Monday, 25 January 2016

'Sahasralinga' - Thousand Lingas In The River 'Shalmala'

Sahasralinga is a pilgrimage place located in Sirsi Taluk of Uttara Kananda District which is known for its natural beauty. Sahasra Linga means thousand Lingas. These Lingas are carved on the rocks situated in the river Shalmala, throughout the river bed. Each Linga also has an individual bull (Nandi) carved facing towards them. But now only few hundred Lingas can be seen as continuous running water of the river has destroyed many.

History says that these Lingas were built by the King Sadashivaraya who ruled the Sirsi town in 17th century. He was childless. He worshiped Lord Shiva with devotion and Lord Shiva blessed him with a son. In order to return his favor Sadashivaraya constructed these Shiva Lingas in the river.  Not only Shivalingas and Nandis but also we can see carvings of animals, birds and some divine figures. 

A Carving which depicts Kamadhenu worshipping Shivalinga
There are steps to reach these Shivalingas. We can also worship Shivalingas. We saw people taking dip in the river and offering pooja to Lingas. The place where Shivalingas are present is not deep and dangerous but quite slippery. Children can also dip their feet in the water and have some fun. My son sat on the rock dipping his feet in the water and started playing happily. 

During Shivaratri this place will be crowded with thousands of pilgrims. This is the best time to visit as water level in the river will be low and most of the Shivalingas are visible. 
One more attraction of the Sahasra Linga is a long hanging bridge/cable bridge constructed across the Shalmala river. From the bridge view of the nature and the river looks serene and beautiful. 
I really liked the place because it is quite unique, interesting and beautiful in the middle of the nature. 
How to reach Sahasralinga : 
Sahasralinga is around 17 kms from Sirsi. You have to cross Bhairumbe and reach Hulgol bus stop. From here it is around 2 kms distance. There is a large parking place near Sahasralinga and parking fee is Rs 20/-

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