Trinesvaraswamy Temple is dedicated to the three-eyed Lord Shiva and is located in the northeast corner of the fort, facing the Palace. This enormous temple has been built in the Dravidian style. This old temple existed even before the reign of Raja Wodeyar (1578-1617). Originally the temple was located on the bank of the Devaraya Sagar or Doddakere. The fort was enlarged during the reign of Kanthirava Narasaraja Wodeyar (1638-1659) and his successor Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1659-1672) and as a result the temple came within the fort enclosure.
The temple was expanded and renovated by the Maharajas of Myosre.
Kanthirava Narasaraja Wodeyar constructed a verandah and consecrated
five Lingas and several deities including Dakshinamurthy, Kshetrapala,
Kumara and Surya. There is a stone image of the King with his hands
folded. Next to him there is a statue of Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar in the
same pose. The temple has a Prakara or an enclosure with a lofty
Mahadwara or main entrance. It is said that the Mahadwara had a huge
Gopura. This Gopura was destroyed in the 18th century. The two niches
inside the Mahadawara have statues of Ganapathi and Bhairava.
In the northwest of the Prakara there are a number of Naga stones under
a Peepul tree. Around the Prakara there are several Lingas and shrines
of Parvathi, Chamundeswari, Suryanarayana and Sankaracharya. The marble
statue of the Shankaracharya is a later addition. The Navaranga has two
entrances, one on the west and the other on the south. To the left of
the Sukhanasi entrance there is a statue that is about half a meter in
height. The statue is of sage Trinabindu. According to Sthala Purana
(local legend), the sage performed penance at this spot to Lord Shiva.
Shiva appeared to the sage and he consecrated the Lingam on that spot.
Therefore the Lingam is Trinesvara or Trinayanesvara, the three-eyed
Shiva. In a cell that faces the south entrance there is a metallic
statue of the God. On either side in the two niches are statues of
Ganapathi. On the south outer wall of the Navaranga are two niches that
enshrine the figure of Virabhadra and Dakshinamurthy. The statue of
Dakshinamurthy is seated under a tree in the posture of meditation.
The statue has four hands, one holding a rosary, another a Rudra Veena,
the third a book and the fourth in Chinmudra or teaching pose. The
pedestal is sculptured with the figures of seven sages. In a niche in
the Prakara, facing the south entrance are the two statues of Kanthirava
Narasaraja Wodeyar and Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar. The temple attracts a
large number of devotees during the Shivaratri celebrations. Special
prayers are offered every three hours of the holy Shivaratri night till