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Nanjangud is a town in Mysore district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is a temple town and is on the banks of the river Kapila (Kabini), and lies at a distance of 23 km from the city of Mysore.Nanjangud is famous for Srikanteshwara Temple. Nanjangud is also called as "Dakshina Kashi" (southern Kashi).
The Srikanteshwara Temple at Nanjangud is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, also called Sri Nanjundeshwara, "The God who drank poison" to save the earth. In Hindu mythology, the Gods and demons churned the ocean in search of the ambrosia. During this churning, poison emanated first, followed by ambrosia. To prevent the poison from spreading across the universe and to destroy it, Shiva came to the rescue and drank it up. His wife Parvati then held his throat tightly to prevent the poison from spreading to the rest of his body and killing him. Narada held his mouth so that he did not vomit it out. The poison remained in his throat, making it blue in colour. For this reason, Shiva is also called Neelakantha, or "the blue-throated one". Nanjanagud literally means "the place where Nanjundeshwara resides."
Nanjangud has been a major Shaiva centre for nearly a thousand years. It is the biggest temple in Karnataka. The original Nanjundeshwaraa temple is said to be of Ganga period (325 - 1000 CE). This temple has then been renovated by the Hoysala kings. Both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan had close associations with this temple. The Wodeyar kings of Mysore made various grants to renovate the temple.
Nanjangud is famous for the Ayurveda medicines manufactured by the Late Sri. B.V.Pandit. The Sadvaidyashala established by him serves people very successfully. Ayurvedic medicines produced here are marketed all over India. In earlier times (1950–70) a tooth powder brand made locally called 'Nanjangud Hallupudi' was also very famous all over Karnataka.
The town is famous because of the huge temple dedicated to Lord Nanjundeswara also referred to as Srikanteswara. It is believed that sage Gauthama stayed here for some time and installed a Lingam, the idol form of Shiva. Nanjangud is also known as Dakshina Kashi or Varanasi of the South.
The temple was originally built by the Ganga rulers in the 9th century during their occupation of this region. The residing deity of the temple was later called Hakim Nanjunda; as given by the Tippu Sultan as it is said a favorite elephant of his was cured after prayer was offered to the deity. The same story is attributed to Hyder too ( as per Mysore Gazetteer)! It is said and inscribed in the temple history that his favourite and beloved elephant was bestowed with eyesight by the Lord, after Tippu Sultan's vow with the local deity. The Sultan then had a Lingam made of jade along with an emerald necklace and donated it to the temple. The Vaidya Nanjundeswara, even today is said to be a healer for his believers, and one can see even today worshippers doing Urulu seve, a ritualistic practice after taking bath in the Kapila river.
Twice every year thousands of worshippers gather for the famous Chariot Festival locally known as the Dodda Jathre and the Chikka Jathre. Idols of Lord Srikanteshwara, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Ganapathi, Lord Subramanya and Lord Chandikeshwara are kept in five separate chariots and a traditional puja is performed to the idols early in the morning on the Jathre day. After the puja chariots are flagged off. Thousands of devotees pull the Chariots carved out of wood, across the streets of the old town. The town remains immersed in festivities on the Jathre days.
Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt
There is the famous Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt which is called Preteeka Sanidhi (one can find an idol of Sri Raghavendra Swamy instead of the usual Brindavana). Also we can find the Moola Brindavanas (mortal remains) of 5 saints Sri Subodhendra teertha, Sri Sujanendra teertha, Sri Sujnanedra teertha, Sri Suprajnendra teertha and Sri Sukruteendra teertha belonging to the Raghavendra Swamy Mutt lineage known as Pancha Brindavana.
Near Nanjangud is the sangam, where the Kapila and Kaundinya rivers meet. This place is termed as Parashurama Kshetra which is where the sage Parashurama is said to have cleansed himself from the sin of beheading his mother.
It is said that Parashurama got immense peace of mind at this place which he did not get anywhere else. So he decided to make a penance at the place where Nanjundeshwara temple presently exists. At that time, only Adi Keshava Temple existed (which is now by the side of main-shrine). While cleaning up the place with his axe, he accidentally hit the head of Lord Shiva, who was performing penance underground. Blood started flowing and Parushurama was frightened to have committed another sin. Then Lord Shiva consoled him not to worry and build a temple of his, adjacent to Adi Keshava's. Lord Shiva also told Parashurama to perform penance at Nanjangud. Parashurama performed at the place where his temple presently is located. Lord Shiva was then immensely happy with it and gave blessings that those who visit Nanjangud should definitely visit Parashurama temple to complete their piligrimage effectively and fruitfully.
Note:This Content copied from wikipedia