|Kannada goddess at Bhuvanagire, Siddapura tq. uttara kannada dist.|
Kannada Goddess Bhuvaneshwaridevi
Bhuvaneshwari devi is the mother Goddess for Kannada language and Kannadigas. Bhuvaneshwari temple is in Bhuvanagiri, Siddapura taluk of Uttara Kannada district which was constructed during the age of Kadhambas, who were the original rulers of Karnataka state and Kannada language flourished to its peak during their period.
Another Bhuvaneshwari temple is in Hampi in Ballari.
Historian Chidananda Murthy said the idea of 'Kannada Bhuvaneshwari' is undoubtedly from Hampi. "It is not the question of which temple is older or which temple is famous. The idea of 'Kannada Bhuvaneshwari' is from Hampi. The Bhuvaneshwari statue is next to the idol of Virupaksha, the presiding deity of Vijayanagara empire. It is the belief the Bhuvaneshwari took the avatar to help revive a Kannada kingdom. She is believed to have helped Hari Raya and Bukka Raya with gold to establish the new kingdom. This was the idea that was adopted during the fight for the unification of Karnataka movement."
The controversy started at the fest in Udupi, where Dr Taltaje Vasanth Bhat, the retired head of the Kannada department of the Mumbai University, kicked off the debate during his speech by stating that the real 'Mother Kannada' was the one at Siddapura and not the one in Hampi. He pointed out to the Siddapura town panchayat's official website which records Bhuvanagiri's Bhuvaneshwari as the original 'Kannada Bhuvaneshwari.'
Meanwhile, Bangalore University's retired head of Kannada department, Dr Krishna P Bhat, has said that the Bhuvanagiri temple for Bhuvaneshwari dates back to the 17th century and for several years now, Kannada activists from Bengaluru have been making an annual pilgrimage to Bhuvanagiri.