> Pilgrimages by Districts
> Karnataka- Mysore district
Pilgrimages of Karnataka - Mysore district
- Famous pilgrimage of Srikantheswara: According to the legend, during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean) when the dreadful halahala poison emerged, the devas and danavas ran away to save their lives. But the effect of this dreadful poison was bringing destruction. Lord Maheshwara drank this poison to save the world. Devi Parvati held the throat of Shankara tightly so that the poison could not go down the throat. The poison stagnated on the throat and made it blue. So Shiva is known as Srikantha (one with poison in the throat) and also Nilakantha (one with a blue throat). The place where it happened was called Galapuri or Garalapuri, the present Nanjangud.
- According to another legend, when Devi Lakshmi emerged during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean), She desired to marry Vishnu. She expressed Her desire to father Samudraraja. Samudraraja advised her to go to Galapuri and perform penance to please Lord Shiva. She performed deep penance and propitiated Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before her and told her to ask for a boon. When Devi Lakshmi expressed her desire, Lord Shiva mediated and arranged for the wedding of Mahalakshmi and Mahavishnu. Therefore this place fulfils the desires of the devotees who worship the Lord with pure devotion.
- According to another legend, during the episode of samudra manthana (churning of the ocean), Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Mohini to distribute the amrita (nectar) among the devas and the danavas. When Mohini was distributing the amrita to the devas, demon Keshi mingled among the devas to get the amrita. Lord Vishnu as Mohini knew his deceit and gave him poison instead. But because Keshi got the poison from the hand of Mahavishnu, he did not die, but on the other hand became more powerful. Keshi establised his kingdom here and started harassing the sages. When their lives became unbearable they sought the refuge of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma took them to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in turn took them to Lord Shiva. Moved by their pathetic condition, Lord Shiva told the sages to perform a yagya at the sangam of Kapila and Koundini rivers to attract there. When the yagya started Keshi came there with a group of demons to destroy the yagya. Lord Shiva appeared there assuming Rudra rupa. There was a tough fight between them. Finally the Lord caught hold of the hair of Keshi and threw him into the yagya kunda. The demon was burnt by the flames but the poison started coming out of his burnt body which raised cries of agony all around. Lord Shiva swallowed the poison and saved the lives of all.
- According to another legend, when Parashurama killed his mother Renuka Devi with his axe at the command of his father, the sin of matricide came over him (although Renuka Devi was rejuvenated later). To get rid of this sin he went from place to place and finally came to Garalapuri. He was attracted by the sublimity of the place with thick woods and decided to perform penance here. When he was clearing the woods to make free space, he unknowingly hit Lord Vishnu who was performing penance there. Blood flowed from the body of Vishnu and would not stop. Parashurama was greatly aggrieved. Lord Vishnu told him to bring soil from the place where Lord Shiva killed demon Keshi. The soil from the holy spot stopped the flow of blood of Vishnu and at the same time removed the sin of matricide of Parashurama. Therefore the place is also known as Parashurama Kshetra. People come here for expiation of their sins.
- Nanjangud is located in the Mysore district of Karnataka.
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