NANJUNGUD - PREMIER PILGRIMAGE CENTRE
Famous for the massive Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjungud is also known as Dakshina Kashi. Nanjangud literally translates to "the residing place of Lord Nanjundeshwara"
Origin of Name :
Nanju means poison, Eshwara means Lord Shiva. Nanjundeshwara means the God who drank poison. During the Great Churning Of Ocean, Pioson emaneted from the Sea, the Supreme Lord showing his love and compassion swallowed the Poison and the sacred spot earlier known as Garalapuri is now famous as NANJUNGUD. And the lord came to be known as SRIKANTESHWARA (meaning the One with Poison in his throat). NANJUNGUD means the place where Lord resides.
STORIES AND GREATNESS OF NANJUNGUD :
1. LORD SHIVA SWALLOWING POISON.
This story is already known to many. Many believe that this is the sacred spot where the after Lord Shiva swallowed poison, his wife Devi Parvati held his throat tightly to prevent poison from going further down.
2. MOTHER LAKSHMI'S MARRIAGE WITH LORD VISHNU
After the Poison episode, Lakshmi emerged from the churning of the Ocean, desired to marry Lord Vishnu. Her father advised her to go to Galapuri (Nanjungud) and do penace propitiating Lord Srikanteshwara. Her penace pleased Lord Shiva, who then solemnized her marriage with Lord Vishnu. Thus Lord Shive ensures the fulfillment of desires of devotees who offer pooja with true faith and devotion.
3. DEMON KESI BURNT TO ASHES HERE
Demon Kesi who cunningly drank Nectar from Mohini (Lord Vishnu in woman form) tried to destroy an yagna being conducted by Lord Brahma on the sangam of Kapila and Koundini river, then Lord Shiva hurled Demon Kesi into the Yagna kunda and swallowed the ashes of the Demon. Lord Shiva too had to undergo suffering for a while for swallowing the dreaded ashes. Thus, Lord Shiva relives Physical suffering of those who come and pray with true devotion and serve him with dedication.
4. ALSO KNOWN AS PARASHURAMA KSHETRA
It is said that Parashurama cleansed himself from the sin of beheading his mother on the sangam of Kapila and Kaundinya river where Suvarnavathy rivulet also joins these two rivers here.
Lord Shiva was said to be immensely happy with Parashurama's penace and gave blessings that those who visit Nanjangud should definitely visit Parashurama temple to complete their piligrimage effectively and fruitfully.
It is believed that anyone who lets Jaggery block and Crystal salt dissolve in Suvarnavathy river in front of Parushurama Temple, all ill-effects and sins committed by them will be solved slowly and permanently just as the way Jaggery and Salt dissolve in water. This is believed to be so because Lord Parashurama himself cleansed his sin of beheading his mother, which can be considered as the most punishable act.
5. LORD YAMA'S DILEMMA SOLVED
Due to immense power of Nanjundeshwara, people were freed from sins and directly went to Swarga leaving Yama jobless. So, on Narada's advise, he requested Kalipurusha not to enter Nanjungud and thus he could continue to perform his duties.
Lord Srikanteshwara of Nanjungud thus relieves his devotees from physical ailments during Lifetime and Releases them from the vicisious cycle of Death and Rebirth.
6. TIPU SULTAN'S FAITH IN THE LORD :
Mysore King Tipu Sultan's beloved elephant had an eye ailment and inspite of innumerable medical treatment, the eye disease was not cured. Tipu sultan was advised to pray to Lord Srikanteshwara and Tipu sultandecided to give it a try.
For 48 days the Elephant was made to bath in the Kapila River and prayers with Abhisheka and Archana was conducted. To everyone's pleasant surprise, the eyesight of the elephant got recovered and Lord Nanjundeshwara was called as "Hakim Nanjundeshwara" by Tippu Sultan. Tippu Sultan then donated a Shiva Lingam made of jade (precious green stone) along with an emerald necklace to the temple.
Hakim means doctor, Lord Nanjundeshwara is also called as "Vaidya Nanjundeshwara" and is a healer for his devotees suffering.
Though its origin is lost in history, Nanjungud has been A major Shaiva centre since time immemorial. There is evidence to show that Nanjungud has been in existence for at least 1000 years. Nanjangud is associated with the legendary Rishi Gautama who is reckoned to have stayed here and consecrated the Linga.
WHAT TO SEE
The main temple has the architectural stamp of various dynasties that ruled the region. The sanctum sanctorum is attributed to the Ganga period and the mantapa to the Hoysalas and is dated back to the 13th century A.D.
The Srikanteshwara Temple is reckoned to be one of the largest temple complexes in the Karnataka. The temple complex is an object of architectural curiosity. It reflects various styles from the period of the Gangas to the Vijayanagar rulers, the Hoysalas, and the Wadiyars.
Art historians point out that the mantapa in front of the original shrine was a 13th Century contribution as it reflected the Hoysala style of architecture, while an inscription on a slab near the shrine of Vishnu dated from 1517 indicates that it was donated by the father-in-law of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar dynasty.
