Come along with me next fall and you will have the opportunity to visit some majestic temples on our travels. We’ll also take time for a stop at the Kaveri River where she meets with two other rivers in a powerful yet peaceful merging of goddess energy.
The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam is on the way to Mysore from Bangalore.
The temple is dedicated to the god Ranganatha, a reclining form of Vishnu. It dates from the tenth century and is one of five pilgrimage sites along the River Kaveri for devotees of Ranganatha. When I visited there was quite a crowd which I enjoy. It’s very special to share the experience of being in such a place with so many other people, who all seem to welcome me into their midst even though I am an obvious visitor.
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is located near the Kaveri river, which is considered the Ganga of sought India. The Kaveri is a sacred river, a goddess, and is thought to wash wash away the sins of those who bathe in her. At Sangam, near the temple, three holy rivers come together, the Kaveri, the Kabini and the Hemavati. I stopped here, at this beautiful spot, to step into the river and feel her soothing water wash over my feet.
In Mysore I headed up to Chamundi Hills, climbing above the city for spectacular views and a chance to visit the Sri Chamundeshwari temple. Sri Chamundeshwari is a fierce from of Lord Shiva’s consort, Parvathi called Durga. The goddess Durga, as Chamundeshwari, defeated the buffalo demon Mahishasura, who, with his powerful army of demons had driven the celestials from their heavenly home. The demon could not be defeated by a man or a god because of a boon he had earned from Brahma. But the boon did not say anything about a woman or a goddess and Chamundeshwari succeeded where the gods could not. A temple devoted to her, along with a fierce statue of Mahishasura, stand atop Chamundi Hills.
On the way to the temple is a smaller temple to Shiva and in front of this temple is a 16 foot high and 23 foot long granite statue of Nandi, Shiva’s bull.
In Somnathpur, 36 kilometers from Mysore, is the Kesava Temple. Kesava is a form of Vishnu. Unfortunately the temple is no longer functioning as a temple because some of the images are missing or mutilated. But the temple complex, situated near the Kaveri River, is rich in beautiful carvings and is well worth a visit.
Join me for temple visits and a step in the River Kaveri next fall.
Blessings and Namaste,