A less known holy corner of Telangana: The scattered Lingams

17th Jul 2019
Photo of A less known holy corner of Telangana: The scattered Lingams by Pooja Hazarika
Day 1

India is famous all around the globe for her ancient Temples and historical buildings. Worshipping God in a Temple here is not only a ritual but also a way of life. So, visiting Temples is one of the most popular culture here. Though not everyday or not during any occasion, yet I too visit temples sometimes to find myself in their positive and peaceful environment. Moreover, my mind gets refreshed and I attain a positive energy, which I feel is an essence of healthy living. Some Temple's architecture and sculptures or history and mythology also play an important role to attract many visitors like me. Sometimes, I even sit at any place in the Temple's premises and spend some self time which really allow me to forget all troubles for a period of time, relieving some of the stress.

Although there are so many famous, legendary Temples in India, there are some which are less known but bears an interesting history or legend. One such Temple is The Ramalingeswara Temple in the state of Telangana which is 30 kms away from the city of Hyderabad. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the hills of Keesaragutta.

We were in Hyderabad those days. It was a day off and while having my cup of tea, I suddenly thought of paying a visit to any destination nearby. And I made up my mind to visit the Ramalingeswara Temple in Keesaragutta, of which I had been thinking of since so many days. Actually, once I read about this recondite Temple on the internet and the interesting legend associated with this Temple attracted me so much. Quickly then I woke Dinesh up, we got ready and quickly had some toast and muesli in breakfast, as I do not follow the typical rule of visiting Temple with empty stomach. We then taking Google map as our ongoing guide, set off in our little car towards Keesaragutta.

The Temple is situated in the beautiful small hill of Keesaragutta. Approximately in an hour, we reached the Temple. As I stepped out of the car, that peace giving aroma, the colourful butterflies, the view of the Temple, the scattered Shiva Lingams reminded me of what I picturized while I was once reading about the Temple. We then went inside the Temple and had a 'darshan'. I could not take off my eyes from the majestic grandeur of the architecture of the Temple. Divine it was! Besides this main Temple, there lies the Hanuman Temple. We then visited the Hanuman Temple. Though simpler and smaller, the beautiful stone curvings and other sculptures could really soothed my eyes. I had a 'darshan' after which was offered half of a coconut as 'Prasadam'.  Seriously, coconut was never ever juicy & sweeter than that.

Dinesh and I had a walk in the Temple premises. A hill full of scattered Shiva Lingams. The Lingams were seen here and there with no specific distance from one to the other. It was really a very unique view, a rare experience.
A man cutting grasses came to my notice and I thought of asking him about the legend behind the Temple which I read about. Though not very fluent in Hindi, he told me what the local people there believe to be the legend behind this less known Ramalingeswara Temple. He said that when Lord Rama returned from Lanka after killing Ravana who was a demon but Brahmin, Rama felt the guilt that he had committed a sin. So, he decided to offer a prayer to Lord Shiva (A pan-Hindu deity who is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of lingam, believed to be the Supreme Being in Hindu Mythology; Lord of Divine Energy, Meditation, Time and Destruction; Supreme Destroyer of Evil and the Lord of The Gods and also the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe.) by installing a Shiva Lingam and for the purpose he selected a beautiful hill valley amidst greenery, which is today's Keesaragutta. Lord Rama then ordered his follower Lord Hanuman to bring Shiva Lingam from Varanasi for the purpose of the prayer. Unfortunately Hanuman was late in arriving and the auspicious time of the prayer was approaching. So Lord Shiva appeared himself in front of Rama and presented him a Shiva Lingam to proceed with the prayer. Meanwhile Hanuman arrived with 101 Shiva Lingams so that Rama could select the best of them. But Hanuman saw that Rama already started the prayer and he got disappointed for not installing his Lingam and in anger he threw them all there. That's why we could see those scattered Lingams at the Temple premises all over the hill.
To quell Hanuman's anger, Rama told Hanuman that there would be a Hanuman Temple too near the Shiva Temple where he would be offered prayers for ages.Today, we can also see a tall Hanuman figure while climbing the steps to the Temple.

I thanked the man who took out some of his time to tell me this interesting legend which I read about and I climbed the steps to the tall Hanuman figure from where one can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Keesaragutta hill. It was a hot summer day. We then went near those two persons who were selling 'Nariyal paani' (Coconut water) and 'Ganne ka ras' (Sugarcane juice) in the Temple premises. Refreshed! What would anyone want more than these in a hot summer day?
We started off back to home. Coming down the hill, we saw so many butterflies flying across the road. Never saw such a beauty which is still alive on my eyes.

As it was almost 3 in the afternoon, we had to have our lunch. After a drive of about 15 minutes, we stopped at the roadside Chillies Restaurant and Dhaba where we had some fried rice, rotis and tasty curries. Though not a very big one, but it was a good neat restaurant also having private dinning cottages serving tasty food.
We, then headed straight towards home carrying a beautiful memory and a positive feeling in my heart that said 'A fruitful day off it was'!

Photo of Hyderabad by Pooja Hazarika
Photo of Hyderabad by Pooja Hazarika
Photo of Hyderabad by Pooja Hazarika
Photo of Hyderabad by Pooja Hazarika