Hinduism India

Sahasra Linga of Karnataka and Kbal Spean of Cambodia

Saharsa Linga of Karnataka and Kbal Spean of Cambodia
Saharsa Linga of Karnataka and Kbal Spean of Cambodia

There are quite a few places in the world that are not exposed to tourists much, whether it is due to lack of good transportation facilities, easy accessibility or bad roads. One such spot is Sahasra Linga, located in North Canara, near Sirsi, Karnataka in the middle of the forests of western ghats in the river Shalmala. The name literally means place of 1000 Lingas. During Shivratri, thousands of pilgrims visit this place and offer pujas, a perfect time when the water level in the river is low and most of the Lingas are visible with their bases called Yonis. Each Linga also has an individual bull carved facing towards them.

 No one really knows when or who carved these Lingas but it is speculated that the King of Sirsi, Sadashivaraya may have ordered their construction during his reign from 1678 to 1718. Interestingly, there is a mysterious link between this location in Karnataka and another country. Cambodia, a country famous for its Angkor Watt temple, the largest Hindu temple in the world outside India, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and full of beautiful sculptures. This country also has another place with the same name of Sahasra Linga where similar Shiva Lingas are carved in the middle of a river, located about 25kms from Angkor Watt. The place is called Kbal Spean, meaning “the Head Bridge” and is much harder to visit than the ones in Karnataka. Tourists have to climb very hard and rough rocks and a stone bridge.

 There are also statues of Hindu gods Lakshmi, Rama and Hanuman in addition to the Lingas.Again, no one knows who built the Lingas in Cambodia and no one offers their prayers to them unlike the ones in India. However, the tourists are told that they are the symbols of creative energy and the river waters that flow on these Lingas make the Cambodian paddy field more fertile. Cambodia lost a lot of its beautiful ancient architecture during the civil war but these Lingas were not affected, mainly because of the surrounding thick forest.

 No matter who the artists were, these mysterious carvings in two different parts of the world are truly an amazing site to see.

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