Mailara Lingeshwara Temple at Devara Gudda

Palisai Bhandara Ruchiranga
Mailara Linga
Palisai Bhandara Ruchiranga
Yelu Koti Pramatha Sangha
Moola Shruthi Vaahana Thuranga
Neela Shaila Nivasa Ganga
Malasa Hrudayabja Brunga

The above lyrics are from a song sung in praise of Lord Mylar / Shiva.

Mailara Gudda Temple

The temple is dedicated to Mailara Lingeshwara and is situated in Rannebennur taluk, Haveri district. Lord Shiva took the form of Mailara to slay the demon brothers, Mallasura and Manikasura. According to legend 7 Crore goravas helped Mylara to slay the asuras / demons. Many families have this form of Shiva as their family deity.


My maternal grandparent’s family deity is Lord Mailara. Another name for Mylara is Marthanda Bhairava, in Maharashtra he is known as Khandoba and in Andhra Pradesh as Mallanna.  In the Mysore region, Mailaralinga is worshipped by Hanumantha Kurubas as Mudukutore Mallikarjuna.


The temple is situated on a hillock and is referred to as Mailara Gudda. A fair known as Karnikotsava is held every year on the full moon day during the month of February. It is believed that on this day, Lord Mylara with his consort Gangamalavva visit Myalara riding on a white horse.


On this day, hundreds of devotees congregate at the temple and chant “Elukoti Elukoti Elukotigo…chanmalo changmalo”. Elukoti, refers to the seven crore Goravas who accompanied Mylara in the war. At noon a huge wooden bow is placed in Denkana maradi and a Gorava climbs up and announces a prophecy.


The Goravas are devotees of Mailara and they wear a black coat, white dhoti, and a black woolen rug is draped on their shoulders. The Goravas dance and act like a dog to signify the fact that Lord Mailara had mastered the Vedas so well that the Vedas were as faithful as a dog to the Lord. Just before auspicious functions like Upanayana, Wedding, and so on, a day is dedicated to the family deity and on this day the Goravas perform this dance. I have witnessed this many a time in Kurtakoti. A yellow powder known as Bhandara is given by the Gorava to his devotees.


The presiding goddess of this place is Malasa called Gangimalavva. There is a big bow and big leather slippers at the entrance of the temple. The best time to visit the temple is from November to February.


My grandfather used to do Parini / chanting of the Mailara Mahathme in Sanskrit for many years. He has translated the whole of Mailara Mahathme to Kannada and has published the book.


The view from atop the temple is good revealing kilometers of biluseeme / flat lands.


Another interesting place nearby is the Ranebennur Black buck sanctuary.

Place Statistics:
Type of place: Pilgrim Center
Situated: Rannebennur Taluq, Haveri District, Karnataka
Distance: NH4 320 Km from Bangalore
Transport: Well connected by road, buses ply from Ranebennur every half an hour
Facilities: Rest Rooms, Guest Rooms, Snack and Tea shops are available.