Shri Kalaseshwara Swami Temple
Also known as ‘Dakshina Kashi’, Kalaseshwara Temple is located on Kalasa road in Mudhigere Taluk of Chikkamagalur district in Karnataka. A beautiful road crossing the Ghats, the aroma of Chikkamagalur specialties like coffee and cardamom plantations, and the captivating hills and gorges will make your journey to Kalasa a memorable one.
Nestled in the picturesque town of Chikkamagalur in the lap of nature, Kalasa temple is located on the banks of River Bhadra. Believed to have been built by Sage Agasthya, the Kalasa temple has many other small temples and sacred water bodies that add value to its serenity.
As per the researchers, the temple has a few inscriptions from 1154 CE. It is believed that the sanctum was built by Vidarbha king Shruth Bindu and later in the 16th century was modified by Keladi and Karkala Nayakas and kings. Much later Maharaja of Mysore contributed to the intricate silver door and the golden crown was offered by Somashekhar Nayaka.
The temple is also known for its sacred Pancha Theertha and Duggapan Katte. Duggapan Katte is the viewpoint from where the vast Kalasa town can be seen. Pancha Theertha is the 5 sacred water bodies present in the temple premises namely Vasishtha, Naga, Koti, Rudra, and Amba representing Sage Vasishtha, Naga dosha ( snake ), Koti Deva, Vishnu, and Goddess Parvati respectively.
The temple has many mythological stories. It is as per the Skanda Purana, the Kalasa is considered the Dakshina Kaashi It was when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were getting married in Kashi, there was a shift in the earth’s rotation because of the huge presence of gods and goddesses. It was then Lord Shiva requested sage Agasthya to travel to the south and take care of balancing the earth. However, the sage Agasthya requested Lord Shiva that he wish to be part of the wedding and witness it. Lord Shiva then grants Agasthya a divine vision that would enable him to witness the wedding anywhere in the world. Agasthya witnessed the wedding from Kalasa and installed a Shivalinga there. The sanctum and the lings are in the form of a pot or a Kalasa, hence the name Kalasaeshwar temple.
The temple is open for devotees all days from 7.30 am to 8.30 pm with a lunch break of one and a half hours from 1 pm to 3.30 pm. However, there is Annaprasadam (food) available for all the visitors and devotees on all days. The temple is open for extended hours during Shivaratri, and Jatra days and during the Girija Kalyana Festival.
Girija Kalyana is a celebration for 10 days with a Rathotsava or the Chariot procession celebrated with a great pomp and show and is called Kalasa Jathre. Devotees from not just all over the state but also from all over the country flock to the temple to witness the grand celebrations. In the year 2023, the celebrations will begin from 25th January up to 2 February from 6 am to 8 pm every day.
Respecting the temple’s values and culture, it is advised to dress respectfully while visiting the temple. The men are allowed in dhoti and without a shirt while women should be covered appropriately.
How to reach
Located on Kalasa’s main road, the temple is nestled in the greenery of Chikkamagalur. The temple is 84 km away from Chikkamagalur town and is easily accessible by road.
The nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport, 120 km away, and takes about 3 hours to reach Kalaseshwara Temple by road. The taxis are easily available at the airport. One can also travel by state-run transport bus services.
The nearest railway station is Shimoga which is 120 km away and takes about 3 hours to reach Kalasa. However, if you are traveling from Bangalore you can also board Vistadome coaches and disembark at Sakleshpur. The temple is 92 km away and takes about 2 and a half hours from Sakleshpur.
Kalasa is easily accessible by direct buses from Chikkamagalur and Sringeri. Sringeri is about 65 km away from Kalasa and can be added to the itinerary while visiting the temples in the vicinity. You can also add Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple which is about 6.5 km and takes just 15 minutes to reach.
Know More About Other Places to Visit in Chikkamagalur District
Image Credit: Anand Ramesh