The Mysuru district administration has embarked on an ambitious task of developing the historical 1,000-year-old Srikanteshwara temple in Nanjangud.
The biggest temple in the State will be given a facelift at a cost of Rs. 2 crore. The aim is to provide facilities to the lakhs of devotees and foreign tourists, who visit the well-known pilgrimage centre.
Revenue Minister and district in-charge V. Srinivas Prasad is expected to convene a meeting of officials after the elections to the Legislative Council, in Nanjangud. An agency will be asked to prepare a detailed project report.
According to sources, the steps around the temple and near the river will be rebuilt, parking facilities will be developed systematically, and high-tech toilets will be constructed keeping in mind aged pilgrims. Work on queue lines, barricades and additional facilities to conduct rituals at the shrine will also be taken up, sources told The Hindu recently.
The Srikanteshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on the banks of the Kapila or Kabini, and a dip in the waters is considered to be more meritorious than a dip in the Ganges.
Hence the place is also called Dakshina Kashi. According to the people of Nanjangud, the waters and the soil around the banks possess curative properties, which have benefited lakhs of people. The temple is situated on a total area of 50,000 square feet.
The Mahadwara (main entrance) is seven-storey high and is decorated with seven gold-plated kalasas. The outer walls of the temple are about 12-feet high, besides there is a spacious courtyard (Prakara). Chola kings in the 11th and 12th century are stated to have started constructing the temple with significant additions by the Hoysala and the Vijayanagara kings. The temple was developed on a full scale during the era of the Mysore rulers and reached its mammoth proportions because of Krishnaraja Wadiyar’s devotion towards the deity. There are a number of temples on the premises.