Sri Arkeshwara Swamy temple in the Gottalu village of Mandya Taluk of Karnataka, was built before the 12th century in the time of Cholas.
This place was a dense forest before and hundreds of cows used to come here daily for grazing, in search of fresh food and grass. These cows belonged to the house of the Chief or Head of the Channapana Doddi village, which was about 1.5 kms from here. The house servant used to get these cows here daily for grazing. Among these cows, one cow used to give milk, only when surrounded by Gutti plant, Vushamparaji plant, Avarike plant and a Mruttike. But after it went went home, it used to give blood when it was milked. The surprised servant informed the Chief about this and the Chief decided to go and check it himself. Before letting the cows to graze, he tied a Ugani plant to the neck of that cow in particular, in order to identify it.
As usual, the cow started giving milk in that particular place. The Chief who was observing all this from the top of a tree, got down, and started cutting down those bushes using his Chandrayudha. At that time, he accidentally hit the head of a Linga there. A chunk came off and it pitched first in Basavanagudi, which was nearly 3 kms away and it pitched next after 2 more kms. It still rolled on further and finally got instated. God later talked to the Chief through someone else and advised him to build a temple for him in that place. The Chief obeyed and built the temple.
As it was completely surrounded by Avarike plants, people started worshipping God there by the name Arkeshwara Swamy. Later, the place got the names Guttalu and Arakeshwara Nagara.
If any victim of snake bite comes to this temple, he is given the Srigandha (Sandalwood) teertha prasada which is on the almighty and the victim will be cured. Even today, such miracles keep happening regularly. Many devotees, suffering from Nagarasonku, which is a type of pigmentation on the skin because of small injuries, are cured here by applying the mud from the Mruttike (or Hutta – Termite colony) on their skin. Even today, the family descendants of that Chief perform Rathotsava, Vijayadashami pooja, First Pooja during Karthika Masa and other special poojas. Devotees throng this holy place in large numbers.
According to the legend, the place where the portion of the smashed head of the Linga, pitched first, came to be known as Mandya, the place where it pitched for the second time, came to be known as Chik Mandya and when it rolled further and finally got instated, it got the name Mandeshwara. But nowadays, it is known as Thandaveshwara. Sri Thandaveshwara’s prasada works as medication and cure for rat bites. Also since the head rolled here, the place got the name Holalu.
Festivals and Temple Celebrations
Rathothsava on Falguna Hunnime, Navaratri Utsava, Mahashivaratri, Ratha Saptami, Vairamudi Utsava and Kruttikotsava are the most celebrated events in the temple.
Rathotsava happens every year on the full moon of Falguna month. Special poojas happen every morning and evening for a duration of 10 days.
Navaratri happens for 9 days every year, during the month of October.
Every year, Mahashivaratri is celebrated very grandly here, with abhishekas happening all through the night and other poojas in the early morning.
On the Rathasaptami day, special abhisheka and pooja rituals are done here.
Vairamudi festival happens during the month of April every year.
Kruttikotsava happens during the month of November every year.
News : On 11 September 2020, three priests in Arkeshwara Swamy Temple (Ganesh, Prakash and Anand) were brutally murdered inside the temple and the hundi cash was looted.