it difficult to manoeuvre their vehicles while two-wheeler riders easily lose balance to crash onto the road along with their vehicles.
History of Temple
The original Venugopalaswamy Temple was located in Kannambadi village. But with the construction of Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam, the entire village of Kannambadi submerged along with the Temple. Later, the then-ruler Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar ordered the construction of the new village which was named Hosa Kannambadi.
Relocation and restoration
The construction of the KRS Dam began in 1909 and by 1930 the entire Kannambadi village was submerged. However, in 2000 due to drought conditions, the Venugopalaswamy Temple resurfaced when water levels in the Reservoir dropped drastically.
Seeing the architectural beauty of the Temple, the Khoday Foundation, under the guidance of Sri Hari Khoday, relocated the temple structure block-by-block after spending crores of rupees. More than 200 workers and machines removed the carved stones and pillars of the Temple, after marking each one of them. The relocated Temple has been built in its original shape and architecture. The relocation and rebuilding work was completed in 2011.
However, the efforts of the Khoday Foundation in conserving the ancient Temple have not been supported by the local administration which has literally neglected its surrounding areas. The Temple has become very difficult to access owing to the poor quality of the road.
Khoday Foundation maintenance
Interestingly, after renovation, the Khoday Foundation continues to maintain the Temple and has appointed priests and security personnel. The entire expense is being borne by the Foundation and no ‘Kanike Hundi’ has been kept inside like any other Temple.
The road leading to the Temple comes under the jurisdiction of Katteri village in Pandavapura Assembly Constituency represented by MLA C.S. Puttaraju. But the local Panchayat has not bothered to repair the road till now. Forget asphalting, the authorities have not bothered to make the road even motorable, considering the number of tourists who come to the Temple every day.
On an average, over 1,000 tourists come here daily and the number swells during weekends and holidays. The place desperately needs infrastructure like shelters, benches and toilets. Imagine there are only two toilets at a far-away nook, one for ladies and one for men. But they are closed at sharp 5.30 pm even when there are visitors in the premises. Visitors are forced to ease themselves in the open areas leaving the entire area around the Temple stinking with unbearable stench as the toilets are closed at 5.30 pm though the Temple complex is open till 6.30 pm.
Repairs soon: PDO
Katteri Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) Mahesh told Star of Mysore that when H.D. Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister, the Government had released Rs. 60 lakh to develop the road. “But the Government changed later and the funds did not come through. Now Rs. 4.5 lakh has been released with which the road to the Temple will be developed soon,” he said.
The location of the Temple is about one kilometre to the North of the original site where the backwaters would touch the outer walls of the Temple if the KRS water level touches 124.80 ft, its maximum capacity. The relocated Temple is located around 9 kms by road from Brindavan Gardens and is around 30 kms from Mysuru.