The ancient Temple of Sri Manjunatha is located in Kadri, Mangalore. Kadri Manjunath Temple is one of the best examples of religious harmony, where people from two faiths, Hinduism and Buddhism worship together the deity of Lord Shiva as Lord Manjunatha.
The interesting and unique fact about the Kadri Manjunath Temple is that it was a major Buddhist center of worship till the 10th century. However, as time passed, the Natha cult of Matsyendranath prevailed in the region and the Temple imbibed both Buddhist and Hindu values.
It is believed that originally, the presiding deity was worshiped as Lord Manjushri, the Buddha of wisdom, or the Buddhist equivalent of Lord Brahma. With the passage of time, the Natha cult was absorbed into the Vajrayana Buddhism and eventually into mainstream Hinduism. In Hinduism, the Lord Manjunatha was recognized as Lord Shiva and is worshiped with great reverence here.
Several other images of Buddha can be found in the Temple with Hindu philosophy displayed. For example, a bronze image of a Buddha can be found on a Garuda vehicle of Lord Vishnu. This Temple represents in totality, the transition stage of Buddhism being absorbed into Hinduism.
The Manjunatha Temple complex is square shaped and is located on a hill. The figure of Sage Matsyendranatha graces the southern portion of the Temple. An idol of Sringinathas having a three hooded Naga overlooking it can be seen behind the figure of the Sage. Similarly, on the western side, the 6 feet tall statue of Sage Gorakhanath can be found. The Deepasthambha can be found on the northern side of the complex.
There are several smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Lord Ayyappa, Goddess Durga Parameshwari, Goddess Manjushri, Lord Ganapathi, and Vyasa Muni. The Temple is further sanctified by the seven holy Theerthas present at an elevation from the main sanctum. The main Theertha is called Gomukha Bhagirathi Theertha.
History and Legend
- The Kadri Manjunath Temple is believed to be built sometime during the 12th-13th century. The records show that the solid granite structure was renovated in the 14th century.
- The earliest reference to the region of Kadri Temple can be seen in an engraving on the pedestal of the beautiful idol of Sri Lokeshwara. The inscription dated 968 AD states that King Kundavarma of the Alupa dynasty installed the idol in the Kadarika Vihara. In Buddhist traditions, “Kadarika” means “hillside pasture land” and “Vihara” refers to a name given by Buddhists to any settlement. This inscription gave proof that a Buddhist settlement existed at the place in the 10th century.
- The Kadri Manjunath Temple architectural style resembles that of the Vijayanagara style of construction. A partially faded script in the kitchen of the Temple states that a King (whose name cannot be read) donated land for construction and renovation of the Temple.
- As per a story mentioned in the Bharadwaja Samhita, Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Parashurama to destroy the evil reign of the Kshatriyas that existed at the time period. After Parashurama accomplished his goals by destroying the 21 generations of Kshatriyas all over the country, he donated the land won to Sage Kashyapa. He wanted to do a penance to Lord Shiva to redeem himself of the sins of killing Kshatriyas. However, he did not know where to perform the penance as he had donated everything to Sage Kashyapa. Hence, he requested Lord Shiva for land, who appeared before him and asked him to proceed with his worship in Kadalivana. Kadalivana was immersed in the ocean. He asked Lord Varuna (King of oceans) to release Kadalivana who refused to let go of the region. Parashurama took his ax, roared and threw it into the ocean. Afraid, Lord Varuna relieved the land to Parashurama as requested.
- Parashurama located Kadalivana and observed the presence of one Rasakoopa (well) there. As promised, Lord Shiva appeared as a Linga in the well. He ordered Parashurama to construct a Temple with the help of Vishwakarma (God of Architecture). Accordingly, Vishwakarma constructed the Temple and the town.