The outer prakara is 385-foot long and 160-foot broad and has an area of over 50,000 square feet. The western main gopura(built by Krishna Raja Wodeyar in 1845) is 120-foot high. The 9 storey Tower boasts of tucco images, decorations, 7 gold kalashas each 3 meters tall exhibiting the Dravidian architecture.
There are more than 200 deities inside the temple including 66 Idols of shaiva saints called as Nayamnars and 100 different kinds and sizes of Shiva Linga of which Sahasra Linga is very charming.
The Temple also has deities of Mother Parvathi, Lord Vishnu with his consorts, the Navagrahas, Ganesh, Subramanya, Sharada Devi, and a Big Nandi.
The Outer parapet boasts of Huge Variety of Ganesh Murthis.
COMMENT : The huge Temple is very beautiful. Renovations and building of Amenities near the Temple has made the Temple look more beautiful. A must see. Avoid visiting on Mondays, as the Temple is very very crowded.
The Temple's Chariot (carved out of wood) Festival known as Dodda Jathre and chikka Jathre is very colourful and is very crowded. During these Jathres, the temple is illuminated and cultural programmes are held and Theppotsava (Floating Festival) is also conducted. During the Jathre, 5 Chariots are used. the Main chariot, Gautama Ratha measures more than 100 feet and weights at least 200 tonnes and is the cynosure of all eyes
SRI RAGHAVENDRA SWAMY MUTT
Guru Raghavendra Swamy's idol is said to be uncreated and self evolved. This idol was found in the River Cauvery at Srirangapatna by a Dhobi who passed it to the Sri Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the then Maharaja of Mysore, who then installed in the Mutt at Nanjungud, the holy town of Sri Srikanteshwara by Sri Sugananendratheertha, then then pintiff of Sri Raghavendraswamy Mutt, as ordained through their dreams by Sri Raghavendra Swamiji.
What is striking is that the Nanjungud Raghavendra Swamy shrine is a stone deity unlike the usual Brindivana Sannidhi (tomb shaped ) of Raghavendraswamy Mutts.
The Mutt premises was earlier known as Deewan Poornaiah's Chatra. The deity of Anjaneya beside the Raghavendrswamy shrine of Nanjungud Mutt was installed during Poornaiah's Deewangiri governorship.
In the Tapovan located near the Mutt there are Pancha Brindavana (tombs) of Mantralaya Mutt seers who follow the monastic tradition of Dwaitha Siddanta.
The Place where Sage Parashurama cleansed himself from the sin of beheading his mother is a temple of Parashurama built in Mysore style. The place also has shrines of Lord Hanuman.
SWAMI AYYAPPA TEMPLE
A modern temple built to help Swami Ayyappa Devotees rest enroute to Sabarimala. Swami Ayappa Temple is good attempt at replicating Sabarimala to the point of cloning 18 steps.
Kapila River is a tributary of Cauvery. Surprisingly the River is never dry even in Summer. On the banks of the river, Tonsoring of Devotees Heads is done.
Nanjangud is famous for the Ayurveda medicines manufactured by the Late Sri. B.V.Pandit. The Sadvaidyashala established by him serves people very successfully. Ayurvedic medicenes produced here are marketed all over India. In earlier times (1950-70) a tooth powder brand made locally called 'Nanjangud Hallupudi' was also very famous all over Karnataka.
Nanjangud is a home to many industries because of its close proximity to Mysore and hosts such big names as TVS, Nestle, Reid & Taylor, etc.
Nanjungud is also very famous for a special type of Banana called Nanjungud RasaBale Hannu.
It has even been patented. The "Nanjangud rasabale" which has unique characteristics, is identified by its distinct aroma when it ripens fully. A major characteristic of the fruit is its long shelf life, as it survives for around a fortnight after its starts ripening. The peculiarity of "Nanjangud rasabale" is that one branch contains 25-30 bananas.
Weekdays: 6.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m & 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Sunday, Monday and Special Days: 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
Abhishekh timings 7, 9 and 11 am, noon, 5.30 and 7 pm
HOW TO REACH NANJUNGUD :
From the state capital Bangalore, one can take the State Highway 17 which goes to Mysore and then onwards to Nanjangud. The total distance from Bangalore to Nanjangud is around 163 km.
From Mysore, Nanjungud is 23kms.
Nanjangud has a railway station with broad guage line which connects it to Mysore and Chamarajnagar.
The nearest airport is the one at Bangalore. Alternatively one can use the airports at Coimbatore or Calicut for reaching Nanjangud. However, the airport at Mysore is being upgraded which can then be used to reach Nanjangud.
From the Bus Stand and the Railway Station, the distance to the Temple is only 1km.
WHERE TO STAY :
There are lot of Choultries and some Lodges which offer Basic Comfort.
The Better among them are
Arya Vyshya Choultry
The more wiser option would be stay in Mysore(26km)
Also visit my blog http://goodhoteladvisor.blogspot.com for more details.
WHERE TO EAT :
You have got very few options here.
1. The Arya Vyshya Choultry serves Free Dinner and its quite tasty too.
2. The modern Nanjungud Plaza serves okayish North Indian and south Indian fare.
The Temple has recently started Free Mass Feeding in the Dasoha Bhavan, whose dining hall accomodates 1500 people at a time.
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