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Kotilingeshwara Temple | History, Architecture, Facts of Kotilingeshwara

Experience the Divinity of Imposing Shivalinga at Kotilingeshwara Temple

Known for the massive and stupendous Shivalinga, the Kotilingeshwara mandir takes pride in its collection of Shivalingas of about ninety lakhs in various sizes in the temple premises. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is located in Kammasandra village in Kolar district in the state of Karnataka.

Kotilingeshwara Temple

Kotilingeshwara Temple | Image Resource : i.ytimg.com

Get to Know the History of Kotilingeshwara Temple

Much significance to the Kotilingeshwara temple is attached to the story of Bhakta Manjunatha, who was originally named Manjunathasharma. The Kammasandra village was earlier known as ‘Dharmasthali’, where Manjunatha was born as a Shaiva Hindu Brahmin. Though he was of a good character, he was an atheist. He did not believe in Sri Manjunatha (Lord Shiva) and insulted the God ever since he was a small child. When he grew up, he got engaged in vigilantism, and ignored religious traditions.

Somewhere later in life, he had self-realization, which turned him to an ardent devotee of Sri Manjunatha or Sri Rudradeva. There are interesting happenings in the life of Bhakta Manjunatha. The one that is well-known is he, along with his family one day visited the nearby Sri Manjunatha temple. At that time, there were a few incidents that happened in the temple. People thought that they were bad signs. The one incident was the holy lamps lit at the temple became unlit.

People accused Bhakta Manjunatha for this and wanted him to go out. At that time, Maharaja Ambikeshwaravarma, who was a devotee of Lord Shiva and the viceroy of the Rastrakuta Dynasty ended the panic created by asking Manjunatha to have every lamp or deepam glow again. Filled with devotion, Manjunatha sang ‘Mayakaya Deepam’, which is a song written and composed by Maharishi Veda Vyasa. This made the lamps lit again and glow brightly.

People who realized their mistake praised Bhakta Manjunatha for his devotion to Lord Maheshwara. It is believed that it was Manjunatha who made ten million lingas as atonement for his sin of insulting Sri Manjunatha so many times. The temple got its name ‘Kotilingeshwara’, which means one crore lingas, because of this.

The expansive 15 acres of the land of the temple is filled with a massive Shivalinga, which is 108 feet tall and Nandi (the bull), which is 35 feet tall, as well as small Shivalingas of different sizes spread all over the place.

Legends also say that the temple got its name because of the sage Gautama, who offered prayers to Lord Shiva to get rid of the curse by Lord Indra. For this, he made a Shivalinga and anointed it with the holy water collected from ten million rivers. It is believed that the same Shivalinga is found on the precinct of the temple.

Impressive Architecture of Kotilingeshwara Temple

The temple complex has two temples, where the first one has the deities of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. The second one is the main temple. Swami Sambha Shiva Murthy, along with his wife V Rukmini, constructed the temple in 1980. They had pancha linga installed first, then they had 101 lingas. After that it was increased to 1001 Shivalingas. The massive Shivalinga of 108 feet was installed in 1994.

Called the “Narmada Banam”, the Kotilingeshwara Mahalinga was brought from Varanasi. Sri Madanananda Swamiji was entrusted to have this stunning Shivalinga installed for which a seat of representation called ‘Gadhi’ was set for Swamiji at Sri Sadananda Ashramam in Prajothpathi Samvastaram. It is believed that Swamiji achieved Shiva Sayujyam after this task in 2000.

Other than this, there was also the idol of Lord Nandi, which sits on the platform of 60 feet long, 40 feet wide and 4 feet high. There are about eleven other temples of various deities, of which the popular ones are those of Lords Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwara. You can also find other temples dedicated to Goddess Annapoorneshwari, Goddess Karumaari Amma, Lord Venkataramani Swamy, Lord Subramanya Swamy, Lord Panduranga Swamy, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, Lord Panchamukha Ganapathy, Lord Anjaneya and Goddess Kannika Parameshwari.

You can find a sacred Nagalinga tree on the premises, where people pray for the wishes. In between the large Shivalinga and Basava or Nandi, you can see a trishul. The Shivalingas spread around the two courtyards are painted with colors. These courtyards are connected by a corridor.

Some Facts about Kotilingeshwara Temple

The following facts excite one’s natural curiosity about the temple.

  • The Kotilingeshwara temple has one of the largest Shivalingas in Asia.

  • It is believed that over two lakhs devotees visit the temple every year.

  • There are about 90 lakhs of Shivalingas in various sizes in the sprawling premises of the Kotilingeshwara temple.

  • Lingas installed are by the temple authorities and devotees, who are required to pay a minimum fee of Rs.8000.

  • Sri Madanananda Swamiji, who completed the holy task of installing the massive Shivalinga attained Shiva Sayujyam on the auspicious Vikramanama Samvastara Kartika Bahula Ekadashi, which was on November 11, 2000.

Some Famous Festivals of Kotilingeshwara Temple

The temple is known for the Maha Shivaratri festival, which is celebrated in the Phalguna or February month. The temple is decorated and the Shivalinga and Nandi are decked up for the festival. The deity is carried in a cart in procession. People throng the temple and offer special poojas to God Maheshwara. They sing bhajans and stay awake all night listening to the bhajans and stories of the Lord.

Devotees at the temple fast by following the traditional practices. They go around stopping at the Shivalingas offering prayers. During the Shivaratri festival, you can watch the Shivalinga being bathed using various liquids and substances, such as milk, curd, honey, Ganga jal, sandalwood powder, and other things, which offer specific significance.

Get to Know the Kotilingeshwara Temple Timings

The temple opens at 7 in the morning and it closes at 9.30 in the evening. To enter the Kotilingeshwara temple, you need to pay a fee of Rs.20 per person. The temple has a parking space for vehicles, where you need to pay a fee of Rs.30. You can offer abhisheka pooja and maha managalarthi for you and your family’s well-being during the visit. There is Anna Prasadam (free food) served every day from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm. Some of the sevas or offerings at the temple are ‘linga pratistapne’, ‘annadanna seva’, ‘pratistapne seva’ and ‘homa’.

Those who visit the temple from faraway places can relax in the restrooms offered near the temple. You can plan your visit during the months from January and July for there are several auspicious days when the Kotilingeshwara temple offers special poojas.

How to Reach Kotilingeshwara Temple?

Situated in the Kolar district, Kotilingeshwara temple offers easy accessibility through road, rail and air. Where you are traveling by car from Bangalore, you can reach the place traveling 80 kilometers from Whitefield or KR Puram.

There are also regular buses from Majestic and KR Puram to Kammasandra village. In between you can find several bus stations that help you board the bus from anyplace to reach the temple. As for the railway station, you can get down at the Bangarpet station and travel 15 kilometers to reach the temple.

The other option is by air; however, you need to book a flight to the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru and catch a connecting train or bus to the temple.

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