Thirthahalli is considered holy because it has been visited by great sage Parashurama, as per the Mythological story. On the banks of River Tunga there stands this legendary Rameshwara Swami temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
About the temple
Standing on an elevated land, just besides the Tunga river bank, this temple is a major Mujrai temple of Thirthahalli Taluk. The temple houses a Shiva Linga that is said to be installed by Sage Parashurama himself. The linga in Rameshwara Temple of Thirthahalli is known as "Mood Linga". Outside the sanctum sanctum there are idols of Durga and Ganapathi. Ramatheertha, the holy spot where Sage Parashurama washed his Parashu (Axe) adorns adjacent to the temple on the River bank.
Around Ramatheertha there are other theerthas that are equally important- Chakratheertha, Shankatheertha, Gadatheertha and Padmatheertha. Near Ramatheertha, there is a stone mantap called "Rama Mantapa" and just in front of this mantap there is a stone baser. "Jogigudda" with a cave in it, where the Jogis (Wandering Ascetics) used to sit and meditate, is situated between Ramatheertha and Chakratheertha.
Sri Ramachandra Devara temple was basically a private institution situated on the banks of the river Tunga in Somashekara Agrahara in Thirthahalli. The temple was constructed and dedicated to Sri Ramachandra by one Samagodu Ramappaiah in 18th century to fulfil the wish of his father Sri Thimmappaiah who had a pious wish to construct a temple and dedicate it to Sri Ramachandra.
Over a period of time the temple came to be known as Sri Kodandarama Temple. Later it was taken over by the Mujrai Department. Ever since the temple was constructed, the descendants of Thimmappaiah have been worshipping in the temple and conduct other ceremonies. Sri Vittal Temple in the same premises was built by one Damarasa Pai, who was a minister during the rule of Ikkeri and Keladi Kings in the 15th Century. Since then the descendants of Damarasa Pai have been conducting Poojas and other ceremonies in the temple. At present, Sri Raghavendra Bhat and his brothers are performing rituals in the temple.
Festive season in the town witnesses great pomp and large visitors. On Padya, the first day of Pushya Masa, there is a car festival of Rameshwara where the idol of Sri Rameshwara is taken in a procession in a decorated chariot. On the second day of Pushya Masa, called as Bidige, Teppotsava is held for Sri Rameshwara in Tunga River. This event is marked as "Yellamavasye Jatra? (Yellu means sesame and Amavasya means New Moon day and Jatra means Procession) - a festive of three days that are considered auspicious and attended by thousands of devotees.
Another good place to visit just opposite to Rameshwara temple are two Agrahars (place where Brahmins dwell) - "Sadashiva Agrahara" and "Vyasarayana Agrahara". Vyasarayana Agrahara is also called as Somashekara Agrahara in which there are two stone temples. One is Ramachandra Devaru Temple and the other is Sri Vittal Temple.
The nearest airport is at Mangalore
The nearest railhead is at Shimoga.
From Shimoga, one has to take the National Highway NH-13 (Thirthahalli road) to reach Thirthahalli.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.