Miracles very many at Hasanamba Temple

Miracles very many at Hasanamba Temple

Every year people look forward to the months of October/November when the most celebrated festival of Deepavali sets in. Being a festival of lights, every town and street is decorated with colourful lights and lamps, while crackers and a dazzling display of fireworks make it an occasion to rejoice.

This is also a time when a unique temple with a host of miracles and legends surrounding it steals the limelight. Situated at about 180 km from Bengaluru, this shrine sits prettily in Hassan. Dedicated to Goddess Shakti, this eponymous shrine is believed to have been built during the 12th century.

Once a year only

Though not a structure with sculptural extravaganza, the shrine has its own legends and uniqueness. The temple opens once a year, just for a week, to give darshan to its devotees. Lakhs of pilgrims from far and near throng the place.

To be exact, the temple is opened on the first Thursday after the full moon in the month of Ashwayuja as per Hindu calendar, and kept open for about a week until the day of Bali Padyami, coinciding with the festival of Deepavali. And to have the darshan of the goddess during this time, an unbelievably large number of devotees descend here, encompassing the whole town with festive fervour.

So, what is it that makes this temple so unique and important? According to mythology, long ago, there was a demon, Andhakasura, who after a rigorous penance, obtains a boon from Brahma to become invincible. With the newly acquired power, he creates havoc everywhere. Even when Shiva tries to kill him, every drop of his blood that falls to the ground grows into a demon and becomes uncontrollable.

Shiva by his powers creates Yogeshwari, a goddess who, along with Sapthamathrikas ­— namely Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamundi — brings about the end of the demon.

Thereafter, the Sapthamathrikas travelling south from Varanasi stumble upon a jungle with pristine beauty and decide to stay there. This beautiful location is what turned out to be the present-day Hassan. Among the goddesses, Vaishnavi, Maheshwari and Kaumari resided in the anthill in the sanctum. Goddesses Chamundi, Varahi and Indrani chose to dwell in Devigere Tank near the temple, while Goddess Brahmi resided in Kenchammana Hoskote on the outskirts.

The temple of Hasanamba with three goddesses is the one where everyone makes a beeline to in order to have a darshan during this time. Goddess Hasanamba is revered for the miracles and legends associated with her. The practice of opening the doors of the temple for a few days during Deepavali is being followed for years now.

After the day of Bali Padyami, the temple will be closed.

Before closing the temple shrine, a ghee lamp is lit and placed in the sanctum along with flowers and a prasad of cooked rice. When the temple is opened after a year, it is indeed miraculous to see that the lamp still burning, the flowers fresh, and the prasad unspoilt.

Hear, hear

According to another legend, there was a lady who was an ardent devotee. She visited the temple every day. But her cruel mother-in-law followed her one day and on seeing her pray, assaulted her with a hard object. When the daughter-in-law cried for help, Hasanamba turned her into a stone so that she could be unharmed. Even now there is a stone inside the temple, said to represent the lady. It is believed to be moving towards the goddess by a fraction of a millimetre every year, and when it reaches the anthill, the present Kali Yuga will come to an end.

Yet another folklore says once, four robbers tried to steal the ornaments in the temple. They were frozen into stones. These stones are very much there for us to see in the adjacent shrine of Kallappana Gudi.

The temple complex, with an entrance tower rising to 81 feet, has 101 lingas consecrated at a place and also the shrine of Siddeshwara. The sanctum has a rock with the images of Arjuna receiving Pashupatastra from Shiva, and also of a few animals. The Muzrai Department, which has taken over the temple management, leaves no stone unturned in ensuring a safe and speedy darshan for lakhs of devotees. They also decorate the temple with colourful paintings and lights.

This year, the temple will be open till October 20. Visiting the temple and offering your obeissance will surely be worthwhile.

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