Temple: Vaidyanatheswara Temple
The Vaidyanatheswara temple is located in Talakad, an ancient town with an interesting history. It is located In the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka
Vaidyanatheswara Temple – Overview
The Vaidyanatheswara temple is a famous pilgrimage center in south India. It is one of the Panchalinga Sthalas, the other four being in Talakad too. It is believed that one who obtains a darshan of the five Lingas will be absolved of all sins. Pilgrims from all over South India gather here to worship Lord Shiva.
Vaidyanatheswara Temple – Mythology
An ascetic named Somadatta was on his way to this temple with his disciples when they were killed by a herd of elephants. They were in turn reborn as elephants and continued to worship Lord Shiva in the form of a tree. Once two hunters, Tala and Kadu tried to cut down this tree and blood rushed out from it. They heard a divine voice declaring that the tree was a form of the Lord and asked them to stop trying to cut it down.
They stopped and covered the wound with leaves and fruits. The wound was healed. From then on, the place was known as Talakad. As Shiva, in the form of a tree, healed himself – he was known as Vaidyanatha or Vaideeshwara – as Vaidya in Sanskrit means Doctor.
Vaidyanatheswara Temple – Architecture
The Vaidyanatha temple was constructed by the Chola kings who ruled this part of Karnataka in the 14th century. This temple was built in the Dravidian style and has two huge Dwarapalakas standing at the entrance to the main shrine. The doorways are intricately carved and the outer walls too are covered in sculptures.
There is a beautiful figure of Ganesha riding on his vehicle, the mouse. There is also a statue of Nandi installed at the entrance. The walls are covered by depictions of various forms of Shiva and Vishnu. A beautiful chain of granite rings is sculpted at one end of the outer roof. These rings hang down from the roof, with no joints. It is a magnificent piece of workmanship when the artisans had nothing but a chisel and hammer to work with.
How to Get to Vaidyanatheswara Temple
Talakad is located at a distance of 185 km from Bangalore and 45 km from Mysore. Frequent bus services will be available from these places.