It is curious to note that whether it is made or a natural one, the hindu temples are unique.
It is a moot point whether the spots that occur naturally have legends been attributed to them.
But it seems that one can not weave legends around a country as big as India, with not less than 22 official languages and about 1350 Dialects, each with a distinct culture .
One such amazing temple is that of ord Shiva at Yana, near Sirsi, Karnataka.
The place has two natural peaks , both black, yet one finds the sand white.
In the Bairaveaswara temple in the peak, one finds a Swayambhu Linga of Lord Shiva.
One has to go around the peaks by holding on to the cave walls ,when black dust attaches to your hands.
The Mohini peak is nearby.
This is the place, as the legend has it,where Bhasmasura was turned into ashes by Lord Mahavishnu in His Avatar as Mohini, to save Lord Shiva who granted a Boon to Bhasmasura that what ever he touched would turn into ashes.
Bhasmasura, by austere penance, obtained a boon from lord Shiva. This boon made it so that when Bhasmasura placed his hand over any one’s head, he would burn them up and turn them into ashes (bhasma). It is further narrated that, in order to test his powers, Bhasmasura wanted to place his hands on his patron Lord Shiva’s head. He chased Shiva, which unnerved Shiva and prompted him to move from his heavenly abode to earth to seek the help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu transformed himself to help Shiva, adopting the form of beautiful damsel named Mohini who enticed Bhasmasura with her beauty. Bhasmsura was quite infatuated by Mohini, and agreed to a challenge she issued for a dance competition.
During the dance competition, Mohini cleverly performed a dance bhang (“pose”) with hand over head. Without realizing the gravity of this act, the demon king also placed his hand over his head and perished by the fire of his own hands, he was converted into ashes. It is believed that the fire that emanated during this act was so intense that the limestone formations in the Yana area were blackened. The loose black soil or ash seen around the two large rock formations in the area are cited as proof of the legend by devotees who see them as due to the fire and that ashes produced by Bhasmasura death. The two hillocks are also named for this event: the tall peak being Bhairaveshwara Shikhara (“Shiva’s hill”), and the smaller peak, a few steps down below, being Mohini Shikhara (“Mohini’s hill”) where an idol of goddess Parvathi is installed.
Yana (Kannada: ಯಾಣ) is a village located in forests of the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India which is known for the unusual rock formations (Karst) or (Asteroid). It is located in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Western Ghats, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Karwar port, 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Sirsi, and 31 kilometres (19 mi) from Kumta. The two unique rockoutcrops near the village are a tourist attraction and easily approachable by a small trek through 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) of thick forests from the nearest road head.
Yana is famous for these two massive rock outcrops known as the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara (“Shikhara” means “hill”). The huge rocks are composed of solid black, crystalline Karst limestone. Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is 120 metres (390 ft) in height, while the Mohini Shikhara, which is smaller, is 90 metres (300 ft) in height. Yana is also well known as a pilgrimage centre because of the cave temple below the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara where a Swayambhu (“self manifested”, or “that which is created by its own accord”) linga has been formed. Water drips from the roof over the linga, adding to the sanctity of the place.
The two rock monoliths or hillocks, surrounded by thick forests and streams, rise sharply above the surrounding area near Yana village. They are part of the Sahyadri hill range in the Western Ghats in South India and give a conspicuous identity to Yana and the entire hill range. In the first rock hill, Bhairaveshwara Shikhara, there is 3 metres (9.8 ft) wide opening in the rock face that leads into a cave. Within the cave, there is a bronze statue of ‘Chandika’, an incarnation of the goddess Durga. The cave has a swayambu (“self manifested”) Shiva Linga (“symbol of Shiva”) over which spring water trickles from the roof of the tunnel overhead. Emerging as a small stream, called the Chandihole, it eventually merges with the Aghanashini River at Uppinapattana. Local people interprete this as the emergence of the a river, Gangodbhava (emerging Ganges). There are about 61 limestone rock structures, within a radius of 3 km, of which two are of notable size.
The natural creation of the Shiva linga in the cave is attributed by scientists to the geological phenomenon formed by stalactites and stalagmites in limestone formations .
How To Reach.
The road distances on the NH 17 connecting Yana village are: Kumta – 25 kilometres (16 mi), Sirsi – 40 kilometres (25 mi), Gokarna – 52 kilometres (32 mi) and Hubli – 142 kilometres (88 mi). The nearest rail head is at Kumta, and the nearest airport is Hubli. The road fromBangalore is via Sirsi – a distance of 410 kilometres (250 mi) by National Highway 4 (NH 4). The best approach to Yana is from Kumta or Sirsi. A road deviation between these two towns on the highway is near the village of Kathagala. There is also an alternate route to reach Sirsi from Yana via Sundholle and Anegundi. A single lane road was constructed in the thick forest which reduces the trek-length 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) and drawing more number of tourists.