Surya Sadashiva Rudra Temple, Karnataka
There is a unique temple in Surya village in Beltamgadi taluq South Kannada district in Karnataka state. This is at a distance of 12 kilometres from the sacred religious centre Dharmasthala. The presiding deity here is Sivarudra Swamy.
Usually devotees offer gold, hair, silver or money to God when their wishes are fulfilled. But here in the temple of Sivarudra Swamy at Surya village people offer clay sculptures to Lord Shiva. One can reach Sivarudra Swamy temple from Dharmasthala in Autos and Jeeps. The journey will be very thrilling and continues through forests. There is also bus facility from Dharmasthala to Ujire and from there autos and jeeps are available. The journey is very pleasant with beautiful surrounds, green fields and dense trees.
Sivarudra Swamy in Surya village appears in the form of Shiva Linga. There is a beautiful garden near the temple. There are two rock forms in the garden which are considered to be the symbols of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Temple tank is also located near the entrance of the garden. The clay sculptures in various forms such as houses, chairs, tables, swings, baby boys/girls etc can be seen lying inside the garden. These are all the offerings of devotees. The uniqueness of this temple is the offerings to God. Whatever the wish is, when fulfilled the devotees offer the clay sculpture related to that to God Sivarudra Swamy. Devotees who visit the temple to build the house offer the clay sculpture of house after the completion of construction of house. If devotees pray for children, they offer the clay sculpture of baby.
According to the sthalapurana of Sivarudra Swamy temple in Surya village, Karnataka, Sage Bhrigu did penance to please Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. They appeared before him offered boons. The rock forms in the garden are considered to be Lord Shiva and Parvati and the foot marks near the rock forms are supposed to belong to Bhrigu.
There is an interesting story behind the origination of Surya Sadashiva Rudra Swamy. Lord Shiva’s vehicle Nandiswara used to come to Surya village before sun rise to eat grass. One day a man saw him and he lost the eligibility to go back to Kailasam, the abode of Shiva. Nandiswara installed a Shiva Lingam and prayed to him. Pleased by his devotion Lord Shiva gave him the eligibility to enter into Kailasam. This Lingam is since then called the ‘Nandikeswara Lingam’.
According to the inscription found near the Nandi idol in the Surya Sivarudra Swamy temple, the temple belongs to 13th century. Devotees not only from surrounding villages but from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu also come to visit the temple.
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