Shivaratri is very special festival for Hindus. As it is nears Hindu devoties visit Lord Shiva Temple more frequently. We come across many temples of Shiva throughout Karnataka. Among such temples Kotilingeshwara is one of the unique ones due to the numerous Shivalingas of various sizes. While in most Shiva temples we see maximum one or two Shivalingas, however in Kotilingeshwara of Kolar District there are almost a Crore Shivalingas as the name of the place denotes. The shivalingas too are in different sizes. Among all shivalingas, the main one is about 33 metres tall and is acclaimed as tallest Shivalinga in the world. It has an accompanying Basava statue which is 11 metres tall and is surrounded by a large number of Shivalingas spread across the area.
The temple has been constructed by Swami Sambha Shiva Murthy in the year 1980. The first Shivalinga was installed in 1980 and since then there have been many Shivalingas established in the temple. Within the premises of the temple, there are about eleven other temples for different deities. The first is the temple of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, and Lord Maheshwara. This is followed by a temple of Lord Kotilingeshwara.
The other temples include Goddess Annapoorneshwari Temple, Goddess Karumaari Amma Temple, Lord Venkataramani Swamy Temple, Lord Panduranga Swamy Temple, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana Temple, Lord Panchamukha Ganapathy Temple, Lord Anjaneya Temple, and finally Goddess Kannika Parameshwari Temple.
The Government has declared this temple as 9ne of the most frequented tourist spot and hence hundreds of tourists from across the world can come and pay their respects to the largest Shivalinga. Two flowering trees, one of Nagalinga and another Cannon Ball are located here, and many unmarried women pray for their blessed and happy married life. Daily poojas are performed to all the installed Shivalingas by the priests everyday. The pooja is carried out with music and drums and all the priests recite mantras as well as pour water on the Shivalingas. The devotees can also offer special poojas by installing the Shivalingas. These shivalingas can be installed on any day chosen by the devotees in their names. Regular poojas will be carried out and offered to all the shivalingas installed.
There are rest houses constructed for devotees at the temple premises. In addition, free mass marriages are performed here every year. This is carried out by the priests with drums, music and chants. There is also a meditation hall built for devotees who wish to meditate in peace.
Kolaramma temple, Anthargange Caves, Bangaru Tirupati, Avani Betta, and Markandeya Hills are the places one can visit during Kotilingeshwara trip. The best time to visit the place is from July to January.
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