This morning, talking to a classmate of mine (who has quite a lecherous mind and is obsessed with the subject) I remembered the last trip I went on while living in Punganur.
I had the opportunity to go to Kolar Gold Fields (Karnataka). After having a huge lunch at a friend's friends' house, my friend and I visited a temple nearby where there are thousands and thousands of lingams. This temple, Kotilingeshwara, also boasts of having the largest lingam in Asia.
As I've just said, the main attraction of this retreat is a colosal lingam, measuring 33 metres, surrounded by 9.000.000 smaller ones. The entire project involves the installation of 10 million lingams of various sizes, hence the name of the temple (koti = 10.000.000).
The big lingam is in front of a huge Nandi (the name of the bull which serves as Lord Shiva's mount) on a jumbo platform.
Within the premises there are also some small temples, a water tank, a meditation hall and two cannon ball flower tres, around which unmarried women tie a yellow thread wishing for a happy married life.
There are so many lingams since devotees can have their own installed paying some money for it to be laid (excuse the easy joke). The bigger you want it to be, the more money you have to spend. The lingam will then be built in the name of the devotee, whose name will be carved on it and prayers will be offered everyday for their well-being.
The lingam is represented alongside the yoni. The unión of the two symbolizes the indivisible two-in-oneness of male and female. Although there's been some controversy about its meaning! While some say that the lingam represents graphically a phallus which arouses erotic emotions in its devotees, others claim that it's connected neither with indecent ideas nor with sexual love.
Whatever! It was nice to see a shrine different from the ones we have here, for a change!