Photographer's Note

Gateway to the Nanjangud Temple (near Mysore).

Nanjangud is also known as "Dakshina Kashi" or "Varanasi/Prayag of South".

Nanju(ನಂಜು) in Kannada means poison, the name Nanjundeshwara means the God who Drank the Poison halahala which originated while Great Churning of the Ocean and thus the town got the name as Nanjangud which means the abode of Lord Nanjundeshwara.

The temple, located at Nanjangud on the right bank of the Kabini River, was originally built in Dravidian style by the Ganga Dynasty rulers in the 9th century during their occupation of this region. It has undergone extensions during the reign of Cholas, Hoysalas, and Wodeyars from the 9th to 19th centuries. It is one of the biggest temples in Karnataka with an area of 560 square feet (52 sq m) and with a Gopura (tower) of 120 metres (390 ft) height, which has seven stories with seven gold plated Kalasas on top of the Gopura.

The uniqueness of the temple is that it has 66 idols of Shaiva saints called as Nayamnars and more than 100 Lingas (of different kinds and sizes) including the main deity of Srikanteshwara (Nanjundeshwara) Linga. The main deity is also called Hakim Nanjundeswara; a title given by Tippu Sultan. It is inscribed in the temple history that on Tippu Sultan’s special prayers to the deity, eyesight of the royal elephant was restored, where after the Sultan had a lingam made of jade along with an emerald necklace and donated it to the temple.

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