The event will be held from November 20 to 25
Two million people expected to visit temples at Talakad Rs. 42 crore for the development of the pilgrim centre
Talakad (Mysore District): The district administration is bracing up for the millennium's first Panchalinga Darshana at Talakad in T. Narsipur taluk from November 20 to 25.
However, the rituals and the run up to the festivities will commence on November 16, and November 20, which happens to be a Monday, is the most sacred day of the festivities. Nearly five lakh pilgrims are expected to visit the ancient site on that day alone.
During the period of Panchalinga Darshana, nearly two million pilgrims from across the State are expected to converge at this ancient capital of the Gangas which is laced with temples most of which belong to the earliest period of Karnataka history.
Ruled by the Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar emperors, Talakad, which is on the banks of the Cauvery, has retained its significance as a pilgrim centre. The glimpse of five Shiva Lingas - Vaidyeshwara, Pataleshwara, Maruleshwara, Mallikarjuneshwara and Arakeshwara - is Panchalinga Darshana. Though pilgrims visit the temples throughout the year, tradition has it that a glimpse of the Panchalingas is significant when the zodiacal constellation attains a specific combination. The last Panchalinga Darshana took place in 1993.
Though the five temples used to be covered by sand dunes and the sites were excavated only during the Panchalinga Darshana festivities, the Department of Archaeology took up excavation work in the early 1970s and the temples and other historic sites have been protected with walls and other barricades that prevent the accumulation of sand that used to submerge the temples.
With hardly a few days to go for the rare event, the district administration is hard pressed to complete the civic work.
Deputy Commissioner S. Selvakumar told presspersons here on Wednesday that drinking water facility had been arranged along the route to three temples.
The administration had spent Rs. 30 lakh. The total outlay for the Panchalinga Darshana sanctioned by the Government was Rs. 42 crore, he said.