Nanjankud

Nanjangud officially known as Nanjanagudu is a City and Taluk in Mysore district in the Indian state of Karnataka . Nanjangud lies on the banks of the river Kapila (Kabini), 23 km from the city of Mysore . Nanjangud is famous for Srikanteshwara Temple . Nanjangud is also called “Dakshina Kashi” 

The Srikanteshwara Temple at Nanjangud is dedicated to the Hindu supreme deity Shiva, also called Sri Nanjundeshwara, (“The Lord who drank poison”) to save the earth. In Hindu mythology, the Devas and asuras churned the ocean (parkadal)for the nectar (amrutham) for longevity .

As per legend the sage Gautama stayed at Nanjangud and offered puja to the Shiva Linga, known as Srikanteshwara or Nanjundeshwara. The town attained holiness because of the “sangam” where the Gundlu and the Kapila join. The spot is called Parusharama Kshetra where the sage Parushurama is said to have been recompensed for the sin of decapitating his mother.

Nanjangud, also called as “Dakshina Kashi” (Southern Kashi)

Enclosed within a gigantic prakara its Dravidian stucco gopura is impressive. The small square garbhagriha with its cylindrical pillars in the antarala were built in the Ganga period of about ninth century. The mandapa in front of the original sanctum has lathe turned Hoysala pillars of 13th century. The dancing Ganapati is also a Hoysala sculpture. To the left of the main shrine is a shrine of Narayana and behind is a shrine for Chandikesvara. To the northwest of this is the Parvati shrine with a pillared sabhamandapa. The Parvati and the Narayana shrines as the gopura are the creations of the Vijayanagara period. To the right of the main shrine is a small shrine of Subramanya seated on the back of a peacock with seven-hooded Naga. The main shrine has a stucco sikhara of the Vijayanagara period. Mysore Wadeyars also made additions to the temple. The nine storied tall gopura of the Dravidian type was built by queen Devajammanni, queen of Krishnaraja Wadiyar III in 1849. Opening to the courtyard is a shrine for Nandi that is about 6 feet in height, donated by Dalavoy Vikramaraya. Another attraction is the huge stone bull which is 8ft in height. This was established by Dalavayi Vikramaraya in 1644. In its front is the Tulabhara mantapa. The ritual of weighing the devotees against any commodity is done here. Commonly people balance themselves against rice, jaggery, sugar etc.

The Maharajas of Mysore used to be illustrious devotees of Nanjundeshwara . Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was a celebrated believer and used to visit the temple on Mondays. In actual fact the Srikantadatta Wadiyar seems to be a favor from this God. The sanctified Sivalinga which is more than a thousand year old continues to fascinate devotees from far and wide.

In addition to the main deity, there are many shrines for Goddess Parvathi, Ganesha, Nataraja, Sharada, Subramanya, Navagraha etc. The twelve-monthly fair (Jatre) takes place during March–April which attracts thousands of devotees. Half-a-century ago, there used to be a dining hall called Shivakuta, opposite the temple kitchen. The devotees used to be served prasada here. Many old women used to take prasada here daily. Some of them had taken a vow not to use a plate or a leaf but to eat on the floor. This Shivakuta is not there today. Instead a luxurious dining hall is present .

The vast prakara has decorated niches that house 122 images in all including Dikpalas, Virabhadra, Dakshinamurti, Tandavesvara and Lord Shiva in various aspects, Ganapati, Saptamatrika etc. The linga in the main garbhagriha is about three feet in height, to which worship is offered. The Goddess Parvati image is about five feet in height and it is a beautiful sculpture of the early medieval period. Thus, the whole temple has a history of over thousand years starting from the tenth century. Krishnaraja Wadeyar III was a great patron of this temple and his statue with his queens is found in this temple. Traditionally this place is connected with Gautama and Parashurama and is on the banks of the sacred river Kapila. Even Hydar Ali and Tipu Sultan are said to have made some grants to this temple. According to popular belief, Tipu’s elephant got afflicted by an eye-ailment and no doctor (hakim) was able to heal it. Somebody suggested that he should pray to Sri Nanjundeshvara which he did. A wonder happened and the elephant’s eye was cured and impressed by this, Tipu called the god Hakim (doctor) Nanjunda. He gifted an emerald green Linga to the deity.

Lakhs of devotees flock to this temple during Dodde Jathra festival to get the divine dharshan and blessings of Lord Shiva .

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

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