- Another legend that establishes the Kadri Manjunath Temple origins states that the famous Sage Matsyendranatha (believed to be an incarnation of Shiva), his queen Mangala (incarnation of Goddess Parvati) and Sage Gorakhnatha visited Kadri. Impressed by the historical importance of the region, he wanted to establish a Shiva Linga at the place. He instructed Gorakhnatha to obtain a Linga from Kashi for the purpose. Gorakhnatha was delayed in bringing the Linga to the place. Sage Matsyendranatha did penance for the appearance of the Linga. Eventually, Lord Shiva granted him his wish and appeared as an Udbhavalinga. The Linga brought by Sage Gorakhnatha was eventually taken by Sri Annappa Swamy to Dharmasthala.
Significance of the Temple
- The Kadri Manjunath Temple is one of the foremost examples of the confluence of diverse religious beliefs and their peaceful practice. The architecture of the Temple follows the Agama Shastra of rules of construction; the deity is a Buddhist form of a Hindu God as well as the addition of Shaivite practices and beliefs in worshiping the God. The presiding deity is called Lord Manjunathaswamy in the Vaishnavite style, Sri Lokeshwara or Trilokeshwar in Shaivite style and as Sri Avalokitesvara in Buddhist style.
- The presiding deity, Lord Manjunatha, a form of Lord Shiva is depicted in a unique Buddhist form. The deity has three faces, six arms, and a Mukut or a Crown depicting Dhyani Buddha.
- The idol is made of the Panchaloha element. The Panchaloha is traditionally an alloy of five metals. The composition of the alloy was kept as a secret for several centuries and is often mentioned in the Shilpa Shastras. The metals involved were later found out to be a mix of Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron and Lead. It is believed that worshiping idols made of the Panchaloha material imparts balance, self-confidence, health, fortune and peace of mind.
- The Theerthas of most of the Temples in India is either located on par or below the Temple elevation. However, in Kadri Manjunath Temple, the seven main Theerthas are located 20 feet above the Temple’s location. Water collects into these seven holy theerthas from the Gaumukha, a cow’s mouth shaped cavern. The water’s source cannot be traced to date. However, devotees believe that River Ganga herself flows into these Theerthas from Varanasi.
- The town of Kadri is the biggest center of worship for the Natha cult or sampradaya. Macchendra Natha, a disciple of Adinatha along with his disciple Gorakh Natha made Kadiri Vihara their home in the 10th century. They discovered the Kundalini system of Yoga.
- The caves surrounding the vicinity of the Kadri Manjunath Temple are called Pandava Caves and it is believed that the Pandavas resided here during their period of exile.
Kadri Manjunath Temple Timings
- The Temple opens at 6 AM in the morning and closes at 8 PM in the evening.
- The Kadri Manjunath Temple remains closed between 1 PM and 4 PM in the afternoon.
- The Annadana Seva is provided to all visiting devotees between 12:30 PM to 2 PM.
The Kadri Manjunath Temple does not prescribe to any strict dress code but it is recommended to wear decent clothes. Shorts, Bermudas, Miniskirts, and Beachwear are to be avoided for the visit.
Festivals celebrated at the Temple
- Annual Festival – This Kadri Manjunath Temple festival is celebrated in a grand manner for nine days. The festivities begin in January on the day of Makara Sankranthi.
The first day comprises of an early morning Abhishekam to the Lord and a Dhwajarohana event in the evening. The Temple flag is raised indicating the beginning of the 9-day extravaganza. The Garudarohana will take place after the flag raising ceremony is over. On the first and the seventh day, a unique ritual called the Kanchil takes place. In this ritual, small kids dressed up as brides and grooms perform a parade in front of the God.
The procession with the idol start at 7 PM every evening and proceeds to Bikarnekatte, Mallikatte, Mundanakatte and then to Konchadi on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth day respectively. After the processions end, Mahapooja, Nithyabali, and Bhootha Bali will be performed on all the nine days.
The Maharathothsava will be held on the eighth day of the festival. Poojas like the Ratha Kalasha Pooja and the Mahapooja are performed in the morning. The Ratha Yatra starts at 6 PM. After the procession ends, Mahapooja, Bhoothabali, and the Shayana Pooja are performed for the God.
