Garuda, a mythical humanoid eagle, has a sacred place in Hindu religion. Among the trinities (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara), Garuda is respected as the mount or vehicle of Lord Vishnu. However, it is very rare to find temples which are only dedicated to Garuda in India.
A Bronze Idol of Garuda
Photo Courtesy: Opponent
Interestingly, there is one unique temple dedicated to Garuda in Karnataka. That is the Garuda Swamy Temple at Koladevi village in Kolar.
There are several legends relating to this temple:
During Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna goes to a jungle for hunting. In excitement, his fierce arrows not only generate forest fire but also results in killing many snakes. Arjuna gets cursed by the dead snakes (he gets sarpa dosha). To get relieved from this curse, scholars advise Arjuna to pray to Lord Garuda. So, it is a local belief that Arjuna himself installed the deity of Garuda in Koladevi Garuda Temple.
Ravana Killing Jatayu
Photo Courtesy: wikipedia
Another popular legend takes us back to Ramayana. When Ravana kidnaps Sita and takes her in the Pushpakavimana, it is Jatayu (Garuda) who comes to her rescue. Unfortunately, Jatayu gets killed by Ravana. It is believed that it is in this place that Jatayu fell, hence the name 'Koladev'. In Kannada, 'Kollu' means to kill. Lord Vishnu, pleased by Jatayu's efforts, blesses him and hence Garuda again comes to this place as a god.
We can also see a shrine for Anjaneya Swamy (Hanuman) in this temple. Another speciality is that the Garuda also holds Vishnu on one shoulder and Lakshmi on the other . Hence devotees feel they can even get blessings from Lord Vishnu along with Garuda Swamy.
It is not wrong to say that Garuda Swamy temple is one of the unique temples in India!
Don't miss out on visiting this impressive temple in Karnataka.
How To Reach Koladevi in Kolar
It takes around 75km from Bengaluru to Kolar. Koladevi is around 15km from Mulabagilu.
By Road: To reach Garuda Swamy Temple from Bengaluru, you have to travel through NH4 and cross Kolar. Later take a left deviation to reach Mudiyanuru Cross and then go towards Koladevi.
By Train: There are many trains from Bengaluru to Kolar.
Click - How to Reach Kolar
You Can Also Visit
Anthara Gange, Kolaramma Temple, Kotilingeshwara Temple, Markandeya Hill, Anthara Gange Caves, Someshwara Temple are some of the prominent tourist places in Kolar