In South Indian Temple architecturethe, the ‘Cob’ is one of the strikingly specific things that can be identified with Hoysala style of temple architecture. Sculptors during the Hoysala period started using the ‘Cob’ as a symbol to denote abundance of food, strength and fertility. In the beginning, fully grown ‘Cob’ with ripe corn on it, was shown in the hands of women sculptures of Chennakesava temple at Beluru. At Hoysalesvara temple, Halebid, Cob was shown in one of the hands of Lord Siva. Here in Somanathpur, Cobs were extensively used and shown in the sculptures of male and females alike and in both left and right hands as well. The frequency and the ease with which the Cob was used in the sculptures of Chennakesava temple at Somanathpur, suggests that by the time of the construction of this temple, the convention of usage of ‘Cob’ as a symbol in temple architecture to denote abundance of food, strength and fertility had been fairly accepted and established.
The above photograph shows the ‘cob’ in the hands of male and female sculptures, the male holding it in his left hand and the female holding it in her right hand. Another female sculpture with the ‘cob’ in her left hand can also be seen in the centre.