Magadi's ancient temple

Magadi's ancient temple


major draw The temple near Magadi, built by the Cholas in the 12th century, draws many devotees. Photo Soumya Narayan Achari

Apart from Chikka Tirupati, the temple near Magadi is also famous in the vicinity. The ancient structure, known as Lakshmi Ranganatha kshetra was built by the Cholas in the 12th century. However, it was renovated several times by successive rulers and local chieftains in the region.

The temple is situated near Magadi road, which is six km from Magadi town and 45 km from Bangalore. The beautiful gopuras were built by Vijayanagar emperor Krishnadevaraya in the 16th century and later renovated by King Jayachamaraja Wodeyar of Mysore. There are structures inside the sanctum sanctorum which were also built by the Cholas and later renovated. According to legend, sage Mandavya and Vasishta installed the idol of standing image of Lord Vishnu, which is known as Ranganatha.

The idol is about three feet tall, one hand in a mudra, which suggests that the deity fulfills all the wishes of people who pray to him here, according to local belief. There are sub shrines dedicated to Rama, Sita, Anjaneya and Venugopala Krishna. Behind the main shrine, there is a small temple dedicated to ‘Putta Ranganatha.’

The temple of Goddess Lakshmi is also near this shrine. There is a Garuda kamba (flagpost) which mentions the offerings made by Emperor Krishnadevaraya in 1524 AD. There are beautiful pillars inside the temple. Tipu Sultan is also said to have patronised the temple. The stepped well or kalyani (sacred pond) is on the right side of the temple and many rituals are conducted here.

Yelahanka NadaprabhuKing Kempegowda built a watch tower near the Thirumale temple. Even now, the ruins of the tower can be seen. His grandson, Kempegowda II also renovated the temple. Magadi was their last capital and it is believed that they visited regularly to this temple. The area is surrounded by trees, ponds and small hillocks. Several species of birds thrive on the trees here. The condition of the Magadi road that leads up to the temple is good, so the journey can be an enjoyable one for the visitors.

Thirumale or Laksmi Ranganatha khsetra is situated near Magadi road and about 45 km from Bangalore. Limited bus services are available from the city, but it is advisable to have your own vehicle to reach there. The famous Savanadurga is 10 km and Magadi is only six km from here. It is better to carry your own food and water.

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