Nanjangud located near Mysore houses an ancient
temple dedicated to Shiva - Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara
that is rich in legend, historical and artistic significance.
This temple celebrates the legend of Shiva
consuming the poison that emanated when the milky ocean was churned by the devas
and the asuras in their joint quest for the nectar of immortality. (See legend); hence the name Nanjundeswara.
Legend has it that Parvati arrested the spread of the venom by placing a
firm grip on Shiva's neck, causing it to turn blue, and hence the name Neelakanta.
Legend also has it that Parasurama
worshipped at this shrine. There is a shrine for Parasurama nearby.
The temple: This temple has an
imposing Rajagopuram and an array of sculptural work depicting mythological scenes. There
is a shrine to Adi Kesava in between the Shiva and Parvati shrines. The 63 Nayanmar saints
of the Tamil region are portrayed as life sized images. The temple is located by the side
of the Kapila river. The Wodeyars of Mysore have made many endowments to this temple.
Tipu Sultan of Mysore was a patron of
this temple. It is said that the sultan believed that his elephant was cured of
diseases by the grace of the presiding deity of this temple and hence he made
endowments to this temple.