Sri Amritheshwari Temple Kota
Long Long ago there lived a devil, Kharasura by name in Dandakaranya. He was a close relative of Ravanasura. He was ruling over Dandakaranya which was situated to the north of Lanka as per the orders of Ravana. He was assisted by his wife Kumbhamukhi, sister Shoorpanakha and his followers Dushana and Trishira.
In spite of being a Rakshasa, Khara was pious and a great warrior. He was also a devotee of Lord Shiva. His wife Kumbhamukhi was very loyal to her husband and a kind lady. She was also worshipping Parvathi and Parameshwar with her husband.
One day it so happened that Kumbhamukhi and Shoorpanakha were moving leisurely in the forest and they were separated as they went in search of flowers and honey in different directions. In the same path, Athiprabha, the widow of sage Yekamukhi was travelling with her son Bahushrutha to visit the holy place khashi. Her son was a young, handsome and well educated youth.
As Shoorpanakha came along the way and met Athiprabha and Bahushrutha, she was charmed by his grace as she was a busy young widow. She requested him to marry her and when he rejected the proposal, she attacked him and killed him in anger. Athiprabha grieved on the death of her lonely son. Hearing her grief Kumbhamukhi came to the spot and Athiprabha cursed Kumbhamukhi not to have any children. She did so thinking that she was Shoorpanakha who killed her son. Later she realized her fault and cursed Shoorpanakha to become the destroyer of her dynasty after being attracted and rejected by a handsome person. Then she jumped into a deep trench and committed suicide. Kumbhamukhi worried deeply and told everything to her husband Kharasura. Kharasura consoled his wife and began to think how to get rid of this curse and get children. He sought the help of his guru Shukracharya. Acharya suggested him to go to Mayasura and bring a Jyesta Linga made by him. He also said to him to worship the Linga for full one year period and his wife should worship Amritheshwari ( mother of the whole world) with great devotion.
As Kharasura requested Mayasura to give a Linga, Mayasura, the devil sculptor made it within no time and handed over to him. Khara erected the Linga in Shukapura(Giliyaru) and constructed a beautiful Temple. He also erected Amritheshwari very close to this Shiva Temple. Both husband and wife worshipped sincerely God shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
One day God Shiva pleasantly appeared before Khara and blessed him that he would attain deliverance by fighting a battle with Ramachandra who would be an ‘Avatar’ of Maha Vishnu. He also advised him to continue the worship of Shiva there itself and to assist his worship, God Shiva constructed a beautiful lake filled with holy waters of the Ganga. That lake became famous in the name of “Varuna Theerth”.
In the same way Amritheshwari was pleased with Kumbhamukhi and told her to ask a boon to her after appearing before her. But due to her overjoy Kumbhamukhi was utterly confused and said to the Goddess that she would get eternal youth hood and give birth to a number of children like Shiva himself. The Goddess granted the boon.
Amritheshwari still told that due to the curse of the Athiprabha she had no privilege to get children and hence she said to the Goddess to have children instead of asking them for her. Still the Goddess gave a providence to her that she would reach and mix up with her at the time of spiritual liberation of Khara by Ramachandra. She also said that often Shivalinga type Lingas would come up in the same place. Kumbhamukhi should assume those Lingas as her children. Therefore Amritheshwari would be called by the name “Mother of many children” (Halavu Makkala Tayi) and she would bless the devotees by staying there itself.
After sometime Shri Rama came with Sita for his fourteen years forest life. He fought with Khara and Khara met his end and attained moksha. Kumbhamukhi by a long time meditation attained deliverance by uniting herself with Amritheshwari. From that day Shivalingas started to arise at the divine place of Goddess Amritheshwari. Since then Amritheshwari is called “ Halavu Makkala Tayi”.
After the death of Khara and Dushana, the sages and ‘rishis’ were performing the holy rituals without fear. Bahushrutha who met an untimely death by Shoorpanakha had become a “Bramharakshasa” (demon) due to his blunders in his previous life. He was giving a lot of troubles to sages and saints. Once when one “Yaga” was being performed in the temple of Amritheshwari by the sages, Bramharakshasa came and took away the offerings. When they came to know this, they prayed to goddess Amritheshwari to provide relief from the demon.
Goddess understood their difficulties and took mercy on them. She told the sages to worship her with meat and liquor and she would come in the incarnation of “Mari”. She promised the sages that she would have in two forms one like merciful Amritheshwari and another like cruel Mari form. So saying the Goddess killed the Bramharakshasa and granted him “Moksha”.
Since then the Goddess is staying in two forms and granting blessings by removing the diseases and maintaining the welfare of all. Infront of her there is one stone image of “Raktheshwari”. There are also some accompanying gods like ‘Veera Bhadra’, ‘Naga Devata’, Wooden images of Bobbarya, Ummalthi, Chikku, Nandi and Panjurli. Varuna Theertha is to the South of Amritheshwari Temple. In between all these Gods majestic Amritheshwari stays. In a short distance there are the temples of “Raja Shekhara” and “Hire Mahalingeshwara”.
Daily worship of the Goddess is performed by the people belonging Jogi dynasty through the ages. They are having the ”Natha” tradition and it is the unique feature of this temple.