For the first time in history a combination of drought and over consumption of water has pushed many rivers on Earth to the extremes. Regrettably, the Shalmala River in Karnataka is no exception. Over consumption combined with severe droughts has pushed the River to its limits while revealing incredible ancient secrets that span between 3500 BCE—2300 BCE. Archaeologists have discovered that underneath the Shamala river lie thousands of Shiva Lingas which were carved in the distant past along the river bed.

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The place referred to as “Sahasralinga” (thousand Shiva Lingas in Sanskrit) is a very spiritual and popular pilgrimage site located near Siris Taluk in the district Uttara Kannada of Karnataka state in India. The Shiva Lingas exist as a symbolic representation of the Hindu deity Shiva, used for worship in temples. During the Hindu festival of Sivaratri (between February and March of every year), water levels recede just enough to reveal the Shiva Lingas, prompting thousands of devotees to come and offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.

There is a mysterious energy, known as ‘Shakti’, that radiates from the Shiva Lingas, allowing one to focus the heart and mind. Locals of Sahasralinga believe the Shiva Lingas are a representation of divine power and creative energy. They believe the river water that flows on the Lingas will bless the Cambodian fields, fertilizing the soil and producing an abundant harvest.

The countless Shiva Lingas discovered due to the draught are proof that there are a number of places on our planet that still hold secret of our ancestors, secrets that are slowly but surely coming out into the world, so we can hopefully preserve them adequately and pay respect to their tradition and historical value.

Here are some of the images of the incredible carvings at the Shamala River.

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