The Keshava Temple is located in Somnathpur, 33 kilometers east of Mysore. It is the best-preserved, most complete, monument of Hoysala architecture. The Hoysala artisans were perfectionists. Their challenging artistic motto was to make the impossible, possible. The temple has three sanctuaries with the trikutachala (triple roof) and stands in the middle of its rectangular courtyard (70m long, 55m wide) with cloisters containing 64 cells around it.
The tightly packed sculptural scheme is exclusive to Hoysala art and was never replicated. The temple was built around 1268. The temple is believed to have been built under the patronage of Somnath, who was the General of the Army of Narasimha II. The temple is lavishly decorated with sculptures and the profusion covers every inch of wall space.
The platform on which the temple stands is moulded and guarded by seated lions. The entire temple base with bands of animals and heroes is a sort of a miniature representation of life on earth.