Town: Kolar town
Kolar is located along the southern region and eastern most part of state of Karnataka. The two most significant temples are Kolaramma temple and Someshwara temple. The Kolaramma temple is built and dedicated to Goddess Shakti.
Kolaramma Temple – History
The temple is built in Dravida Vimana Style and dates back to the Ganga period. The temple has several Chola renovations and additions were made by them in the 11th century, followed by Vijayanagara rule in the 15th century. The Cholas made several inscriptions in the temple, the earliest inscription belongs to the period of Rajendra Chola–I from 1012-1045 A.D.
Kolaramma Temple – Architecture
The temple is built in typical South Indian architectural style using granite stones and is around 800 years old. The temple is L-shaped housing two shrines, one for Durga who is known as Kolaramma and another for Saptamatras. The main temple faces the east while the larger shrine faces the north. But both of them share a common vestibule. Though the temple resembles a mantapa, there are nearly 30 inscriptions in both Tamil and Kannada found in the temple complex.
The temple has some tantric rituals depicted and a unique depiction of the tantric goddess carrying a bow. The plastic art is another architectural feature at this temple. A slab with a battle scene depicted on it is now found on the front platform of the entrance to the temple. The heroic stone ‘Viragal’ which is around four and a half feet tall belonging to the Ganga period is covered with relief work of horses, soldiers, elephants, celestial cars and celestial nymphs.
Kolaramma Temple – Religious Significance
The presiding deity is Kolaramma, a name given to the eight armed Goddess Durga. The deity is Mahishasuramardini; but people here call her by the name of Kolaramma. Devotees throng the place for special pooja on Tuesdays and Fridays. The idol of the goddess is placed on the side of the sanctum sanctorum since the goddess is considered very fearsome and the devotees are protected from her direct gaze by worshipping her looking at a mirror placed opposite her idol.
At the centre of sanctum sanctorum is the Saptamatrikas, the seven mothers who are rarely placed in such a key position. Kolaramma is also worshipped as the Goddess of scorpions. A big scorpion is carved on the wall of the sacred temple. There is a small pit near a shrine in the temple which is guarded by image of Kolaramma and is said to house scorpions. During the month of Vaishaka (April and May) on the fifth day of the fortnight, a scorpion crawls out of the pit to sit near the deity. On this day devotees offer Kolaramma little scorpions to impress the Goddess.
How to Get To Kolaramma Temple
This centrally protected monument receives devotees and architectural enthusiasts every year. Kolar can be reached through rail and road. Most of the trains which go to Chennai and Kerala from Bangalore pass Bangarpet, the nearest railway junction to Kolar. From Bangarpet you can catch a bus to the Kolar town which is 15 km away. The Kolar town is well connected to other places in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as well. The best time to visit the temple is during March and April, when the Karage festival is held.