Udupi Krishna Temple

Udupi Krishna Temple – Sri Krishna Matha

The Udupi Krishna Temple is one of the most famous Temples dedicated to Lord Krishna. This unique temple is located in the town of Udupi in Karnataka, India. The Temple complex is also a Matha where the priests live and perform their daily duties. The Temple was constructed by the Vaishnavite Saint Madhavacharya, somewhere during the 13th century.

The Udupi Krishna Temple is one of the seven Temples known as the Seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka. The idol of Lord Krishna worshiped here is in the form of a small boy. It is believed that Saint Madhavacharya anointed his eight disciples to take care of the functioning of the Temple and to propagate his philosophy and studies. These eight disciples created their own Matha and presently rotate their responsibilities every two years. The eight Mathas that run the Temple Administration are Palimar Mutt, Krishna Mutt, Kaniyour Mutt, Sode Mutt, Puttige Mutt, Admar Mutt, Shirur Mutt and Pejawar Mutt.

The Udupi Krishna Temple complex resembles an Ashram with a huge Tank or Sarovar located called as the Madhav Sarovar. The main temple has a Mandap and the Garbhagriha. The main door of the sanctum is closed and God can be viewed only trough a meshed window adorned with intricate figures of Avatars of Lord Vishnu. Smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Hanuman known here as Lord Mukhyaprana, Garuda and to Saint Madhavacharya are present.

Udupi Krishna Temple

Udupi Krishna Temple History

  • According to a popular legend, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna by the name of Kanaka Dasa arrived in Udupi in the early 16th century.
  • As per ancient scriptures, Udupi was known as Sivalli or as Rajathapeetapuram. The place was sacred even before the Krishna Temple was built due to the existence of the Anantheshwara Temple and the Chandramouleeshwara Temple.
  • The story of how the Udupi Krishna Temple came into existence is a very interesting one. The events that occurred are described in the Madhava Vijaya, a biography of the Saint Madhavacharya and in a seventeenth century work by Sri Raghuvarya Thirtha.
  • As per Sri Raghuvarya Thirtha, Lord Krishna’s birth mother Devaki often complained to the Lord about being unable to witness the childhood of her beloved son Krishna. She wished that Lord make her happy and fortunate like mother Yashoda. Lord Krishna assumed the form of a small boy and played with Devaki. When churning butter, Krishna broke the churn and ate the lumps of butter. He also snatched the churning rope from Devaki and started playing with it. Rukmini Devi, Wife of Krishna wanted to preserve the memory and had an idol made depicting Lord Krishna holding a churning rod and rope. She worshiped the idol regularly. After Lord Krishna departed to heaven, Arjuna moved the idol to Rukminivana and worshiped it with Chandana. As time passed, the idol was covered with a thick layer of clay until the merchants boarded it into a vessel mistaking it for a ballast.
  • The vessel set sail towards sail and as it was approaching Udupi, a massive storm occurred causing the ship to come ashore damaged. At the same time, Sri Madhavacharya had gone to take a bath in the sea. Seeing the distressed sailors, Sri Madhavacharya calmed down the sea and helped the sailors ashore. The captain of the ship was thankful and offered Madhavacharya anything from the ship. Madhavacharya chose the lump of clay that was thought to be a ballast.
  • When Madhavacharya started to return to Udupi, carrying the lump of clay, the lump fell down and revealed itself to be an idol of Lord Krishna. Sri Madhavacharya was elated and carried it back to Udupi where he installed the idol and established rigorous rituals to worship the idol.
  • Kanaka Dasa later is known in history as a great poet, philosopher, musician and a composer for Carnatic Music. He was allowed to stay in a hut just outside the Udupi Krishna Temple on the roadside. However, he was not allowed to enter the Udupi Krishna Temple because he was of a lower caste. He played a Tambura and sang songs in praise of Lord Krishna every day from his hut. On a fateful day, an earthquake struck the area and a crack opened up on the wall adjoining Kanaka Das’s hut. Kanaka Das had his first darshan through the crack. Sri Vadiraja, the Temple priest eventually enlarged the crack and created a window. Since that time, it has become a tradition to look through the window first before entering the Temple premises.

Significance of the Temple

  • The Udupi Krishna Temple is one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka. The other six are Kollur, Subramanya, Kumbhashi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana, and Gokarna. These places are together known as the Parashurama Kshetras. It is believed that these Temples were built on land which was claimed by Parashurama from the sea.
  • The unique feature of the darshan of Lord Krishna is that the actual darshan of the Lord is through a grilled window known as the Navagraha Kitiki or as the Kanakana Kindi (Kanaka’s window). The window has nine squares, each dedicated to the nine planets. The window is covered on all sides with silver plating with carvings depicting the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.
  • The main idol of Lord Krishna shows him as a small boy holding a churning rod on the right hand and rope on the left hand. This is the one of the kind representation of Lord Krishna that can be seen nowhere in India but Udupi.
  • The main idol of Udupi Krishna Temple is facing the west direction and cannot be seen from the main door of the sanctum.
  • The lamps that are kept near the main idol of Lord Krishna were first lighted by Sri Madhava Acharya in the 13th century and are still kept burning.
  • The idols of Lord Mukhyapradana (Anjaneya or Hanuman) and Garuda kept in the Udupi Krishna Temple in their respective shrines were brought here from Ayodhya and installed.
  • It is believed that Chandra (The Moon God) did penance in Udupi to release him from the curse of Daksha Prajapati. Lord Shiva was impressed by his devotion and relieved him of the curse of Daksha. In honor of the occurrence, the Chandramouleeshwara Temple was built.
  • A small shrine dedicated to Goddess Bhagirathi (Ganga) is located in the southwest corner of the Madhava Sarovar. It is believed that when the young Madhavacharya could not visit Badrinath, River Ganga herself flowed south to the Temple and gave him a darshan. A white stream of water was visibly seen rising out of the South West corner, where in honor of River Ganga, a shrine was eventually built.

