Saturday, May 9, 2015

Nanjangud Nanjundeswara

Sri Srikanteswara/Nanjundeswara Temple at Nanjangud is one of the sacred shrines of Karnataka state. It is 25 km away from Mysore on Ooty road that goes through Bandipur Wildlife sanctuary. It is well connected by buses from Mysore that ply frequently.

Gaja Samhara Murthi
This Temple is on the banks of the river Kapila/ Kabini which is considered as sacred as Ganga. Hence the town is regarded on par with Kasi to be known as Dhakshina Kasi. Similarly we have Dhakshina Kasis in Tamilnadu at Vridhachalam and Srivanchiyam(Where the river,Manimuthar  and the Temple Tank,Guptha Gangai respectively are considered as River Ganga)

When the Devas and Asuras churned the milky ocean, Halahala,the deadly poison which could ruin the entire Universe came out. The frightened Devas took asylum at Kailash and prayed Lord Shiva to protect them. The Lord consumed the poison and it stayed at His neck, hence the name Neelakanta  He is worshipped as a remover of all diseases who also liberates the devotees from rebirth. Therefore He is known as '" Bhava roga Vaidyanatha'". The YajurVeda calls Him as The Supreme Physician in Sri Rudram (" Prathamo dhaivyo Bhishak") Gowthama Rishi and Parasurama have worshipped Lord Neelakanta here and were blessed. Parasurama performed "Thapas'' to get himself freed from the sin of beheading his mother Renuka Devi as per the instruction of his father, Jamadhagni Rishi.

This Temple is perhaps one of the largest shrines of karnataka as it measures about 50000 sq.feet . A beautiful 7 tier Gopuram is at the entrance with the outer walls of about 12 feet high. The outer wall presents a row of carefully carved images. 32 forms of Ganapathi are also seen in the Temple as described in the Puranas.

 Emperors of Chola,Hoysyala and Vijayanagara had constructed different parts of the Temple during their regime. The Shrine enjoyed a special status under the rule of Mysore King, Krishna Raja Wodeyar .A big Nandi is at the front Mandapam.

The inner Prakaram offers a gallery of 63 Nayanmars and the different forms of Lord Shiva, Kiratharjuna Murthi, Chandikeswara Anugraha Murthi,Kiratha Murthi,SankaraNarayana Murthi,GirijaKalyana Murthi,  Nataraja Murthi to name a few.

Apart from the daily Pujas, the Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims during Maha Shivarathri in Februay/March, Girija Kalyana in July, Chikka Jathra ( Three exquisitely carved wooden chariots drawn by devotees) in November and Pancha Maharathothsava in April. 

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