Sri Rajarajeshwari Temple

Story behind the Temple

Sri Kailash Ashrama Mahasamsthana in Kenchenahalli (now called Sri Rajarajeshwarinagar) was founded by His Holiness Sri Sivaratnapuri Swamiji (popularly known as Sri Tiruchi Swamigal). His Guru was Sri Sivapuri baba who lived in Kathmandu. The Guru, after initiating him, asked him to go south, where, he said there was much good work to be done. Before coming down South, Tiruchi Mahaswamiji went to Mount Kailas. There, during intense meditation, he had a vision of the triple divinities of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi; and a bodiless voice (Asarira vani) asked him to go to Karnataka. He came down to Bangalore via Bombay.

Early in the morning on 14.1.1960, the auspicious Sankranthi day, Sri Tiruchi Swamiji was proceeding to Mysore by a car for a Pada Pooja, along with two of his disciples. Just at about six miles South West of Bangalore City, he saw above him in the sky, three garudas (sacred eagles) circling. He saw in them the images of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi who had appeared before him on Mount Kailas. Swamiji got down from the car, and saw a footpath leading to a tiny village Kenchenahalli. He proceeded and spotted a tiny cottage amidst a grove of guava trees, the spot the eagles kept on encircling. He decided to have his Ashrama there. The Foundation stone was laid there by Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal, between on 3rd April 1960.

Later, His Holiness Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal built a temple dedicated to Goddess Sri Rajarajeshwari, as there are Puranic legends about the place. Swamiji also built a Sri Chakra temple where MAHA MERU is installed in its all glory.

Sthalapurana (About this place)

Rajarajeshwari Temple region geographically lies on the east-west meridian of Karnataka and is also called as Kalyananagari. Sri Rajarajeshwari temple is situated in the south-west corner of the region between ‘Cauvery’ and ‘Vrishabhavati’ rivers called earlier as Kanchanagiri later as Kanchanahalli and also as Champakavana. It is said in the ‘Tantra Chudamani’ that this place forms the ‘karnabhaga’ or ‘ear’ of the numerous Shaktipeethas in Bharat. This Peetha has been called as Jaya Peetha and the presiding Bhairava is Abiru Bhairava.

It is said that in the remote past many devas, rishis, munis, siddhas including deva rishi Narada and others have propitiated the divine mother Sri Rajarajeshwari at this very place and obtained siddhi. The presiding Deity ‘Sri Rajarajeshwari’ is seated on this Shakti Peetha called as Jaya Peetha in the magnificent temple precincts. Sage Athreya and his devout wife Anusuya are believed to have lived here.


The eye-catching temple, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, has five Rajagopuras. However, the main attraction is the six-feet tall, inspiring stone image of Divine Mother Sri Raja Rajeshwari, also worshipped as Mother Sri Jnanakshi. The Temple of Sri Jnanakshi Rajarajeshwari is a magnificent edifice in pure granite. Verily a masterpiece among the recent monuments in the whole of Karnataka. It is an excellent specimen of Dravidian religious architecture, and is built strictly in accordance with the agama prescriptions. With its finely carved pillars (Sthambha) and beautifully dressed walls (Bhitti) it presents a charming spectacle.

It is complete with an elevated sanctum (garbha griha), a porch (antarala), an open pillared hall (Mukha Mantapa), a wide circumambulatory path (Pradikshina patha) and an inner courtyard. In the sanctum sanctorum (garbha griha) can be seen the splendid stone image (six feet in height) of the Divine Mother Sri Jnanakshi Rajarajeshwari, seated on a throne with her right leg folded and placed across the seat, while her left leg is bent at the knee and stretched below to rest on a lotus in full bloom. The worship is conducted in the Saivagama tradition, elaborately and meticulously, by competent and well trained priests.

On the 27th of March every year at sunrise, the rays of the sun fall directly, on the Devi's forehead and travel down to her feet. This was not planned, but it happens that way.

Festivals and Celebrations

The temple attracts more and more devotees every day; and special mention should be made of the Navarathri Celebrations and Brahmotsavam, during which Chandi Homa is performed every day and priests are specially recruited to recite the Vedas and the Saptashati. During these annual festivals, devotees offer special pujas, homas, rathotsavas. Cultural programmes are also held on all the nine days of Navarathri Utsav at the temple. Devotees from distant places can be seen in long queues at the temple, particularly on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Veda Pathashala

Swamiji's love for tradition can also be seen inthe Sri Rajarajeshwari Samskruta Vedagama Mahapathashala that he started in 1976. This is a school where instruction in the scriptures relating to temple-worship is imparted in the traditional manner to interested youngsters who aspire to become proficient in Veda and Agama and take up the profession of temple priests or accept monastic initiation (Sanyasa).