Rishyasringa, the sage with deer-horn like protruding on his head, was treated as son-in-law by King Dasaratha in Ramayana. He had a boon that can bring heavy rainfall at whichever place he lives.
Rishyasringa (Ṛṣyaśṛṅga: Sanskrit: ऋष्यशृंग, Kannada: ಋಷ್ಯಶೃಂಗ “Deer-Horned”; Telugu:ఋష్యశృంగ; Pali: Isisiṅga; Thai: Kalaikot; Tamil: Kalaikottan, Chinese: 獨角仙人; pinyin: Dújiǎo Xiānrén; also Ēkaśṛṅga) was a boy born with the horns of a deer.
His story is described in Bala Kanda of Ramayana.
His father was the Vibhandak Rishi, and his mother was a celestial paramour Urvasi.
Urvasi was sent in by Indra, King of Gods, to seduce Vibhandak and disturb his penance.
After doing her duty, Urvasi left the infant child and her lover and went to the heavens. This incident left Vibandhak with extreme hatred towards women folk, and he raised the boy in a forest, isolated from society.
Rishyasringa never saw any girls or women, and was not told of their existence.
The early upbringing of Rishyasringa is linked to the highland location in the central mid hill of Nepal now popular as Resunga in the Gulmi District of the Lumbini Zone.
Sānta marrying Rishyasringa
Sānta was a daughter of King of Angadesh (present Jharkhand/West Bengal), Raja Romapada, and his wife Vershini, an elder sister of Kausalya.
Dasaratha and Kausalya, who had no progeny for many years, treated her as daughter.
One day the king Romapada was busy in conversation with Sānta, a Brahmin came to ask for help in cultivation in the days of the monsoon. Romapada did not pay attention to the Brahmin’s plight. This irritated and enraged the Brahmin, who left the kingdom. Indra, the god of rain, was unable to bear the insult of his devotee, so there was little rainfall during the monsoon season.
As the kingdom of Anga suffers from drought and famine, Romapada, is told that this can only be alleviated by a brahmin with the powers that come from observance of perfect chastity. The only such person is Rishyasringa. He has to be brought to the city, and be persuaded to carry out the necessary ceremonies. Despite his fear of the power and anger of the boy’s father, the king sends young women, and later his daughter Sānta, to introduce the boy into normal society. This is done, Rishyasringa uses his powers, the kingdom receives bountiful rains and Rishyasringa marries Sānta.
Most of the story is described about the feelings of the young man as he becomes aware of women for the first time.
In later years, when Dasaratha had no children, Rishyasringa (Ekasringa) performs Putrakameshti Yagna and four sons, Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana, Satrughna were born.
पूज्यमाना तु ताभिः सा राज्ञा च एव विशेषतः |
उवास तत्र सुखिता कन्चित् कालम् सह द्विजा || १-११-३१
Translation : On seeing her, the broad-eyed Santa, who came there along with her husband all the ladies of palace derived happiness for the homecoming of their own daughter, as it were. [Ramayana, Bala Kanda : 1-11-29]
Dasaratha treated Santa as his daughter, thus Rishyasringa as son-in-law.
Rishyasringa performs penance near Kollur
The town Kigga near by Sringeri, Karnataka is the place today holds religious values based on Rishyashringa. Lord Siva temple (Malahanikareswhwara) in the town is said to be worshiped by Rishyashringa, who spent rest of his life here.
Rishyasringa lived in the area between present day Kollu and Sringeri and this area continues to recieve highest rainfall in India till date (even higher than Cherrapunji).
Sringeri derives its name from Rishyasringa
The name Sringeri is derived from Rishya sringa giri (hill), then sringa giri and now Sringeri. This is based on the legend that Sage Rishyasringa performed penance here. The Advaita philosopher, Adi Sankara, founded the Sringeri Sārada Peetham at Sringeri after seeing a hooded snake giving shelter to a frog in labor in hot sun, in spite of snakes and frogs being mortal enemies.
Adi Sankara realized that the place must have been a spot of penance and established the Dakshninamnaya Sārada Peetham (Southern Seat of Goddess Sārada) here.
There is a story that Rishyasringa gave his word to local people near Kollur that he would stay there until he lives and his soul will still have its effect on the place, even after leaving his physical body.
Kollur lies at the foot of the Western Ghats and is famous for the Mookambika temple, a Hindu pilgrim center.
This place got its name Kolluru from a sage Kolla who performed penance here.
Kollur gets more rainfall than Cherrapunji
These are the stats in 2011 :
1. Kollur, Karnataka – 3424 mm
2. Cherrapunji, Meghyala – 2607 mm
3. Gaganbawada, Maharashtra – 2447 mm
4. Sangameshwar, Maharashtra – 2322 mm
5. Agumbe, Karnataka – 2302 mm
6. Kadra, Karnataka – 2220 mm
Agumbe is just 27 km from Sringeri, while Kollur is just 109 km from Sringeri.