Mystery of 1000 shivlingams
It is an astonishing sight to see hundreds of carved Shiva Lingas embedded on the Shalmala river bed. This is an ancient place shrouded in beauty and mystery.
Sahasralinga is a pilgrimage place in the Sirsi Taluk in the district of Uttara Kannada of Karnataka state in India. The river Shalmala is today famous for more than thousand lingas which are carved on the rocks in the river bank.
Most of the lingas are clearly visible when the water level in the river is not very high. So it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the name Sahasralinga means thousand-lingas in Sanskrit. It is a sacred site, and during Hindu festival Shivratri thousands of pilgrims visit this place and offer pujas.
This magnificent site was discovered in 1969, by an ethnologist named Jean Boulbet. Unfortunately, his work was interrupted by the Cambodian Civil War and it took 20 years before the place was safe to visit.
According to historians, the lingas are believed to have been commissioned to be carved by Sadashiva Raya (who was also called the King of Sirsi), of the Vijayanagar Kingdom during 1678-1718. There is a local legend that says the Sahasralingas were ordered to be created by the king based on a belief that doing so might help beget an heir to his kingdom.
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