About Yediyur Siddhalingeshwara Swamy Temple
The Yediyur Siddhalingeshwara Swamy temple, an ancient Hindu shrine, is one of the eminent pilgrimage centers. Siddhalingeshwara is the temple’s deity. Although known as a temple, it has a Nirvikalpa Shivayoga Samadhi (tomb) of Shri Tontada Siddhalinga, a well known Virashaiva saint belonging to late 15th century.
Yediyur is the final destination of Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy. He was not born out of a mother’s womb but, appeared as an infant to a childless couple, Mallikarjuna and Jnanambe. Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy, is a great revered Sharana saint in the path of Shiva Sharana Parampara of diffusion of ‘thatva of life’ called “Vachanas”. He travelled far and wide preaching Sharana faith which is predominantly praying with Atma Linga as envisaged by Basavanna, Allamaprabhu and a vast group of learned men and women from all walks of life. ( 12th century in present day Bijapur district).
He performed 12 years of penance at a garden belonging to Vokkaligara Nambiyana (Thota) and hence came to be known as Thontada Siddalingeshwara Swamy. He headed the Murugi mutt and had a large number of disciples, some of whom wrote on Veerashaiva faith and philosophy. Hence Yedeyuru is deemed to be a seat of awakened spiritual consciousness.
He has written Shathsthala Jnana Saramrutha, containing 701 Vachanas (poems) which are directing sthalas (route) to attain aikya meaning to merge with light (god). He travelled far and wide, preached eternal truth and performed many miracles for scores of people irrespective of their caste or creed. His life and values held by him demonstrated the divine powers attained by him to heal the sick and suffering. He is regarded as one of the greatest saints of the Sharana sect in the Hindu religion.
Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is known to perform miracles on large number of people, belonging to different caste and creed. Many sick and suffering people are believed to be cured by his divine powers.
The temple is a large Dravidian structure facing the North. The temple houses a ’Gaddige’ (tomb) of Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy, a lump of Vibhuthi, is covered by Linga Kanhe form. Placed on top of this is a metallic sculpture (Utsava Murthy) which is used during procession. The metallic image bears a resemblance to the stone sculpture at the main gate.
The temple has a large wooden chariot (ratha). Near the temple’s Mahadwara (main door) are some inscriptions which describe the spiritual greatness of the teacher. Beautifully colored ‘Gopura’ of the temple depicts various incidents of Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy’s life. One can find certain inscriptions even on temple’s bells, jewels, vessels etc.
At the basement of the main sanctum is a small shrine of Shri Veerabhadra Swamy who is also looked upon with great respect and worshipped by people, similar to Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy.
Every year the temple holds a 15 day long ‘Jathra’, starting from the 7th day after ‘Ugadi’ (Hindu calendar). The ‘Jathra’ is conducted to mark the attainment of Samadhi by Shri Siddhalingeshwara Swamy. During Maha Shivarathri, a Hindu festival, Sahasra Rudrabhisheka is performed at the temple.
The last day of Karthika month is celebrated by lighting Laksha Deepa (one lakh lamps) around the temple. During the month of Shravana, special poojas namely Sahasra kamala pooja (one thousand lotus flowers) and Laksha Bilvarchana (one lakh bilva leaves) pooja are performed. On every new moon day, Kumbhahisheka is performed in the temple.
The annual car festival is held by the temple on the 7th lunar day of the Chaitra masa (March-April). Lakhs of devotees arrive during the above mentioned special days to witness the event.