BANGALORE: This temple is the Samadhi (tomb) of a renowned Sharana (Saivite) saint and philosopher, who in fact is regarded as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The name of this temple’s presiding deity continues to resound all over the political landscape of the state, as a former chief minister has been named after it. If you can guess the temple based on the above clues as the Siddhalingeshwara Swamy Temple in Yediyur, Tumkur district, then you definitely deserve a pat on your back.
Located on the Bangalore-Mangalore highway (NH-48), accessibility is definitely one of the temple’s USPs. A road to the left from the highway leads to the temple, whose Gopuram (temple tower) is clearly visible from a distance. The road to the temple is being spruced up; a road-over bridge will be constructed, probably ahead of some festival here. The wide vehicular parking lots on the way to the temple suggest that it must have seen many a vast visitor influx in the past.
A pyramid-shaped structure, located right opposite to the gopuram, eerily resembles the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. However, as you approach the structure closer, you get to know that it is actually a tin shed! Although the temple’s architecture is relatively simple, its Gopuram has a quaint feel to it. Currently, artisans are busy at work on the outer periphery of the temple’s prahaara (the path to circumambulate around the sanctum-sanctorum). The carving of a sage, located just above the entrance, symbolises the Siddhalingeshwara Shivayogi, who, a temple priest says, attained Jeeva Samadhi ( he decided to leave his earthly existence). “Siddhalinga Shivayogi was not born out of a womb,” says the priest at the sanctum sanctorum. He adds that the saint, who had authored many vachanas (philosophical poems), had meditated at this place for lengthy periods of time. Abhishekam (bathing in sacred water) to the main deity is performed thrice a day.
The temple remains open to devotees throughout the day. Its important festivals include the Mahashivaratri, Ugadi, the temple car festival, which is held in the month of Chaitra (March to April), and the Kaarthika Deepotsava, held in the month of Kaarthika (November to December). It may be interesting to note that the temple also has a Rudrabishekam Sannidhi — a sanctum dedicated for performing the Rudrabhishekam of the deity.