A small town in Mysore in Karnataka, Nanjangud is also known as Garalapuri. The town is famous for the Nanjundeswara temple located there. Nanjangud is only 23 kms from Mysore and is located on the bank of River Kabini. The name has its origin from Lord Shiva who consumed poison to save the Earth.
It is believed that Nanjunda became Vishakanta after consumption of the poison. Hence, the name Nanjangud, it is also believed by the devotees that the Lord cures various diseases. Nanjangud literally means the place where Nanjundeshwara lives. Nanjungud Rasabaley, is a popular variety of bananas found in the town. It has made the town famous across the region.
History of Nanjangud
It is believed that the temple was constructed by the Kings of Chola in the 12th century. A range of additions was carried out by the Hoysala Kings. The kings of Mysore carried out a range of renovations in the temple. Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali were closely connected to the temple. Nanjangud is well known as Varanasi of the South. Hyder Ali has donated a necklace to the God because his eye was cured by the holy water of the temple.
Places of Interest in and around Nanjangud
Nanjundeshwara Temple: The town is extremely famous for Srikanteshwara or Nanjundeshwara Temple. People believe that the linga in the temple was installed by the Sage Gautama, who stayed here as well. The temple has a range of minor shrines that are of prominent importance, these include Natya Ganapath, Narayana with consorts, Chandikeswara and many more. In addition to the main linga, there are various lingas, mantapas and carriages inside the temple. There is a nine storied tower that exhibits the best of Dravidian architecture and history.
A car festival or Rathotsava is organized twice a year at the temple. Idols of the Lord Ganapathi, Lord Chandikeshwara, Lord Subramanya, Lord Srikanteshwara and Goddess Parvathi are placed in separate chariots and a special pooja is performed. After the pooja, thousands of devotees pull the chariots across the town. Thousands of devotees attend the festival and the town remains immersed in the celebration.
Parashurama Kshetra: Kaundinya and Kabini rivers meet to form a Sangam near Nanjangud. This place is known as Parashurama Kshetra, it derives the name from the Sage Parashurama who is believed to have cleaned himself in the river after beheading his mother. Lord Parashurama performed penance at the temple and found peace of mind. It is believed that those who visit the Nanjundeswara temple should also visit the Parashurama Kshetra to complete their pilgrimage.
Oldest Railway Bridge in India: The Bridge over the River Kabini is one of the oldest bridges in India. It has a railway line as well as a road over the bridge. The bridge is 281 years old and is located at the entrance of the town. It is considered as a Heritage Monument by the Government.
Prasanna Nanjundeshwara Temple: This is an unexplored temple located at a distance of 50 mts off the Mysore highway. It has been renovated over the last couple of years but remains calm and unexplored by tourists.
Guru Dataatreya Swamy Temple: The temple is located adjacent to the River Kapila and close to the Chamundeshwari Temple. Sri Pratyangira Devi as well as Sri Maha Sharabheshwara are installed inside the temple.
How to Reach Nanjangud
The nearest airport to Nanjangud is Mysore which is at a distance of 23 kms.
Nanjangud has a railway station and various trains to Mysore are available from there.
The town can be reached by road. It is 163 kms from Bangalore and 23 kms from Mysore. There are buses plying from Mysore as well as Chamarajanagar.