Picture1 – Tonnur Kere bund as you approach from the road
This amazing historical lake is spread over an area of 2,150 acres. Tonnur Kere was planned and built by the srivaishnava Saint Ramanujacharya 1,000 years ago and was named by him as “Tirumalasagara”. The saint made this place his home after leaving Srirangam and before he went to Melukote. The Adilshahis of Bijapur invaded this place and Nasir Jung, the Mughal Subedar of Deccan named it as “Moti Talab”/Lake of pearls referring to its crystal clear water. Tipu Sultan of Srirangapatna later repaired the lake bund. There are few caves in the hills known as Tipu caves.
Picture2 – Tonnur Kere
Tonnur Kere also known as Kere Tondanur and is situtated in Mandya district, Srirangapatna taluk. It is 8 Kms from Pandavapura, 130 Kms from Bangalore, 25 Kms from Melukote and 30 Kms from Mysore. A bund/dam built between two rocky hills formed Tonnur Kere. The height of the dam is 230 meters and the length is approximately 145 meters. The water to the tank is fed from Yadavanadi/river and also from the many streams running off the hills surrounding the lake. The water from this lake irrigates thousands of acres of paddy and sugarcane fields.
Picture3 – A view from the tank bund
The lake is a fisherman’s delight as it is home to many varieties of fishes. The visitors can go for boating in a country made boat called “Theppa”. Further away on the right side of the lake is a small river beach. It is a place ideal to picnic with sun, sand and sagara/water.
Picture4 – River Beach
The outflow of the water from lake has formed a waterfall known as Ramanuja Gange or Tonnur Madaga.
Picture5 – Ramanuja Gange
In the history of the lake’s existence there is not a single instance of the lake drying up so, anytime of the year is suitable for a visit to the lake. But avoid getting into the water, as it is extremely deep.
In and around Tonnur Kere are 4 ancient Hoysala temples (1000 years or more) they are:
2. Nambhi Narayana
3. Parthasarathi and Venugopal
4. Yoga Narasimha and Saint Ramanujacharya
Picture6 – Padmagiri
The Venkataramana temple is on top of the rocky hill “Padmagiri” near the bund and the view of the lake from this hill is breathtaking, the pooja at this temple is held only on Saturdays. The rocky hills around the lake are beautiful and appear to be protecting the lake. A huge rock is shaped exactly like a turtle so we have named it the “Turtle Rock View”.
Picture7 – Turtle Rock View
The Nambhi Narayana/Lakshmi Narayana temple is the largest and the oldest temple. This was originally a Jain basathi/temple. Hoysala king Bittidevaraya, who was a Jain was influenced by Saint Ramanujacharya and embraced Srivaishnava faith and came to be known as Vishnuvardhana. Saint Ramanujacharya installed the idol of Narayana in the Jain basathi. The main deity here is Nambhi Narayana/Lord Vishnu, the idol is tall with Shankha/Conch, Chakra/Disc, Gadha/Club and Padma/Lotus. The utsava murthy/smaller idol is a replica of the main idol. The presiding goddess is Aravindavalli.
Picture8 – Nambhi Narayana Temple
The Parthasarathi and Venugopal temple is very spacious and the main deity here is Parthasarathi/Lord Krishna with Bhoodevi and Sridevi on either sides. The presiding goddess is “Yadava Nayaki”. The utsava murthy/smaller idol comprises of Gopalkrishna with Rukmini and Sathyabhama. Here, Gopalkrishna idol is in a dancing pose with flute in his hands and the left leg is placed in front of the right leg instead of the usual right leg in front of left. Dharmaraja, the eldest of the Pandavas and Bhriga Muni, are believed to have installed the main idol. A beautiful stone swing is present in front of the temple, which is used only during festivities.
Picture9 – Yoga Narasimha Temple
The Yoga Narasimha and Saint Ramanujacharya temple is on a hillock and has been renovated recently and was sporting a fresh coat of paint. Here the main deity is Yoga Narasimha with the Narasimha Dandam/Scepter and the goddess is “Yadava Nayaki”. Lord Prahalada himself is believed to have installed the idol. Another sanctum is dedicated to Saint Ramanujacharya in a preaching pose. This is the very place where the saint defeated 1000 Jain monks in a debate. The saint won and the 1000 monks embraced Srivaishnavism.
In a day you can cover this place and also Kunti Betta, which is 5 kms from this place.
Type of Place: Historical Lake and Ancient Temples
Situated: Mandya District, Srirangapatna Taluk
Distance: 130 Kms from Bangalore, 30 Kms from Mysore, 8 Kms from Padavapura
Type of transport: Pandavapura is well connected by both Rail and Bus services. Good roads lead up to the lake and the temples.
Facilities: A small snack shop near the lake
Temple Contact Information:
Sri Raguram Bhattar,
Sri Gopala Krishna & Yoga Narasimha Temple,
Kere Thonnur : 571434
Telephone: (08236) 251795