Where wishes are granted

Where wishes are granted

Faith and YOU: The Nimishamba Temple is associated with divinity, belief and miracles, writes  K Karunakaran

Tucked away amidst the idyllic rural backdrop, about two km away from Srirangapatna, lies Ganjam, a tiny village located on the banks of the River Cauvery.

 Many tourists miss out on this place during their visit. This village is the abode of Nimishamba Devi – the goddess who grants boons instantly.

The narrow road takes you through the lush green rural landscape, with rich fields on both sides where red roses are cultivated on a large scale, interspersed with thick plantations of coconut and arecanut, and chikku and mango orchards.

The famous gulkhand, a sweet made out of rose petals and other herbs, is manufactured here, and sold on the roadside. 

Ganjam is an archetypal interior village which lies unknown to the occasional visitors to the area and even to people from other parts of Karnataka. Historically, this village had fame and reputation as a village of skilled artisans and craftsmen.

Today, Ganjam village is known mainly because of the shrine of Nimishamba. Nimisha means a minute and amba means goddess. People flock to this Temple because of the belief that this goddess grants the wishes of devotees instantly – in a minute. 

Nimishamba shrine

The goddess is Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva. A Sri Chakra, Lord Vishnu’s sacred wheel, is also placed in the sanctum, which is believed to radiate positive energy all around it. The idol of Nimishamba Devi and the Sri Chakra are carved out of black stones. Lord Shiva is also represented here in the form of a linga.

 This ancient Temple is believed to have been built by the Mysore Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar about 400 years ago.

It is believed that Somavamsha Mutharasa King Muktharaja was blessed with the boon that Sri Nimishamba will come to his aid, in a minute, in his fight against the demons.

 Hence, the deity of Lord Shiva inside the Temple is also known as Mouthikeshwara. 

The temple is east-facing, and situated on an elevated ground on the banks of  Cauvery river, amidst a serene environment full of lavish greenery. The river flows quietly at a lower level, and there are stone-cut steps leading to it. Devotees usually make it a point to have a dip in the holy waters of Cauvery before entering the shrine. 

There is an organised queue system in force for entry. On crowded days, it may take about more than an hour for a free darshan and almost twenty minutes for special darshan.

The main entrance is through a tall gopuram in sandal colour, which has many intricate carvings and statuettes on all sides. The gopuram conforms to Dravidian architecture, and resembles the structure of most south Indian temples. On both sides of the doorway there are beautiful sculptures; Goddess Lakshmi on the left and Saraswathi on the right.

As we enter through the gopuram, we will perceive a massive bronze bell hanging above, suspended from the ceiling of the mandapa. A peculiarity here is that this bell is not to be rung by the devotees as in other temples. It is rung on scheduled timings everyday by the main priest after placing the bali bhojanam on the bali peetham as offering for the crows. Whenever the bell tolls, crows flock to the bali peetham to relish the food.

There are other temples also dedicated to Nimishamba Devi. One such shrine is located in Cottonpet, near Majestic in Bangalore. This was built by devotees about two decades ago. Another Nimishamba Devi shrine is located in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bangalore, which was again built by devotees. Another one is located in Chennai.

Kshanambika shrine

One more shrine of instant boons is located inside the Srirangapatna Fort, just a five minutes drive through the main entrance, beyond the Juma Masjid, and adjacent to the Anjaneya Temple, right on the main street, amidst shops and dwellings.

This is the Sri Kshanambika Temple, which though less popular than Nimishamba, is no less powerful.

Kshanambika means the goddess who grants wishes in a kshana (second) as compared to Nimishamba who is believed to grant wishes in a nimisha (minute).She is also known as Sri Chakra Vedanayaki Ammanavaru in the locality.

This ancient shrine is located inside an old temple complex of Jyothirmaheshwara Swami Devasthana. The Temple is designed as a large mandapa with flat roofing and a long multi-pillared porch on top of which we see many decorations and beautiful sculptures.

A stone-carved Sri Chakra also called as Sri Yantra placed in front of the idol is believed to have the power to bless all devotees. It has mantras engraved on the surface giving out positive energy inside the sanctum and all around it. This structure is also believed to absorb cosmic energy.

According to Kshetrapurana, Sri Chakra is considered as a representation of Goddess Parvati. Devotees are expected to do pradakshina around this shrine focussing their mind on their wish and then enter the sanctum to have darshan and submit their wish to the goddess. 

As all of us invariably have something to wish for, it will be worth visiting these shrines at least once, and seek instant gratification of wishes.

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