Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Early morning very comfortable weather we started our journey from Mysore with my friend Car. Around 9 we reached this temple. It is a big temple complex which located in the town on the right bank of River Kapila & this ancient temple dedicated to Shiva - Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara that is rich in legend, historical and artistic significance also it’s known as "Dakshina Kashi .
The shrine, cosmic Linga representing Shiva is very ancient one. Earliest records are available from the reign of Gangas who ruled this region for more than seven hundred years (325 - 1000 C.E). The original temple is of early Ganga period.
Innovations were made during the reign of Hoysala, Vijayanagara (1339-1565 C.E) and Wodeyars of Mysore. Tippu Sultan of Mysore was a patron of this temple. It is said that the sultan believed that his elephant was cured of diseases by the grace of the presiding deity of this temple and hence he made endowments to this temple.
Local legend says, this is the place of churning ocean by gods and demons to obtain nectar. Before obtaining nectar, deadliest poison gushed out, which would have destroyed the entire universe. Shiva the savior came to rescue and himself gulped down the venom, to save cosmos. Most of it got struck in his throat which turned green or blue. Hence he is also called Vishakantha (poison throated) or Neelakantha (blue-throated).
His consort Parvati prevented the poison from entering Shiva's system by hugging him and clinging to his throat which otherwise would have been disastrous.
Hence he is also called Shreekantheswara (Shree means Goddess Parvati) and the town got the name as Nanjangud which means the place of his residence.