In a small village of Kammansanda once a saint had a vision to build a temple with one crore Shiva Linga and he installed the first Shiva Linga on 10 Oct 1980 which was followed by devotees installing Shiva Linga from various parts of the world and today the Kotilingeshwara Temple is home to ninety lakh Shiva Lingas and also the tallest Shiva Linga in the entire world which is 108 meters.
Most of our vacations during my childhood were planned to places of pilgrimage, and my father being an ardent Shiva devotee, we ended up visiting numerous Shiva temples all across the country. By now I have already lost the count of Shiva temples that I have visited over the years.
But luckily most of these temples have always been in exotic locations. I love visiting temples, marveling at the beauty of the architecture and admiring the craftsmen skills and the interesting stories that are associated with each one of them. One fine weekend when we had nothing to do we planned a day trip from Bangalore to Kotilingeshwara temple.
We started around 10:30 am from Bangalore via Hoodi circle towards Kolar Gold Fields. We passed by huge boulder block mountains which were a stark contrast to the acres of blooming marigold fields on our way to the temple. The roads were awesome and completely relying on GPS we were there in 1 hour 40 minutes.
As we reached the temple, we found very few cars parked there and the temple was not that crowded as we thought it would be. We bought our tickets as we entered the temple. The temple houses millions of Shiva Linga of various sizes and designs placed all over the temple and the walls were painted in different colours to give a surreal effect to the entire temple. Unlike other south Indian temples, this temple is quite a peaceful place to be, with no guides running behind you or a long queue.
There was already a small queue to visit the first temple which is dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. After offering our prayers in the first temple, we proceeded towards the main temple passing by a sacred tree covered with yellow thread for good luck and wishes. The moment we reached the main temple afternoon Aarti was about to begin. The Aarti was accompanied by beating of drums and then the priest distributed prasad and offered Aarti to all of us.
The exit from the main temple leads to a courtyard which houses temples of many other gods like Lord Venkataramani Swamy Temple, Goddess Annapoorneshwari Temple, Lord Panduranga Swamy Temple, Lord Panchamukha Ganapathy temple, Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita Temple, Lord Anjaneya Temple, Goddess Kannika Parameshwari Temple and Goddess Karumaari Amma Temple. This courtyard is also a host to the tallest Shiva Linga in the world measuring a whopping 33 metres.
As per the project the target is to install one crore of Shiva Linga hence the name is ” Kotilingewasara Temple”. But as of now only 9 Million Shiva Linga have been installed. Shiva Linga installation can be done by devotees at a starting price of INR 6,000/-. Devotees have a choice of installing Shiva Linga’s of different sizes and also can have their name engraved near it. We saw few families offering prayers to the Shiva Linga they had installed or their families have installed.
Things you should know before you plan a day trip from Bangalore to Kotilingeshwara temple
You can find the biggest Shiva Linga in the world, measuring 108 ft (33 m)
In front of this huge Shiva Linga there is a statue of Nandi which is 35 feet (11 m) tall. The statue of Nandi is installed over a platform which is 60 feet (18 m) in length, 40 feet (12 m) in width and 4 feet (1.2 m) in height.
Houses 90 lakh Shiva Linga of various sizes.
The temple founder Swamy Sambha Shiva Murthy has performed free mass marriages for the past 4 years for 360 couples. Today the temple performs at most 15 to 20 marriages for 4 days in a week. The temple collects a nominal fee of around Rs 200 for each marriage. They make all the arrangements including the Priest, Drums and Music for the marriages.
The annual Maha Shivaratri Festival celebrated at the temple attracts thousands of devotees from all over India.
Timings : 6:00 am to 9:00 pm
Entry Charges : Entry fee is 20 per person
Photography Charges : 100 INR
Covered Parking Charges : 30 INR
Linga Installation : Starting from 6,000 INR
Mass Marriage : INR 200 per couple
There aren’t any proper restaurants till Kolar. Better to stock your car with food and water before you start. Not a single Mac D on the route.
There are few south Indian restaurants once you reach Kolar near the highway and food is just okay.
Temple also provides free meals during Lunch time.
By Road :
Distance : 87 KM from Whitefield
Road Condition :
Roads are awesome and reaching the temple is a breeze.
Was there any Toll?
Yes, fortunately just one and that too was priced at INR 24 for multiple entry for a day.
There are buses which ply from Majestic and K R Puram bus stop every couple of hours.
The nearest airport is Bangalore airport.
The nearest railway junction is Bangarpet at a distance of about 15 km.
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