The Shiva Linga or Lingam is a symbol that represents Lord Shiva in Hinduism. The popular belief is that the Shiva Linga represents the phallus, the emblem of the generative power in nature.
Meaning of Shiva Linga
Lingam is additionally found in Sanskrit texts with the meaning of “evidence, proof”. Lingam iconography found at archaeological sites of the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia includes simple cylinders set inside a yoni, rounded pillars with carvings such as of one or more Mukha(faces), and anatomically realistic representations of a phallus such as at Gudimallam. In the Shaiva traditions, the lingam is regarded as a form of spiritual iconography.
Strange but true
In Karnataka, there is a place where thousands of Shivalings appear from of Shalmala river bed after the fall in water level. It might sound strange but it is true. The place is called Sahasralinga located in the district of Uttara Kannada of Karnataka. These shivlings were reportedly built under the patronage of Sadashivaraya (who was also called the King of Sirsi), of the Vijayanagar Kingdom during 1678-1718.
Dry weather has caused a drop in the level of the Shalmala River revealing thousands of carvings in the rock bed of male and female sexual symbols – linga and yoni – and of Nandi, the Hindu God Shiva’s bull mount.
The Maha Puja
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.
Sahasralinga is one of the most beautiful places in the region and is thought to represent not only divine power but positive energy as well. This attracts a huge number of tourists.