The Mysterious Sahasralinga of Karnataka!
Shalmala river in Sirsi surrounded by lush green forests hides an incredible heritage and a piece of history, thousand of lingas are carved on rocks in this part of river famously known as Sahasralinga.
The area is serene with divine environment found amidst the lush green nature, making it a great place to not just relax, but also attain some of mental solace in the presence of Lord Shiva, placed on the rocks spotted in the river here.
It is suggested to visit the place only when the water level is low; otherwise, the lingas remain underwater, making them almost impossible to view clearly.
Today, let us get to know more about the mysterious Sahasralinga in Karnataka, which have left many of us wondering about its origins. Many of us know about the famous Sahasralinga pilgrimage in the town of Sirsi, Karnataka. Did you also know that there is another Sahasralinga in Cambodia? Siem Reap, a quaint city in Cambodia is where you can see the Sahasralinga means a 1000 Shiva Lingas. These thousand lingas are carved at both places and are dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva.
The Sahasralinga is a pilgrimage site located in Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is situated in the Shalmala River and is famous for being the location where almost 1000 Shivalingas that are carved on rocks in the river, are scattered all over.
As far as history goes, these 1000 lingas were installed by the ruler Sadashivaraya of the Vijayanagar Kingdom, sometime between years 1678 & 1718. The unique thing about the place is that each linga features a carving of Nandi, the bull right in front of it.
Each year, on the day of Maha Shivratri, devotees from across the country visit here to perform Shiva puja. The place looks mysterious and lovely in every way, as you get those many lingas together peeking through the river waters. These lingas though, do not come in the same shape or size, and each one is different from the other.
Given the force of river water, some of these lingas lost their shape and some are dislodged or completely disfigured. It is suggested to visit the place only when the water level is low. Because otherwise, the lingas remain underwater, making them almost impossible to view clearly.