Some Basic information about Lingayat
Introduction / History
The Lingayat people are known for wearing a linga, an object representing God; in this case, Shiva. They are a numerous group in India, especially in the state of Karnataka.
This group formed in the 12th century by Basava, a philosopher and a social reformer. He taught against the caste system and its regulations. He envisioned a casteless society, though the resulting society eventually began drawing up lines of caste distinctions again, creating their own hierarchy of social status after Basava’s death.
Basava consented to the marriage of a Brahmin woman and a man from an untouchable caste. This story reached the ears of King Bijjala who punished the couple by putting out their eyes and dragging them to their deaths behind an elephant. Basava saw this punishment as unacceptable and left Kayla. He moved on to Kudula Sangama where he died in 1167.