One of the popular festivals observed, apart from Dasara, in Mysore is Mahashivarathri, the favourite carnival of Lord Shiva. On that day thousands of devotees throng around all Shiva temples in India; so also in Mysore at Lord Trineswaraswamy Temple, which is dedicated to the three-eyed Lord Shiva situated in the northeast corner of the fort within the Palace complex is visited.
It is constructed in Dravidian style. Originally this ancient temple was situated on the tank bund of Doddakere (Devaraya Sagara). When the palace fort was enlarged during the reign of Kantirava Narasaraja Wadeyar (1638-1659) and his successor Dodda Devaraja Wadeyar (1659-1672) it was included within palace enclosure. It was in existence even prior to Raja Wadeyar (1578-1617). Kantirava Narasaraja Wadeyar added a verandah and installed five Shivalingas and other deities like Lord Dakshinamurthy, Kshetrapala, Kumara and Sun-god.
Lord Dakshinamurthy is seated on high pedestal in meditation posture under Banyan (Banian) tree. He has four hands, one holding a rosary, another Rudra Veena, third a book and fourth in Chinmudra or teaching pose. He is surrounded by sages who appear to be more seniors in age, whereas He looks like young man. That is the special divine feature of Lord Dakshinamurthy. His teaching method is distinctive. He doesn’t teach like teachers as we see everyday. He simply looks at his pupils and soon they get the answer and their doubts are cleared (Mouna vyakyana and chinna samshayah).
The Prakara or enclosure of temple has lofty Mahadwara or main gate. According to records earlier there existed a huge Gopura but destroyed in 18th century. The images of Lord Ganesha and Bhairava are seen inside Mahadwara. There are statues of snake-gods (Nagara kallu) under peepal tree. The devotees are seen saluting several Shivalingas around the Prakara and idols of Goddess Parvathi, Chamundeswari, Suryanarayana and Adisankaracharya. The attraction here is that of Shankaracharya made up of marble, which seems to be the latest addition. In the Prakara, facing south entrance, we can see two statues of kings with folded hands. They are of King Kantirava Narasaraja Wadeyar and King Dodda Devaraja Wadeyar. There are two entrances to Navaranga mantapa; one on western side and the other on southern side. I could see a statue of sage Trinabindu, who is the cause for the establishment of this shrine. The legend is that he performed penance at this spot to Lord Shiva, who being pleased blessed the sage and agreed to dwell here. Hence the god is called ‘Trineswaraswamy’. The name Trineswara or Trinayaneswara means god having three eyes that refers to Lord Shiva. ‘Thri or tri’ indicates ‘three’ and ‘nethra’ means eyes.
A 11th century lake, it still is always full of water and in good condition. It is so huge that, it provides water to hundreds of acres around the lake round the year. It is worth visiting for anyone on their way to Melukote. It is around 20 minutes drive from Melukote and around 40 Kms from Mysore. The rocks around, the water, the land and the greenery around makes this place pleasant. The water gushing out of the lake for agricultural use makes a small water fall where many take bath and have fun.