The Lord will be placed in the Theertha Mandapam and given a ritualistic bath in the morning. Mahapooja and the Thulabhara Seva will be performed. The flag is brought down indicating the end of the celebrations.
- Krishna Janmashtami – A Sandalwood statue of Lord Krishna is taken around in a procession to Gopala Krishna Mutt in the evening. The Kadri Kambala Pooja is dedicated to him on the day. Next day evening at 6 PM, the idol is brought back to the Temple with great enthusiasm and festivities. The Handi festival or the breaking of the clay pot consisting Mosuru or Buttermilk is broken by enthusiastic participants.
- Sri Ganesh Chaturthi – The morning of the day marks the beginning of the Ganahoma with 108 coconuts. Special Modaka, made of Coconut, Arecanut and jaggery are offered to Lord Ganapathi.
- Mahashivarathri – The festival is celebrated in February or March. The festival signifies the marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. Some also believe that this is the day when Lord Shiva absorbed the poison that turned him blue during the churning of Amrit episode in mythology. The day is celebrated with great reverence. Devotees keep fast and sing bhajans throughout the night and into the day. Special Poojas are performed for the Linga. Thousands of pilgrims from in and around Karnataka visit the shrine to receive blessings from the God themselves.
- Sowramana Ugadi – On this auspicious day, Mahapooja will be done for the Lord. Vegetables will be offered to the Lord in the evening followed by a reading of the Panchanga (predictions for the New Year).
Apart from the above festivals, several other days are celebrated with great spirituality and holy reverence. Some of the other occasions celebrated are Dhanupooja, Laksha Deepothsava, Karthik Somavara, Narakachaturdashi, Navaratri, and Rugupakarma.
Poojas and Rituals
- Ekadasha Rudrabhishekam – The Ekadasha Rudrabhishekam Pooja is performed for all the eleven Rudras of Lord Shiva. After the aavahan (welcoming of the deity), sthaapna (giving a seat to the deity) Laghu-nyasam is recited. Then Rudra Trishati is recited. Abhishekam is done to each of the 11 Rudras with all the 11 dravyas prescribed in the Shiv Puraana
- Shata Rudrabhishekam – The Pooja is considered to be extremely auspicious and sacred. It is believed that by performing the Pooja, one can obtain protection and fulfillment of the wishes from the God.
- Bilva Archana – The Archana is performed for the deity with the Bilva leaves on behalf of the devotee.
- Karpoora Aarti – The Aarti is performed for the Lord with Camphor known as the Karpoora on behalf of the devotee.
- Panchamrutha Abhisheka – The deity is bathed with five holy “Amrit” or Nectar. They are Milk, Honey, Curd, Sugar, and Ghee.
- Sahasranama Archana – The Lord is worshiped by reciting his 1008 names and singing chants praising him on behalf of the devotee.
- Navagraha Shanti Homam – The Homam is performed for devotees who want o remove the ill-effects of placement of planets in their horoscope. It helps in removing obstacles from achieving the goal.
- Shukra-Aditya Sandhi Shanti Homam – This unique Homam is recommended for people whose horoscopes have Shukra Dasha ending and Ravi Dasha beginning. This is mainly performed for happy marital life and good parental health.
- Kuja-Rahu Sandhi Shanti Homam – This unique Homam is recommended for people whose horoscopes have Kuja Dasha ending and Rahu Dasha beginning.
- Rahu – Brihaspati Sandhi Shanti Homam – This unique Homam is recommended for people whose horoscopes have Rahu Dasha ending and Guru Dasha beginning.
- Ranga Pooja – The Goddess is worshiped with either 24 rows of Deepams or with 64 rows of Deepams on behalf of the devotee.
- Sathyanarayana Pooja – The Pooja is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Pooja can be performed on any day but is believed to be extremely auspicious if performed on the eve of Chithra Pournami. The Pooja is performed to attain peace, prosperity, to remove obstacles and to be free from the negative thoughts. The Pooja usually begins with Ganapathi Pooja and then the Navagraha Pooja.
