Shri Omkareshwara Temple in Karnataka
Shri Omkareshwara Temple in Karnataka state is ancient temple dedicated Lord Shiva situated at Madikeri near Karnataka. Shri Omkareshwara Temple was built in 1820 in Gothic and Islamic style of architecture by Linga Rajendra II with a central dome and four minarets, surrounded by sacred bulls with a weathercock on top of the temple. The presiding deity in Shri Omkareshwara Temple is Lord Shiva and the Shivalinga is named as ‘Omkareshwara’.
The Omkareshwara Temple of Karnataka is situated at an altitude of 3,781 ft above sea level and about 250 km from Bangalore. The temple is built around a central pool. There is a holy tank of 60 feet in depth with lots of fishes and a small path on the tank leading to a small Mantap located in the middle of the tank. There are four minarets around the temple and a dome in the center.
The temple has windows which have bars made of ‘Panchaloha’ and an alphabet ‘lim’ has been placed between two consecutive bars. There is a Linga installed near the entrance of this Shri Omkareshwara temples with four minars have been built on four corners of the temple and the central minar similar toMuslim Dargah. The temple entrance door frame is fixed with copper plate inscribed with the history of the temple.
History of Omkareshwara Temple:
This Karnataka Shri Omkareshwara Temple has a history for the construction of this temple. It is believed that, once king Linga Rajendra to fulfill his political ambitions, he killed a Brahmin who was a sincere and very religious. The Brahmin soul became a Brahmarakshasa and started troubling the king. Then the king could not tolerate this rakshasa, so he built a temple and installed as Shivalinga which he brought from Kashi and named as Omkareshwara.
Shri Omkareshwara Temple is also known as Jafarabad, when King Tipu repaired a fort which was built by the kings of Kodagu. The fort encompasses a church which houses the state archaeological museum, and a beautiful place built by Lingaraja II in 1812 and there are two magnificent mortar elephant figures inside the fort.
But during the rule of Britishers, they took over the fort, palace and chambers and transformed into district offices.