MANJUNATHA TEMPLE

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» South India
» Karnataka
Location : Dharamsthala, Karnataka
Dates Back To : 1068 AD
Style Of Architecture : Vijaynagar Style
Dedicated To : Lord Shiva

The Manjunath Temple, at the foot of Kadri Hills near Dharmasthala attracts devotees and tourists in thousands. Dating back to about 1068 AD, the Manjunath Temple here attracts thousands of people all through the year.

Built in the Vijaynagara style of architecture, Manjunath Temple is neat and middle-sized with a homogenous main building that imparts a squarish look to the temple. During 'Laksha Deepotsava', one-lakh lamps are lit and literary and religious discourses are held.

Every person who comes here irrespective of caste or creed is welcomed and given a free meal. The temple has traces of Buddhist influence. This is evident from the presence of images of the Buddha with reliefs of Garuda.

The presiding deity is Shree Manjunath, Udbhava Linga, which is a natural stone slab found almost parallel to the level of the floor of the 'garbha griha'. An amazing fact is that any amount of water poured on it disappears immediately.

There are two figures, one of which is that of Matsyendranatha in the southern niche seated having his palms held one over the other on his folded right leg.

The other figure is that of Sringinatha, which has a three-hooded serpent over its well-carved krita, which is ornamented with three tiers behind it. The central niche, on the western side, has a male figure said to be that of Gorakhanath, which is nearly six feet tall.

The sub-deities in the temple are Durgaparmeshwari, Ganapathi, Shastavee and Gomukha Ganpathi, Trilokeshwara, Vyasa Muni and Vishnu. Each of these sub-deities has a smaller shrine dedicated to them.

A tall wooden 'deepa sthamba' with a bronze covering greets you as you climb up to the temple. The huge bronze statue of Trilokeshwara that catches one's attention in the temple dates way back to 968 AD.

This life size, three-faced, six-armed figure of the seated Bodhisathva with enameled eyes and an intricately carved crown is surrounded by a well curved prabhavali and two attendants--giving the idol an aura of divinity.



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