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Chamarajeshwara Swamy Temple History In Karnataka

A look at the history of the famous Chamarajeshwara Swamy Temple at Chamarajanagar town of Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka.

In 1826, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the Maharaja of Mysore state, commissioned the construction of the Chamarajeshwara Swamy Temple to honor his father, Chamaraja Wadiyar, born in 1774 at the site. Formerly known as Arikutara, the town was renamed Chamarajanagar in tribute to his father's legacy.

An inscription on a massive slab near the Janana Mantap, close to the Chamarajeshwara Temple, details the Maharaja's birthplace. The temple's Shivalinga, gifted by Sringeri Mutt, was christened Chamarajeshwara. Additionally, in remembrance of his mother, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar had an idol of Goddess Kempananjamba placed beside the Chamarajeshwara Linga.

This grand structure, crafted in Dravidian style, boasts a towering five-tiered raja gopuram reaching 70 feet high, adorned with gleaming brass kalashas at its peak. Inside, intricate carvings of deities adorn the temple walls, with Lord Ganesha and Goddess Chamundeshwari welcoming visitors at the entrance.

Featuring two mantapas — an open pillared hall known as Mukha-mantapa, a Nandi mantapa, and the Garbhagudi (sanctum sanctorum) — the temple showcases elaborate motifs of gods and goddesses throughout its halls.

During the reign of the Wadiyars, the temple flourished, generously supported by royal patronage. Mummadi Wadiyar, accompanied by his three wives, presented opulent ornaments to Lord Shiva during his visits. Furthermore, he contributed the revenue from 13 villages to the temple's upkeep. Today, the temple relies on devotees' donations for its sustenance.