Hosagunda was the capital of Shanthara Kings from 11th century to 14th century. It was at that time Sri Uma Maheshwara Temple was constructed. But after the end of Shanthara dynasty Hosagunda was reduced to ruins and the forest took over the Temple. And for the next 600 years, the Temple was completely hidden from the outside world by the forest.

The land is home to temples and structures from ancient times, including the Shanthara and Ganga Dynasties, as well as the younger Sri Umamaheshwara Temple structure, which has been hidden in the middle of the forest without daily worship for hundreds of years.

Under the Sri Uma Maheshwara Seva Trust (Hosagunda) in the land and temple is now being restored under the management of CMN Shastry.

Shastry, managing trustee, describes Hosagunda as a Sacred Forest rich with archeological relics of religious and cultural significance. The staff is reintroducing native herbal species of sacred and medicinal uses to create a living expression of ancient traditional medicine. Each year 108 medicinal plant species are planted throughout the forest, to connect the forest to its sacred history.

With the active support of local people and guidance from the pontiff the trust has taken up various activities such as research on the area, conservation of bio-diversity, botanical identification, social service and awareness building programs. Side by side, archeologists took up excavation work around the area and have unearthed many stone inscriptions, idols, foundation of old shrines date back to 1000 years.

View photos of the recent planting of 108 sacred species in the sanctuary here.

At A Glance

  • Region
  • Country
  • Area
    Shimaoga District, Karnataka State
  • Latitude
    14° 5′ 15.36″ N
  • Longitude
    75° 8′ 52.458″ E
  • Partners
    Shri Umamaheshwara Seva Trust
  • Ecosystem
    Deciduous Forest of the Western Ghats
  • Cultural Scope
    Native Traditional Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants