A shrine steeped in legends

A shrine steeped in legends

The divine abode of Goddess Mahalakshmi is located in Goravanahalli in Tumakuru district. The ancient shrine is right in the middle of the village. Thousands of people throng this place everyday seeking the blessings of the deity. The temple is popularly known as Goravanahalli Lakshmi temple. A small but colourfully decorated gopuram stands at the entrance to the mukhamantapa. Once inside, you get the darshan of the gold covered idol of Mahalakshmi inside the garbhagriha, which has been lit up by several oil lamps around it. In spite of thousands of pilgrims visiting the shrine every day, the premises is well maintained. The temple complex also has shrines for Marikamba and a snake god known as Manchala Nagappa.

Goravanahalli shrine has an interesting story behind it. It is believed that many years ago, a poor villager named Abbayya found an idol of Mahalakshmi, considered as swayambhu or self-originated. He worshipped the idol in his house by performing regular puja and consequently, became rich. Along with his brother, Thotadappa, he used the riches for charity work. Their house soon came to be known as Lakshmi Niwasa, the abode of Lakshmi. After the demise of Abbayya, Thotadappa continued the charity work. It is believed that he built the temple in the village based on a divine inspiration and shifted the idol there, so that all the devotees of the goddess could seek her blessings. Puja and other rituals were performed regularly at the temple for a long time. Unfortunately, the temple became neglected after 1910.

In 1925, another villager, Kamalamma, took over the reigns of the temple. She used her personal funds to renovate and maintain the shrine and brought it back to its original glory.

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