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As Raichur District was under the rule of both Hindu and Muslim rulers, one can see plenty of historical temples and mosques here. People from nearby town and villages can be seen in sizeable numbers visiting these religious spots on most of the days. These places are not only important as a place of worship but also important in terms of their architecture, historical connections and mythological stories. Be it the tourists or the locals, both enjoy visiting these fascinating sites of worship.
Mosques in Raichur
An important mosque situated in the middle of the Raichur city is not only famous for its historical connections, but is also a well known religious place for the Muslims. Built under the rule of Mohammad Shah Bahmani, Ek-Minar-ki-Masjid is the oldest mosque in the town. As the name suggests, the mosque has a single minaret and the architecture is done in Persian style. There are two storeys in the mosque. One can have a panoramic view of the town from the single minaret, which is 20 m high.
Fort Jami Masjid
It is yet another place of worship for the Muslims with a magnificent structure. There are two entrances to the mosque, one from the east and another one from the south, along with six pillars made of stone. The architecture of these pillars seem to be a part of the mantapa of a temple. The mosque is also said to have the cemetery which belongs to the Adil Shahi dynasty. Along with the mosque the area is a reminiscence of the ancient palaces and forts.
Tomb of Saint Pir Sailani Shah
It is said that the body of a popular Muslim saint, Pir Sailani Shah, lies at rest here. Thousands of Muslims flock here to pray for their wish to be granted. It is a beautiful tomb built in Bijapur style with a small rectangular hall, surrounded by domes that set on a circular row of lotus petals.
Temples in Raichur
Located in a small village in Kallur, 13 km from Raichur, is a temple dedicated to Maharishi Markendeya, famous as Markendeshwar Temple. Legend has it that Maharishi Markendeya was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and was supposed to die at a young age of 16. However, since he was deeply engrossed in his worship, Yama, the taker of life, could not put the noose around his neck and instead it landed around the Shivalingam. This led to a fight between Lord Shiva and Yama, where Yama was badly defeated. Lord Shiva then revived him on the condition that young Markendeya would live forever.
It is said that Krishnadevaraya, the King of the Vijayanagara Empire, and his family members offered their prayers in the temple. Markandeshwara Temple is one of the oldest temples in the vicinity with beautifully carved pillars.
Around 20 km from Raichur, in Kallur, you have another famous temple known as the Mahalakshmi Temple. This is the only temple where you can see the idols of Srinivasa and Lakshmi, husband and wife, together. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the temple is considered very auspicious for marriage.
About 35 km from the town of Raichur, you have one of the most scenic temples you can imagine on an island situated on River Krishna. Naradagadde temple is dedicated to the holy sage Narada and is also said to be the place where Lord Narada performed penance. Due to its superb location, the temple is not only popular with the devotees but also with the tourists who love to relax along the bank of the river and bask in nature's glory.
Apart from the Narada temple, there is also a Veerashaiva Matha, a temple of Basavanna and samadhi of Channabasava Swamy.
Accessible only by a coracle, Dattatreya Peeta is located on Koormagadde, a beautiful island on Krishna River. It is said that this is the place where Dattatreya, a Hindu deity, was related. The island also has a samadhi of Sripadavallabha Swamy. The island Koormagadde is also known as Kurumakshetra or Kuruvakala by the locals. There is also a watchtower located in between the island, with a beautiful aerial view of the lush green paddy field and the water all around.