Nanjangud is situated on the right bank of the river Kapila or Kabini, one of the tributaries of the Cauvery River. Nanjangud , also known as Garalapuri, is famous because of the huge Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara temple. The name Nanjunda came by lord shiva who took haalahala or poision and digested it. People call this nanjunda as vishakanta or srikanta. So he is called as nanjundeshwara and srikenteshwara. He is famous for curing disease of his Devotees.
The Muslim ruler Hyder Ali Khan had a strong faith in god Nanjundeshwara because once Hyder’s elephant was suffering from severe eye problems. Hyder prayed and challenged the god to cure his elephant eyes. The beloved elephant’s eye aliment was cured by administering the holy water theertha from the Nanjundeshwara temple. Hyder called the nanjunda god as’Hakim Nanjunda’ which means’Doctor Nanjunda’ and he donated emerald necklace to the god. This place is called the Dakshina kashi.
According to Mythology, Sage Gauthama installed a Linga, the idol form of Shiva. Nearby the town is the Sangam, where the Kapila and the Gundlu rivers join, there is a spot is called “Parashurama Kshetra” where Parashurama is said to have had himself expiated for the sin of beheading his mother in a stream called Churnavati joining Gundlu or Kaundinya River. Parashurama temple, shrines of Maruthi, and a newly built Basaveshvara temple are some important places to visit. This places are tourist spots.
The huge Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara temple was built by the Gangas in the 19th century. The temple has many minor shrines like the Narayana with consorts, Chandikeswara, Parvathi, Natya Ganapathi and others. There are many more lingas, mantapa, vahanas (carriages) Uthsava Murthis (idols used during procession) here.
The nine-storied tall Gopura or tower is ascribed to the queen of the Mysore kings, Devarajammanni, wife of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1849). The 120ft tower boasts of stucco images, decorations, 7 gold kalashas, each 3 meters tall exhibiting the Dravidian architecture.
Another important centre in Nanjangud is the Raghavendra Math, situated on the road to the right of the Nanjundeswara temple. It was founded by the close of 15th century and great gurus or heads like Sudheendra Thirtha and RaghavendraThirtha headed this institution. It has a fine collection of Sanskrit manuscripts and copper plates.
A popular variety of banana locally known as Nanjangud Rasabaley has also made Nanjangud famous all over the region.
Car Festival / Chariot Festival
The Rathotsava or the car festival of Nanjundeswara, the ‘big Jathra’ (big car festival), a ‘chikka Jathra’ (small car festival are some of the festivals celebrated in grandeur in this place. During this time cultural programmes, illumination of the temple, a colourful floating festival (Theppotsava) are conducted.
The chariot festival is held twice every year. The traditional pujas are offered to five idols in different chariots namely Lord Nanjundeshwara, Lord Ganapathi, Lord Subramanya, Lord Chandikeshwara, and Goddess Parvathi. After the puja, many devotees pull the Chariots throughout the town.