Udupi: Linga of Phallic Nature Found at Gosada, Kasaragod

Udupi: In Gosada of Kumbdaje village in Kasaragod Taluk, a rare linga in the natural form of a phallus was discovered in the Mahishamardhini temple. A field survey was conducted jointly by the department of Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College Shirva and the postgraduate department of Kannada studies, Government College, Kasaragod with the support of Oriental Archives Research Centre Udupi, said Prof. T Murugeshi in a press meet here, on September 16.

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It is roughly a triangular stone about two feet in height, within which a natural form of phallus has been beautifully carved out. This linga was found installed outside of the temple and is still under worship. It is a clear evidence of the phallic worship that existed in the remote past. It was older than the Gudimallam linga in antiquity and assignable to 5-6th century BC, making it the earliest linga of phallic nature in South India as well as Kerala state.

The present temple is in the form of a circular shape and the presiding deity stands in the Samabhanga pose with four hands. She has attributes like prayoga chakra in the back right hand, shanka in the back left hand, trishula in the front right hand while the front left hand is shown hanging down parallel to the body. The index finger of her left hand points to the earth, which indicates that she was the lord of the earth. This is no doubt copied from Buddhist sculptures. A lion is shown standing and facing to the left. Stylistically, it belongs to chola period.

It was definitely a tantric centre of Shakta cult like Kolluru in Karnataka. A bronze idol of Mahishamardhini of the chola period was also discovered there. It also stands in the Samabhanga pose. In the back right hand, the deity holds a chakra with typical fire motifs and the left hand holds the shanka. In the front two hands, she holds a trishula piercing the Mahisha.

In the back side of the temple, a Tulu inscription dating to the 10th century was also discovered and is under study.

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