Forgotten treasures at Rangasthala

If you have ever had a chance to travel towards Chikballapur, don’t give Rangasthala a miss. Largely unknown, the historical treasures of Rangasthala lie neglected.

The temples at Belur and Halebid built by the Hoysalas are acclaimed all over the world.

Though the architectural glory of Rangasthala is not in the same league as the temples built by Hoysala kings, there are many similarities between the structures here and Belur, Halebid architecture.

Many legends

The temple here has the idol of Ranganatha in a sleeping posture and is very attractive.

This idol is made of saligrama stone believed to be available only in three places, Srirangapatna, Srirangam and Rangasthala.

According to mythology, this idol was installed here towards the end of trethayuga (a cosmic time frame) by saptarshis or the seven sages.

“That was the time epic hero Rama ascended the throne,” points out Sheshadri Bhat, priest of the temple.

“An interesting feature of the temple is that sunlight passes directly on to the deity on the day of Sankranti,” he explains.

Three ponds surround the temple. Two are square shaped and one is a circular one. These are called Shankhu teertha and Chakra teertha.

Mythology also has it that Vibhishana attended Rama’s coronation, and presented Ramayana’s hero with an idol of Ranganatha in a bamboo basket.

Vibhishana consecrated the idol at Rangastala alongside the deities of Bhoo and Neela Devi.

The deity here is placed in a bamboo basket. The idol of Ranganatha is four-and-a-half-feet tall, and is flanked by the deities of Bhoo and Neela Devi. Ranganatha is in the yoganidra (meditative pose) and his shesha (snake) spreads his  hood like an umbrella.
A tower has been built recently and some more development work is under progress. Rangasthala is a must-see place for history lovers and  the devout.

How to reach Rangasthala

If you are travelling from Bangalore, head towards Chikballapur. After reaching Chikballapur, take the Gauribidanur road. Rangasthala is around five km from Chikballapur.