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Srikanteshwara Nanjangud Temple: A Testament to Spirituality and Tranquility

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The Srikanteshwara Nanjangud Temple is also called as Dakshina Kashi.


Nanjundeshwara aka Srikanteshwara swami is an avatar of lord Shiva himself. His temple is for people who are serious about spirituality. The legend says that anyone who wants tranquility in life should visit Srikanteshwara Nanjangud Temple and meditate on the linga of Srikanteshwara. The tranquility comes on its own. This article is to do a small service by introducing the divine to the readers so that they can bring peace into their lives.

Nanjundeshwara – The abode of Lord Shiva

Nanjangudu the abode of Nanjundeshwara has been a spiritual center for a few centuries now. The divine, on the banks of river Kapila,  has been the guiding force behind all sorts of people (Royals, peasants, rich, poor, literate, illiterate, etc.). Whenever people face hardship in life,  they converge at Nanjangudu to pray and seek divine intervention. 

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Najundeshwara in the movies

Though many movies have been made in the past showing how lord Srikanteshwara helped protagonists cope-up with their problems, one movie that stands out is the 1986 cult classic “ಅನುರಾಗ ಅರಳಿತು”. The protagonist of the film, the late Dr. Rajkumar brings his aged/ sick mother to the temple and sings a very touchy/ soul-stirring song pleading with Najundeshwara to heal his mother’s ailments and give her a long life. The emotional song goes like this “ಶ್ರೀಕಂಠಾ ವಿಷಕಂಠ …”. The song is sure to bring tears to the audience.  In the movie, it is shown that with divine grace, how his problems get solved one after another over time.

Let’s look back a little to know the history of Nanjundeshwara swami. 

Also Read: Articles from Temple Circuit

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Srikanteshwara Nanjangud Temple

History of Nanjangud

Nanjungud is mentioned as Sri Garalapuri, in the Shiva Purana. It is known as the abode of Shiva and the place is called Dakshina Kashi. As per Shiva Purana, there used to be an Asura by the name of Keshi who earned a boon of immortality from Brahma and Vishnu. With his boon in hand, he started torturing people, the devathas and Rishis.  At last, the sages and the Devas got so frustrated that they sought refuge in lord Shiva. The Lord appeared in Garalapuri Sri Kshetra (present Nanjungudu) and killed the Asur Keshi. After that, the Lord further assured his devotees that his Ansh – a part of his divine self would always remain here and bless humanity. 

Nanjangud kshetra is called Paapa Vinashini

The place since then got transformed into Papa Vinashini – a remover of sins. After bathing in the holy river of Kabini, every human praying to Lord Srikanteshwara or Nanjundeshwara (Shiva) of Nanjungud would be rid of sins and blessed by the god.

Lord Parashuram – an Avatar of Vishnu, has connections with this place

Sage Parashuram – one of the 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu, beheaded his mother as per his father, sage Jamadagni’s orders. After the incident, lord Parashuram wanted to wash off the sins smeared out of “Matru Hatya”. Sage Narada advised him to do a penance meditating on the feet of Najundeshwara Swami at Garalapuri (Nanjangudu). He (Parashuram) did exactly that and lord Shiva appeared in front of him and advised him to build a Mantapa, consecrate a Shiva linga in it, and worship it. 

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While clearing the shrubs with his Parashu – axe, unconsciously, Parashuram’s axe hit the Shivlinga, and the tip of the Shivlinga began bleeding. Sage Parashuram felt very guilty and said, “I have committed another unforgivable sin; only by killing myself shall I be relieved from all my sins”, and prepared to kill himself. Shiva appeared and blessed sage Parashuram and told him to apply wet mud upon the Shivling (the mud of Sri Nanjangud has immense healing powers). The Shivlinga stopped bleeding. Lord Shiva again advised Parashuram to build the mantapa and continue his penance. Finally, Parashuram was relieved from all his sins and blessed with immortality. 

Srikanteshwara Nanjangud Temple also called Dakshina Manikarnika Ghat

Goddess Parvati consort of Shiva, wanted to visit this holy place. He brought her to Garalapuri Nanjanagud. Devi went to the Kabini River and bent down to touch the water. A gemstone bead – Mani fell off from her crown into the water. Lord Shiva was pleased and declared, “Devi, until now, the place had my divine blessings and presence; from this moment, it shall have your presence, grace, and blessings, too. It shall also be called Dakshina Manikarnika Ghat”.

Festivities at the Nanjangud Temple

Festivals like Navratri and Mahashivratri are celebrated in Srikanteshwara Najangud temple with a lot of excitement. The temple is decorated beautifully during festivals, and they are listed below

1) Maha Shivarathri

2) Sri Girija Kalyana Mahotsava

3) Chikkajathre

4) Doddajathre

5) Thepotsava

6) Lakshadeepotsava

7) Varadhanti

Srikanteshwara Nanjangud Temple Festival Highlights

Doddajathre (Grand Chariot Festival):

  • Every March/April, thousands of devotees gather in Nanjangudu for the festival. During this event, devotees actively pull five chariots along the main street of the old town. Furthermore, on this day, some of the faithful engage in Jagarana, much like the night of Mahashivrathri. These five chariots are dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Sri Srikanteshwara, Parvathi, Subramanya, and Chandikeshwara, each carrying their respective idols.

Chikkajathre (Small Chariot Festival):

  • The Chikkajathre (Small Chariot Festival) is typically celebrated in November/December, with three chariots being pulled by the faithful.

Sri Srikanteshwara Jayanthi:

  • Additionally, Sri Srikanteshwara Jayanthi involves a procession of 11 small chariots.

Skandha (Subramanya) Shashti:

  • On Skandha (Subramanya) Shashti, devotees actively pull a chariot bearing the idol of Lord Subramanya.

Girija kalyana:

  • Girija kalyana is joyously celebrated during Ashadamasa.


  • Lakshadeepotsava is celebrated during Kartheekamasa.


  • Additionally, during both the Dodda Jathre and Chikka Jathre, a large floating Thepotsava for Lord Shiva takes place on the Kapila River for a day. Furthermore, during the Sri Girijakalyana festival, there is a large floating Thepotsava on the Kapila River for three nights.


Nanjundeshwara Swami, being an Avatar of lord Shiva is the main controller of our mind (ಮನಸ್ಸು). That’s why he is also known as Mano Murthi, and he is the one who plants the seeds of desire (both good and bad) in our minds. Man, being the slave of his mind, does what his mind says. He will listen to his mind more than his intellect OR logical mind.  To bring good OR “satvik” desires in our minds, we have to worship  Srikanteshwara swami of Nanjangudu. Satwik desires lead to satwik thoughts which in turn guide us to do good things in life. So, meditating on lord Shiva is a must for the betterment of our lives. 

Nanjangud Temple timing

The temple is open from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. 

On Sunday the timing changes to 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. 

Entry fees

There is no entry fee required to enter this temple.

How do I get there?

From Mysuru there are train services to Nanjangudu town.

There are plenty of private and KSRTC buses available from Mysuru to Nanjangudu town. KSRTC operates buses with route number 401A.

From Bengaluru, one can reach Mysuru and make the onward journey by train or bus. One can take taxis from Mysuru OR can drive down in private cars to the temple town.

Also Read: Chamundeshwari Temple – Pride of Mysuru

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