- Mrityunjaya Homam – This Pooja is done to increase longevity and immortality of the person. The devotee asks for forgiveness from Lord Shiva and asks for a long healthy and prosperous life.
How to reach Kadri: Road, Rail and Air
Kadri is located just 4 km from the Mangalore city center.
- By Air – The city of Mangalore is connected to all the major cities of India as well as the surrounding countries due to the presence of the Bajpe International Airport. The Airport lies at a distance of 10 km from the city center.
- By Train – There are two main stations in Mangalore – Mangalore Junction and Mangalore Central. Trains from almost all major cities either stop or terminate here. Mangalore is well connected to cities like New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Vizag, Trivandrum and many more.
- By Road – Mangalore is well connected by roads and highways. One can board buses from Bengaluru, Goa, Chennai, Karwar, Pune and Mysore.
Where to stay
- The Kadri Manjunath Temple administration operated one guest house consisting of 21 single rooms and 3 double rooms which can be booked by the devotees.
- A large number of private hotels are available for accommodating pilgrims and tourists alike. The rooms may range from standard to AC suites in five-star hotels. A large number of Government offices also operate guest houses in the city which can be booked by contacting them. Mangalore is a coastal city and offers beautiful beaches. Hence, resorts are abundant here.
Where to eat
- The Kadri Manjunath Temple provides Annadana to all devotees from 12:30 PM to 2 PM.
- Besides the Kadri Manjunath Temple, several other private restaurants are available throughout the bustling city of Mangalore. The city offers a wide variety of cuisines like Konkani, Seafood, Mughlai, North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Italian and Thai. Several popular food joints are Hotel Narayana for Seafood, Hotel Guthu for authentic local cuisine and Chutneys for North Indian Vegetarian and Giri Manjas for Seafood.
- Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple – The Temple dedicated to Lord Ganapathi dates back to 800 years and can be visited in the heart of the city. The Temple has been mentioned in several Puranas like the Sthalapurana. Sri Dashabhuja Mahaganapati, Sri Sharabeshwara, and Siddhi Lakshmi are the presiding deities of the Temple.The Temple’s legends are also associated with the legendary Tipu Sultan and his conquest of Karnataka.
- Gokarnanatheshwara Temple – The Temple dedicated to Lord Gokarnanatheshwara, another form of Lord Shiva is situated at Kudroli, 5 km away from the city center. The Saint Sri Narayana Guru consecrated the Shiva Linga at the Temple in 1912. Several additions and renovations have been made recently. The Gopuram is 60 feet high and is decorated with beautiful divine sculptures depicting several Gods and Goddesses.
- Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple – The famous and sacred shrine dedicated to Sri Durga Parameshwari is situated in Kateel, 26 km from Mangalore. The Temple is located on the banks of the River Nandini. Several legends are associated with the Temple, which is mentioned in the Puranas themselves. Devotees can also perform Sevas like Annadanam, Vidyarambha, and Yakshagana in the Temple.
- Kudupu Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple – The Temple is located just 12 km away from the Mangalore city center. The presiding deities of the Temple are Lord Anantha (Lord Shiva) and Lord Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu). The Temple is well known for Serpent worship. The deity Sri Anantha Padmanabha faces west. The Temple complex also consists of a Naga Bana (place for serpent worship) and several smaller shrines dedicated to Jarandaya, Goddess Shree Devi, Lord Subrahmanya and Lord Ganapathi.
- Thousand Pillars Jain Temple – The Temple is located at a distance of 37 km in Moodbidri. The presiding deity of the Jain Temple is Sri Chandranath Swamy. The Temple dates back to 1430 AD. A 2.5-metre high statue of Sri Chandranath Swamy is worshiped here. The style of architecture resembles Vijayanagara construction. The Temple has been constructed with 1000 pillars.