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India: Karnataka: Bijapur, Coorg, Hampi, Kudalasangama, Mysore, Nagarhole with Irpu Falls
Kudalasangama, Karnataka, India: The holy confluence
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Kudalasangama is an important center of pilgrimage for people of the Lingayat faith. The Krishna and Malaprabha Rivers merge here and flow east towards Srisaila. The Aikya Mantapa or the holy Samadhi of Basavanna, the founder of the Lingayat faith along with Linga (Lord Shiva), which is believed to be self-born is here.
On our return trip from Hampi, we decided to take a brief halt at Kudalasangama. This holy town is just 10 kms. from the main highway. The town bustles with pilgrims especially during the month of January when the sun enters the northern hemisphere – the day usually falls on 14th January and is known as Makar Sankranti.
We were a week late, therefore the rush was all over. We could easily walk into the sanctum sanctorum. The entrance ticket is just Rs 5. The main linga is located much below the water level. Pilgrims need to climb down a flight of stairs to reach the linga.
It is believed that in the 12th century Jathaveda Muni Sarangamath had set up an education centre here and Basaveshvara, Channabasavanna and Akkanagamma were his students. Basaveshvara spent his boyhood here and, after his return from Kalyana, he is said to have become one with the God at this place. The vachanas composed by him are dedicated to the presiding deity here, Sangamanatha.
The temple consists of a porch, navaranga and the main shrine. The idols of Basaveshvara, Neelamma, Nandi and Ganapathi have been placed in the navaranga. The door frame of the garbhagriha is richly carved with floral designs and animal figures. In the shrine is the linga famed as Sangameshvara or Sangamanatha. In front of the temple, in the midst of the river, is a small stone mantapa with a Shivalinga in it, and lofty cement concrete dry well has been built around it to protect it from submersion.
On the east, across the river Krishna, stands the Neelamma’s temple. She was the consort of Basaveshvara. Here also a high cement concrete dry well has been built around the structure to protect it from the waters.
After paying our respects, we enjoyed a boat ride (just Rs 20 per person) at the confluence of the two rivers. Apart from a pilgrimage, the trip to Kudalasangama can also be considered as a wonderful picnic.
Kudalasangama Image Gallery Photo viewer
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