By Swami Harshananda
Pañcakeśvara temple, also known as Dorānātha temple, is a temple in the village of Dhāreśvara. Dhāreśvara is near the town Kumata in the North Kanara district of Karnataka. The attractions of this temple can be described as:
- It is a beautiful temple built in the Cālukyan style.
- There is a nice tank just inside the main compound.
- There are also two stone images of the hero who fought for the people and a stone edict (A. D. 1083) containing the description of a gift by the local queen.
- There are many beautiful images in the area around Dhāreśvara like those of Narasimha and Veṇugopāla.
- There is a broad road in front of the temple for the rathotsava or temple-car festival.
Historical Significance of Dhāreśvara
According to mythological accounts, when Rāvaṇa, the demon king of Laṅkā, was bringing the ātmaliṅga (śivaliṅga) from Kailāsa, it got stuck on the ground at Gokarṇa . Rāvaṇa could not dislodge the liṅga from the ground but succeeded in pulling out the cloth and thread from it. He threw it away. The thread fell at Dhāreśvara and became a liñga.
- Viragallu is a stone slab or pillar erected in honor of a hero who fought for the people.
- It is presently situated in North Kanara, Karnataka.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore