|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Proper name:||Kotilingeshwara Swamy|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Lord Shiva|
Kotilingeshwara is the presiding deity of the temple of the same name in the village of Kammasandra in India. Kammasandra is a small village situated in Kolar district of Karnataka state. It is about five kilometers from Kolar Gold Fields and about 6 Kilometers from Aaladamara (Bharath Nagar) Bus stop, near BEML nagar. This place has the distinction of having one of the largest Shivalinga in the world. Over 2 Lakh devotees visit the temple on Maha Shivratri every year.
The main attraction of this peaceful retreat, which is surrounded by plush greenery, is a huge Shivalinga. Measuring 108 ft (33 m), this shivalinga is tallest of its kind in the world and accompanying it is a 35 ft (11 m) tall Basava, surrounded by lakhs of small shivalingas spread over an area of 15 acres (61,000 m2). So far, around 90 lakh shivalingas have been installed. The entire project involves the installation of one crore shivalingas of various sizes, hence the name ‘Kotilingeshwara’.
About the temple
The Lord Kotilingeshwara Temple is situated in Kammasandra Village in Kolar district, Karnataka State, India. The temple is about 6 km from Kolar Gold Fields also known as KGF. The main deity of this temple is Lord Kotilingeshwara. This Temple was constructed by Swamy Sambha Shiva Murthy which is open to public from early morning till 9.30 p.m.
The temple boasts of having the largest Linga in Asia which stands 108 feet (33 m) tall. In front of this huge Linga there is a huge Nandi (Animal mount of Lord Shiva) which is 35 feet (11 m) tall. The Nandi is installed over a platform which is 60 feet (18 m) in length, 40 feet (12 m) in width and 4 feet (1.2 m) in height.
There are eleven small temples of various deities constructed within the premises of the Lord Kotilingeshwara temple. The first to be constructed is the Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheshwara temple, followed by the main deity temple Lord Kotilingeshwara. The sequence of the other temples are Lord Venkataramani Swamy Temple, Goddess Annapoorneshwari Temple, Lord Panduranga Swamy Temple, Lord Panchamukha Ganapathy temple, Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita Temple, Lord Anjaneya Temple, Goddess Kannika Parameshwari Temple and finally Goddess Karumaari Amma Temple.
Inside the Goddess Kannika Parameswari temple, a Shiva Linga called "Shiva Panchayathi" is installed. The idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Kumaraswamy, Goddess Parvati and Nandi are arranged around the Linga, Giving an essence that all these Gods are offering their prayers to the Linga. A water tank is set up close to the Linga. The water is used by the devotees to offer their prayers by performing Abhisheka to the Linga with utmost devotion and faith.
There are millions of Lingas being installed surrounding the temple by the pilgrims since 1980 spread over an area of 13 acres (53,000 m2). There are more than 8.6 million Lingas installed as of 2008. The lingas installed vary between 1 foot (0.30 m) and 3 feet (0.91 m) tall. The temple was started with the intent of installing 1 crore lingas, hence the name "Kotilingeshwara". Koti means crore (10 million). The Sahasra Linga is in the shape of a single Linga but consists of 1000 Lingas etched on a single column. One must reckon each such Linga as 1000 Lingas to arrive at the aggregate number of Lingas installed.
The temple has two NagaLinga Flower Trees or Cannon Ball Flower Trees. The unmarried women pray with devotion and faith to Lord Lingeswara wishing for a happy married life and tie a yellow thread around the Tree. One can see yellow threads covering the entire Tree.
The Karnataka government has declared this temple as a tourist spot so that devotees and pilgrims from all over the world can witness the 108-foot (33 m)-tall Linga and 35 Feet tall Nandi statue.
History of the Temple
In Threta Yuga, Ramayana one of the greatest ancient Sanskrit epics, depicts the battle between Lord Sri Rama (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Threta Yuga) and Demon King Ravana. It was a very long and deadly battle that took many lives away. While Lord Rama triumphed in his battle against evil, as a noble gesture of providing salvation to those who perished, He travelled to Rameswaram from Dhanuskodi and installed a Linga in the banks of the River. He offered prayers to the Linga and prayed for all the people who lost their lives in the battle.
Similarly in Kali Yuga, in order to instill the culture of divinity, peace and prosperity Lord Kotilingeshwara temple was constructed over 13 acres (53,000 m2) of land in Kammasandra. The first Linga was installed in the year 1980 on October 10. Later the Sanctum for the main deity was constructed. From then on many more Lingas are being installed surrounding the temple, till date 90 lakhs lingas are there in the temple.
Poojas are performed to all the installed lingas every day at 6:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. by 10 Priests along with Drums and Music. The Priests recite mantras and pour water on each and every installed linga.
Linga Installation : The Devotees can offer their prayers to Lord Kotilingeshwara by installing Lingas. The price for the Lingas depends on the size of the Linga to be installed. These informations will be available with the Executive Officer of the temple. The Lingas will be installed in the name of the devotee. One can find the names of the devotees carved on the Lingas installed and prayers will be offered every day for the well being of the donors.
Mantap or Rest House Facility
The temple authorities have constructed Mantap or Rest houses for the Pilgrims beside the temple premises. People who want to stay and visit the temple can rest at this Mantap free of cost.
Free Cost marriages
The temple founder Swamy Sambha Shiva Murthy has performed free mass marriages for the past 4 years, in which 360 couple have benefited. Today the temple performs utmost 15 to 20 marriages for 4 days in a week. The temple collects a nominal fee of around Rs 200 for each marriage. They make all the arrangements including the Priest, Drums and Music for the marriages.
There is a meditation hall near the Exhibition hall which is specifically built for the pilgrims to wish to meditate.
Kotilingeshwara temple is approximately 6 KM from KGF and 13 KM Bangarapet on Bangarapet-Bethamangala road. Kotilingeshwara can be reached by road from Bangalore via Kolar, Bangarapet route.
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