Of nature and legends

Of nature and legends

Ranganatha conjures to the mind an image of Lord Vishnu reclining in yoganidra (yogic sleep) on the five-headed serpent Adishesha but the Ranganatha at the Ranganatha Swamy Temple near Magadi is contrary to expectation. The sanctum houses an idol of Ranganatha depicted in a standing position.  The temple was first consecrated in the early 12th century by the Chola rulers and has undergone numerous renovations and expansions ever since.

The eye-catching gopura  (tower) was built during the rule of the Vijayanagara Emperor Krishnadevaraya and was renovated by Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in 1959.  In front of the main deity is a small pit though which a stone juts out and is believed to be a saligrama (sacred  stone). Any amount of water poured on it disappears in a few minutes! According to temple legends, the saligrama marks the place where Sage Mandavya who was performing penance saw Lord Vishnu. On the rear wall of the sanctum is another unique idol of Ranganatha in the usual reclining position believed to be growing out of the wall. It is called Beleyo Ranga (growing Ranga). There is a garudasthambha (pillar) just opposite the main shrine which mentions the offerings made by Krishnadevaraya in 1524.

The architecture of the temple is a blend of many styles and there are some beautiful pillars in the mantapas. Outside the temple complex is a well maintained stepped well called Kaumodaki Gadha Theertha.  The temple is situated atop a hill called Swarnadri Parvata. The village around the temple is called Tirumale and is just 2 km from Magadi Town.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry