Adichunchanagiri – Dog is vehicle of Lord Shiva here

Posted: February 25, 2009 in Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,
After seeing posts on Kerala in the blog, friends pulled my legs if I’m working to promote Kerala tourism and why I’m not writing anything about our places. And here’s the answer.

I wanted to start with my district and the first place came in front of my eyes was Adichunchanagiri and its seer Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, who has immensely contributed to the field of education, medicine and other fields through the mutt. The seer’s contribution to the district and the community is immense and not only Mandya district, but also Vokkaligas are fortunate to get a person who dedicated his life to the upliftment of the community and the district.



Adichunchanagiri in Nagamangala taluk of Mandya district is the holy land, engulfed with divine resonance and vibration. While the mutt is famous as ‘Panchalinga Kshetra’ and ‘Annadani Mutt’ among devotees, nature lovers find the ‘Mayura Vana’ of the mutt attractive.

Ancient stone inscription about Sri Kshetra

Ancient stone inscription about Sri Kshetra

Folk legends say that Lord Shiva performed penance here, during which he devoured two demon brothers — Chuncha and Kancha — who were pestering people in the nearby villages for a long time. Thereafter, the place came to be known as Adichunchanagiri and Chunchanakote.

At the end of his austerity, Lord Shiva entrusted a Siddhayogi, establishing a Natha tradition. Lord Shiva also assured him that he would reside at Adichunchanagiri in the form of Panchalingas — Lord Gangadhareshwara, Chandramouleshwara, Malleshwara, Siddeshwara and

Someshwara — of which Lord Gangadhareshwara is known as the presiding deity and Chandramouleshwara is known as ‘Atmartha Devatha’. The place thus, came to be known as ‘Panchalinga Kshetra’.

Sri Kalabhairaveshwara, the manifestation of Lord Shiva, is the protecting deity of the Kshetra. Goddess Parvati resides here in the form of Stambambike or Kambadamma.


There is ample folk literature available about the place. Inscriptions say that Ballalaraya of Halebid, Salva Narasimharaja Wodeyar, rulers of Cholas, Hoysalas, Ballalas and Vijayanagar dynasties were devotees of Lord Gangadhareshwara and Kalabhairaveshwara.

People who do not have children and who are not married come to the temple to offer pooja to Kambadamma. They believe that wishes of devotees are fulfilled after praying here.



The place where Lord Shiva sat and did penance is known as ‘Jwala Peetha’ or ‘Agni  Peetha’. Millions of devotees worship the place and peethadhipathis of Sri Kshetra will assume the Jwalapeetha thrice in a year — on Shivaratri, Navaratri and Jatrotsava.

Being one of the five Lingas, the temple of Lord Someshwara is amidst huge rocks on the hill. The Linga is situated in such a dark place that devotees take lamp to have darshan of the Lord even during noon.

Lord Gavi Gangadhareshwara’s temple is situated atop the hill and there is a Nandi statue weighing about 10 kg near the Linga. Lakhs of people come to lift this Nandi and is called as ‘Kallu Seve’.

On the way to Gangadhareshwara temple, there is Malleshwara temple.

‘Jwala Peetha’ is situated at Lord Chandramouleshwara temple. There is a cave inside the temple and folk tales tell that several sages did penance inside it.

There is a bamboo cradle tied over the Linga at Lord Gangadhareshwara temple.

Legends mention that there was a kingdom of Aarani Palegars near Chunchanagiri. The ruler did not have children for several years and prayed Lord Shiva that he would offer a bamboo cradle if he is blessed with a male issue. He sent his soldiers to get bamboo from Chunchanagiri and the men found a bamboo bush. When they cut a bamboo tree, blood oozed from it and the soldiers heard a voice telling them that Lord Shiva was doing penance under the shade of the bamboo bush. The voice instructed them to tell about the incident to the ruler and ask him to construct a temple and cautioned them not to turn back. But unable to control curiosity, the men turned back and died there on the spot. Still, there are two stones resembling human heads at a mantap near the temple and people believe them to be the heads of those soldiers.

Normally, every Shiva temple will have a statue of Nandi, but in the temple of Lord Kalabhairaveshwara, there is a statue of a dog, considered to be his vehicle.

Dog facing sanctum sanctorum of Lord Kalabhairaveshwara

Dog facing sanctum sanctorum of Lord Kalabhairaveshwara

There are two large ponds near the temple. There are several mantaps and caves and every stone and cave has a story to tell. Other interesting places are ‘Koogu Bande’ where echoes are heard and the ‘Sappeswami Mutt’ where a saint lived for years on bland food. Adventurists can also climb the gigantic boulders behind. On the top there are three pillars – ‘Chelur Kamba’ to the south, ‘Madhya Kamba’ in the centre and ‘Akasha Bhairava’ to the north. Climbing the hill is can quite scary, as one has to negotiate steep boulders holding small iron rods embedded in the rock. Even more challenging is reaching ‘Akasha Bhairava’ on a vertical rock holding a long iron chain. The crevices between boulders are unfathomable and very dangerous.

Last year, a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Kalabhairaveshwara was constructed at a cost of Rs 85 crore by Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji. With the construction of the temple, Adichunchanagiri has become one of the most prominent places of worship for Shaivites in south India.

A view of the temple from the mutt

A view of the temple from the mutt

Locally available stones as well as black stones brought from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu have been used in the temple. As many as 1,200 people, including sculptors, toiled round-the-clock over nine years to make Swamiji’s dream temple a reality.

The main sculptor of the temple is Padmashree awardee Mutthaiah Sthapati. This temple is the only one dedicated to Lord Kalabhairava in south India and no such temple has been constructed in the past 500 years.

Sanctum sanctorum of Lord Kalabhairaveshwara

Sanctum sanctorum of Lord Kalabhairaveshwara

The temple is 275-feet wide and 175-feet long. It has four massive towers. While the main tower, which is the main entrance for the temple, is 100 metre in height, the other three towers are 57-feet high. The east-west length of the temple is 275-feet and north-south 175- feet. The temple has four beautifully sculpted gopuras. While three of them are 57-feet high, the Raja gopura, facing east  is 100-feet tall.


The uniqueness of the temple is it is entirely constructed using stones. Doors, pillars, ceiling, everything at the temple is in stone. There are about eight 11-feet tall statues of Lord Bhairava, a 10-feet tall statue of Lord Ganesha and 11-feet tall statues of Shivatandava and Lord Subrahmanya at the temple. In all, there are about 64 different varieties of Bhairava statues measuring 4.5-feet in height.

The temple also has 172 beautifully carved pillars. Each pillar took almost 250 days to carve. While each pillar cost almost Rs 2 lakh, statues cost between Rs 3 and 4 lakh.

The main attraction of the place is the 23-feet tall statue of Nagalingeshwara carved out of a huge white rock.



Both the temple and the statues comply with the rules laid down by the science of sculptures. There are four idols in four different corners of the temple. While a 7-feet tall idol of Ganesha adorns the south-west corner of the temple, a six feet tall idol of Subrahmanya is in the north-west corner, and the 23-feet tall idol of Nagalingeshwara in the north-east. The 25-feet tall ‘Dhwaja Stambha’ of the temple is polished in gold.

While the temple is in the Dravidian style of architecture, the ‘Vimana Gopura’ is in the style of the Cholas.

The foundation stone for the massive temple structure was laid on August 22, 1993. While the cost was estimated to be Rs 10 crore when it was first conceived, it ultimately crossed Rs 85 crore on completion. The temple was opened to devotees on February 17, 2008.

There is a guest house at Chunchanagiri which can accommodate 5,000 devotees.

  1. Harish says:

    Looks interesting. How far is it from Bangalore?

    • arjunpuri says:

      Bellur is around 96 km from Bangalore. Catch the buses going towards Mangalore, Hassan, and Chikmagalore and get down near Bellur Cross and take an auto or other buses to reach Adichunchanagiri, which is around six km from the Cross.

    • Nandini says:

      From Bangalore it takes 3 hours of journey, go to mejestic n go to hasan route bus get down in Belur cross from there u il get direct auto o buses for chunchanagiri whih is aroung 6 kms from dere.

    • nithesh says:

      its just 115kms dude

  2. Mike says:

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

  3. A.S.Viswanathan says:

    Excellent place of worship to visit. Please give me the details about availability of boarding. Please give details about Pooja, and Special Poojas.
    With regards.

    • arjunpuri says:

      You can call and book rooms in any of the lodges in the mutt premises itself. They can help you know about the pujas and special pujas as well.
      Adichunchanagiri Mutt,
      Nagamangala taluk, Mandya district – 571811
      Phone: 08234-67333/67444/67570

  4. A.S.Viswanathan says:

    Please give the present contact number of the mutt to book rooms for stay at this great pilgrime place.

    With regards,

  5. MALA says:



  6. Chinu says:

    Are there any local schools where we can intend to do some charity on the way to Chunchangiri or in and around that place?
    Kindly advice.

    Thanks and Regards, Chinu Madhu.

  7. Roopa says:

    Excellent info about the place and very nice pics!

