Historical Sahasralinga in Sirsi losing 500-yr-old Shivalings
The historical Sahasralinga, a pilgrimage centre and major tourist attraction in the Shalmala river in Sirsi taluk is fast losing hundreds of Shivlings installed during the 15th century AD.
Published: 17th June 2022 05:19 AM | Last Updated: 17th June 2022 05:19 AM | A+A A-
KARWAR : The historical Sahasralinga, a pilgrimage centre and major tourist attraction in the Shalmala river in Sirsi taluk is fast losing hundreds of Shivlings installed during the 15th century AD. The Shivalings, installed by the rulers of Sodhe dynasty, are being either damaged by miscreants or being taken away by tourists. These Shivling idols are said to be at least 500 years old. Some people residing here believe they are at least 1,000 years old, installed by rulers of Kadamba dynasty.
“They were installed by Sodhe kings and are 1,000 in number. If you take 8 km upstream and downstream into consideration, in Sahasralinga there are over 200 of them. But now their numbers are dwindling, and only 80 are left,” Rajiv Bhat, a priest told TNIE. Ravindra Naik, a local resident, said he has brought this matter to the notice of the local panchayat authorities but to no avail.
When contacted, Jayanth, Deputy Director, Department of Tourism, Uttara Kannada district said the Sahasralinga is managed by the Bhairumbe Gram Panchayat. “Our role is limited to appointing a guard. We will look into what he is doing or if necessary we will take steps to protect them,” he said. Deputy Commissioner, Uttara Kannada, Mullai Muhilan said that he will look into the matter. Sahasralinga draws tourists as it is home to idols of Lord Shiva in various sizes and shapes.It has been a most a sought-after destination for devotees with many thronging the place during Mahashivaratri.