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Tirumakudalu Narasipura


Tirumakudalu Narasipura commonly known as T. Narasipura, is a panchayat town in Mysore district in the Indian state of Karnataka. The first name refers to the land at the confluence, (trimakuta in Sanskrit) at the confluence of the Kaveri, Kabini and Spatika Sarovara (a mythical lake or spring, also named Gupta Gamini).This is the place in South India where Kumbhamela is held every three years. It finds a mention in the Skanda Purana as one of the Trimakuta Kshetras (holy places with the confluence of three rivers.[2] The word 'Narasipur' is the name of the town, which is derived from the famous Gunja Narasimhaswamy temple that is located on the right bank of the Kabini river. Considered as sacred as Prayag (confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati at Prayag – Varanasi - Kashi in North India), it is also known as Dakshina Kashi The town finds mention in tourism guides, both as a tourist place and a pilgrimage centre.


It is said that Tirumakudalu is where Rishi Agasthya had visualised it as 'Dakshina Kashi' long ago. When he travelled down South to Narsipur, the town was a thick forest. Enamoured by the confluence of the three rivers - Kaveri, Kapila and the undercurrent of Spatika Sarovara - he wanted to install a Shiva Linga there and asked Hanuman to get him a linga from Kashi. Since the auspicious period lasting three-and-a-three-fourth of a galige was fast approaching and Hanuman failed to get the linga on time, the sage created a sand linga himself and consecrated it. An insulted Hanuman, who returned soon, cut off the top portion of the sand linga consecrated by Agasthya. From the axed summit, the Spatika Sarovara and is offered as thirtha (holy water) to the pilgrims. The linga that Hanuman brought was consecrated a little distance away and is called the Hanuman Linga.


The Someshwara and Markandeshwara lingams in T Narsipur and the Gargeshwara Lingam at Gargeshwari village, along with the Agasthyeshwara and the Hanuman lingam, form the panchalingas of T Narsipur, just like the five lingams at Talakad.


The legend associated with Gunja Narasimhaswamy Temple is that Narasimha appeared in the dream of a washerman telling him that his idol lay beneath the stone on which he washed clothes everyday. The deity told him to build a temple for him and asked him to look for gold coins beneath the stone which could be used for the construction of the temple. When the washerman expressed his wish to visit (Kashi) Varanasi on a pilgrimage, god told him that the construction of a temple for him had earned him (washerman) an additional punya (blessing) of about a gulaganji (seed of a twig tree) than that which accrues by visiting Kashi. Thus, the name tag Gunja came into usage with name of the God Narasimhaswamy.


T. Narasipura and its surrounding areas are prehistoric sites where many Neolithic sites have been unearthed by the Department of Archeology and Museums of Karnataka. The rich and fertile areas of the taluka cultivated by the Kaveri and its tributaries, has been the source of continued uninhibited human habitation, over the centuries, as verified by the ancient archeological evidences discovered in the area. The ancient sites excavated in the late fifties and up to mid sixties (between 1959 and 1965) on the left bank of the Kaveri near the Bhiksheswara Temple, opposite to Narasipura town, which form part of the Upper Kaveri basin, has established the Neolithic phase in the region claiming a date from the first half of second millennium B.C. which saw the gradual evolution of the peasants into food producing and settled communities responsible for the growth of civilization. The systematic ground excavations comprising burial ground remnants, potteries, graffiti, stone implements, metal objects, beads and bangles, animal remains, human remains, wood remains, etc. examined in depth and in great detail have revealed four cultural phases at the sites, but the most outstanding phase has been deduced as the Neolithic phase.


It is a place of religious prominence. The Gunja Narasimha Swamy temple on the right bank of the Kaveri river, is a massive complex belonging to the Vijayanagara period. The image of Narasimha in the sanctum sanctorum has a weighing balance with a twig with seed of the Gunja (botanical name-Abrus precatorius) tree and hence is called Gunja Narasimha Swamy. It signifies the importance of the temple vis-a-vis the Kasi pilgrimage center by a measure of the seedgulaganji. It has inscriptions dating from the Krishnadevaraya period with a mélange of Dravidian and Hoysala Architecture and is renowned for the voluminous records in Nagari script. The temple, which is more than 500 years old, was in need of repair and restoration. It was renovated by a donor - Dr N.V.Ramanuja Iyengar - an NRI from Florida, USA at a cost of over Rs 2.5 crores (about US$ 0.6 million). The Mahakumbhaabhishekam or re-consecration rites of the renovated temple was performed by the donor and his family members from 5 to 9 March 2011


Apart from the Gunja Narasimha Swamy temple, there are many other temples such as the Agasthyeshwara temple. (Agastya founded and sanctified the Agasthyeshwara temple.This temple complex contains many monuments belonging to the Ganga, Chola, Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods at Thirumakudlu, and also at the Bhiksheswara temple, the Moolasthaneshwara temple and the Anandeswara temple in the surrounding area. In Tirumakudalu the water comes out of the head of shivalinga, devotees receive thirtha from the same


The chariot festivals of Gunja Narasimha Swamy and Agastheswara, conducted every year, are attended by thousands of people.


The Kumbha Mela of T. Narasipura, of recent origin, since 1989, is an event that occurs once in three years. Organised by the Kumbha Mela Trust under the auspices of senior pontiffs and religious leaders of the State. The congregation is meant to underline the concept of unity in diversity. The Kumbha Mela of Allahabad and Nasik is replicated at T. Narasipura when lakhs of devotees assemble and take a holy dip in the confluence of three rivers. A slice of ancient India unfolds as ochre-clad sadhus join people to take a dip at the confluence of the Kaveri, the Kabini, and the celestial lake "Spatika Sarovara".

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