Category Archives: India

Visiting Tirumakudalu Narasipur

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There are a number of other temples in T Narasipur, the most important of which is the Gunja Narasimhaswamy Temple on the right bank of the River Kapila. Dedicated to Narasimha, the man-lion avatar of Vishnu, this is a large structure built in Dravidian style and features a tall entrance tower (gopura) and four-pillared main hall. Continue reading Visiting Tirumakudalu Narasipur

Tirumakudalu Narasipur

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Almost half-way between Talakad and Somanathapur is the small rustic village of Tirumakudalu Narasipur, which draws on its legendary associations with the main religious centers of northern India to make some rather grandiose claims to being “Dakshina Kashi” or the Varanasi of the South. (Nanjangud, another town featured in my eBook, is also a contender for this title.) Continue reading Tirumakudalu Narasipur

Nanjangud Nanjundeshwara Temple Elephant

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It probably wasn’t a coincidence that there was an elephant standing outside the Nanjundeshwara Temple when I visited it; for in the 19th century the local ruler the Tippu Sultan donated a precious jade Shiva-linga and emerald necklace to the temple after his favorite pachyderm was cured of blindness by the deity. Continue reading Nanjangud Nanjundeshwara Temple Elephant

Mythical Origins of the Nanjangud Nanjundeshwara Temple

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Both the town of Nanjangud and the Nanjundeshwara Temple probably derive their names from Nanjayya, the name of a native folk deity who later became identified as Shiva. According to a popular local legend, the Devas (gods) appealed to Shiva for protection from an Asura (demon) called Kesian that was terrorizing them. Shiva advised them invite the demon to a yagna (ritual sacrifice) at the confluence of the Kapila, Koundina, and Markina rivers near to where the Nanjundeshwara Temple now stands and throw him into the fire pit when he arrived at the ceremony. Continue reading Mythical Origins of the Nanjangud Nanjundeshwara Temple