  8. Srinivas Rajanna says:

    Hi Arjun:

    Great info about the place and histrionics. This being my family diety, I make it a a point to visit this place at least once in a year. There is good connectivity by road from Mysore. Lot of KSRTC busses plying to Tumkur have a stop near the temple gate(steps). I have got some more good pictures of this place if they are of interest to be put on this blog.

  9. nithesh says:

    thanks to swamiji for building such a beautiful temple in karnataka

  10. ruchitha says:

    great work arjun


  11. Murlidher says:

    thank you very much.. my mother wanted to see this place and your blog post came very handy.. We had a good darshan last Saturday.. I also had a good experience climbing over the Hill.. and it was more adventorous too.. .
    Since I couldn’t read Kannada, could you guide me what are these:

    1. what was the cave on the way to top wherein we could see a small Ganesha Idol & Shiva linga..
    2. and what is the significance of the idol (stone kinda) at the top of the Hill.. we had a use a chain to climb the rock to reach this.. which was kinda unique thing to do for me..
    3. also at the start of this journey, we could see a small cave, just near to Nandhi statue.. Did someone mediated here..
    thanks.. in advance..

  12. bharathvn says:

    Nice topic

  13. its sirkal birava watching all our univers ,be pray allways doing task
    he is a grate loard of your family hugee birava …!

  14. rukmani ravi says:

    Thankyou very much for the photos . They do carry the vibe of the deities .

  15. Ravi says:

    To book the rooms you can call Mr Ramachandra on this number +919845565686 or Mr Nagendra 9611176812

  16. A B SUDHAKAR says:


  17. umashankar says:

    HEllo sir ,

    This is umashankar calling from bangalore regards to intimate you that i want to put my cousin into adichuchanagiri mutt for education regarding this kindly provide the contact number and details of that.

    thanks and regards

  18. gowda says:

    kala byrava temple is very very good nice place

  19. gowda says:

    kalabyrava is one of the fantastic god of karnataka……

  20. Lingaraju says:

    I am G. Lingaraju from Bangalore, tomorrow I am going to Adichunchanagiri, how can i book abhisheka pooja online.

  21. Sriniva.s R says:

    I am sorry you cant at this stage. There is no such facility.

  22. swamy d'gowda says:

    kalabyraveshwara is one of the historical place. it is a calm and good nature place.

  23. suhas says:

    there is one more kala bhairaveshwara temple nearby which is famous for Basavanna ..Chikkarasinakere near maddur…

  24. ASHOK says:


  25. naveen kumar says:

    i really thank u for providing this information to general public, lord kalabhyraveshwara will give u and u r family all happiness in this world

  26. Chandana says:

    Very well written and informative article.
    I was one of the students from earlier batches of Adichunchanagiri medical college
    Our hostel was in the foothills of Adichuncharagiri
    It was extremely picturesque, even though as a homesick 17yr old I didn’t appreciate the natural beauty in all it’s splendor.
    I did admire the ancient temple on top hill, dancing peacock’s on a rainy day,young mutt students walking up the hill on their way to Vedic schoo,vibrant village fair during Gods procession and of course the loud screeching sounds of peacocks at night.
    Beautiful memories 🙂

  27. vimaladayal says:

    This place is amazing hats off to person who built it except the toilet which spoils the whole temple.

  28. priyanka says:

    add still more beautiful images of god

  29. murthy says:

    very good place

  30. sridhar says:

    thanks Arjun give the complete details i am not seen will visiting shortly

  31. Manju says:

    Please give the present contact number of the adichunchanagiri temple to do Abhishekam to Lord KALABAIRAVESHWARA. Can u just give the abhishekam timings and the amt.Is there lodging facility. Looking forward for your mail.


  32. Jyothi says:

    I’m in my early 30’s and I remember having been told that our “Manedevru” is Kalabhairaveshwara and I remember going to this temple as a young boy with my parents and grandparents. But not one have told me the history behind the temple. So I thank you for putting them on here and sharing it with the world. Keep it up!!

  33. sridharboraian says:

    how to book the rooms in advance in Adichunchanagiri….since we are planning our pilgrimage trip to Adichunchanagiri next week

  34. naveen says:

    Gud work dude………

  35. Dileep kumar j s says:

    A C giri was nice & beutifull place thankq 4 adding god photos

  36. M.CHANDAPPA says:

    God kalabyrawashwara swamy i has came on Swamy Balagangadranatha was deid at the time i am in temple place but temple closed, i need your help, i dont know when i came with my all famally on that time i told my self kalabyraweshara kalabyraweshra kalabyraweshra all people are see on my pace i dont undtersand what happan i an my …………………………………….

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