On a rock, the shape of a tortoise, there stood 5 separate Lingams. Each bearing its own story of how they came into existence. A pious king decided to bring them together under the guard of one stone wall and honour each lingam with its own sanctum sanatorium. Sanctioned by the kings of the Vijayanagara empire in the 1500s the two brother Viruppanna and Veeranna began building this temple to specialy honour the god Veerbhadra. The temple in itself consists of the inner temple, a dancing hall, a marriage hall that depicts the wedding of Lord Shive to Godess Parvathy, and a court yard with pillars, no two similar to each other.
The dancing hall inside the temple is held up by 70 pillars carved from the same stone that this beautiful temple sits on. Each pillar has a different designed carved into it and the main pillars show a beautiful maiden dancing under the guidance of her guru. It is in this mantapa that you will find the famous hanging pillar. 69 pillars of this hall rest on the ground, yet this one pillar remains hanging. It is said that this pillar is the key to holding the entire roof of the hall up! But sadly curiosity got the better of the Britisher who tried to move the pillar and in turn caused a chain reaction therefore ruining all the 69 pillars of the hall. The damage can be seen in every pillar, either bent, broken or crooked.
The temple is an unfinished piece of artificial magnificence. It is said that the king Achutaray had accused Viruppana for embezzling funds from the state treasury and Virupanna was to be blinded for his wrong doing. In his rage, it is said that Virupanna blinded himself and threw his eye balls on the walls of the enclosure behind the main idol of the temple. Even today there remain two holes on the wall with what appears to be a reddish blotch around it and it said to have been tested positive for human blood.
Like many other temples made during this time, this temple is also filled with stories from hindu mythology. It is said that the temple was built by Agasthya muni and he created the magestic statues of lord Ganesha, Shiva and Parvathy.
It is said that during the time the temple was made, the average person measured 8 feet and goddess Sita Devi was considered short. It believed that the goddess left her foot print on the face of the rock when the great bird Jatayu sacrificed its life trying to save her from Ravana.
The carving on the rock is said to be the platter in which the architects of the building would have their meals.
This temple is a beautiful piece of history that is situated 100kms from the bustling city of Bangalore and is surrounded by farms and rocky landscape. The temple stand as a reminder that no matter how big we aspire to become or how much we dream to create, every step of the way, we must aim for greatness. Greatness not measured by another appreciation but a greatness that we know is different, unique and unparalleled to what we thought was the best!