A famous abode of Lord Shiva in Karnataka; one of the biggest Hindu temples in the State.
The name ‘Nanjundeswara’ means “the god who drinks poison”. Legend related to the Palazhi Mathan (churning of the milky ocean) story of Hindu Mythology. The story goes like this; the Devas and Demons churned the celestial milky ocean in search of the ambrosia (nectar). As a result, both poison and nectar came out.
Soon, the poison began to spread to universe. To prevent this, Lord Shiva tried to swallow the poison that is coming out. Seeing this, Goddess Parvati pressed Lord Shiva’s neck tightly to prevent poison reaching to Shiva’s body. Meanwhile, to prevent it from coming out, sage Narada pressed his hand on Shiiva’s mouth.
As a result, the poison got clotted on Shiva’s neck; hence the name Nanjundeswara.
It is believed sage Gauthama consecrated this temple. Lord Parasuram worshipped Lord Shiva of this temple to alleviate the sin of killing his mother Renuka. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Parasuram near this temple.
The temple received the patronage of the Muslim rulers of Mysore- Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The story is that Hyder Ali prayed to Lord Shiva to get back the eye-vision of one of his favorite elephant. The prayers were answered and Hyder Ali made several gifts to this temple as a thanks giving.
Famous Ragavendra Swamy Mutt, popularly known as Pancha Brindavana, is also nearby. This Mutt has the mortal remains of five saints of the Raghavendra sect. It is an important pilgrimage centre for the followers of that sect.
Nanjangud is about 40 kilometers from Mysore.