Udupi Krishna Temple Timings

Udupi Krishna Temple opens at 4am and closes at 9pm. The holy trip to Udupi Krishna Temple is considered complete by visiting the Anatheshwara Temple and the Chandramouleeshwara temple before visiting the Udupi Krishna Temple. Aarti and Archana items are available in shops that are located near the main entrance.

Dress code

The male devotees are not allowed to wear shirts and vests inside the Udupi Krishna Temple complex. Short pants and the Bermudas are not allowed. Female devotees are requested to dress decently.

Udupi Krishna Temple: Poojas and Rituals

A sequence of fourteen Poojas is performed for the deity every day. They are explained as below:

  • Nirmalya Visarjana – The Pooja is performed at 5:30 AM every morning. The decorations, ornaments, apparels and flowers offered to the God on the previous day are removed and the idol is bathed. Offerings like Tulasi, Bengal gram, Curd, Puffed Rice, jaggery, Ginger and coconut, Betel leaves and Ghee are made as Naivedyam.
  • Ushakala Pooja – The Abhishekam of the deity is performed at 6 AM with the holy water that is stored in silver vessels. Eight Aartis are conducted and offerings of Sandal paste, Tulasi, Rice, Milk, Curd, coconut, Banana, and Betel Leaves are offered.
  • Akshaya Patra and Go – Pooja – The Seva is performed at 6:15 AM.  The vessels believed to be donated by Saint Madhavacharya are still offered Pooja during the morning. A cow selected from the Cowshed is worshiped and an Aarti is raised to her. Rice and Jaggery are distributed to the cows.
  • Panchamrita Pooja – The Pooja starts at  6:30 AM. Both the idols of Lord Krishna and Lord Mukhyaprana are worshiped with the Panchamrit. After removing the sandal paste and flowers, in the Surya Saale of the Temple, the idol is first showered with Gold coins. Then Lord Krishna is bathed with Ghee, Milk, Honey, Curd and Sugar. 32 tender coconuts are broken and are offered to the deity along with the Bananas.
  • Udvartana Pooja – The Pooja is performed at 7 AM. The idol is bathed in perfumed water and cleaned by removing the greasy matter with green gram flour. Offerings of tender coconuts, milk and butter are made and an Aarti is raised.
  • Kalasha Pooja – The ritual occurs at 7:30 AM. Gold Kalasas are kept in front of the idol and Poojas are performed to them. Cooked rice is offered to the God which is then offered to Garuda. After the offering, the cooked rice is dispersed into the Madhava Sarovar as feed for the Fishes.
  • Theertha Pooja –  The Pooja takes place at 7:40 AM. The holy water from the gold vessel is used for the main Abhishek. The idol is then dried with a clean piece of cloth and decorated with Tulasi garlands, flowers, and Sandal paste. The holy water from this Abhishek is available as Theertham for the devotees and hence this puja is known as The Theertha Pooja.
  • Alankara Pooja –  The Pooja takes place at 8:30 AM. The idol is decorated with Gold ornaments and Silk clothing. Tulasi garlands are offered to the God. Rice, Sweets, Milk, Curds, Coconuts, Bananas and Betel leaves are offered to the God amidst the singing of hymns and songs by the Matha musicians.
  • Avasara Pooja – An Aarti is raised to the God after offering Rice and Coconuts. This Pooja happens at 10:30 AM.
  • Maha Pooja – This Pooja is the most important Pooja of the day and is performed by the head of the Matha himself at 11 AM. Rice, Tulasi, and Sandal paste are offered to God amidst the chantings of Vishnu Ssahasranama, Krishna Stotra, and Brahma Stotra. The Naivedya articles such as pots of cooked rice, sweets, and eatables, payasam, panchakajjaya,  coconuts, plantains, betel leaves etc. are placed before the God. The priest comes out of the Sanctum and closes the door. It is believed that Madhavacharya himself makes the offerings to the God. After some time, the priests return and perform Aartis. Two country Guns are fired, signaling the occurrence of the Pooja after which the people of the Town can begin eating their meal.
  • Sri Mukhyaprana Pooja – The Naivedyams offered to Sri Krishna during the Maha puja are offered again to Sri Mukhyaprana.  The Priest then performs the Aarti.
  • Sri Madhavacharya Pooja – The same Naivedyam is then offered to Sri Madhwacharya.
  • Simhasana Pooja – The Simhasana is offered the Naivedyam.
  • Pradakshina Namaskara – The priest goes around the idol four times and then proceeds to the Madhav Sarovar where Goddess Bhagirathi is worshiped. The offerings are dispersed in the Sarovar. He then proceeds to the Vrindavana and then to the Cowshed where the Cows are fed.  He returns to the Simhasana where he distributes the Theertham to other priests and devotees. Then he proceeds to the dining hall where a sumptuous meal is served.
  • Chamara Seva – This Pooja takes place at 7 PM. Pooja is offered to sacred books and the Vigraha. Kirtans and bhajans are sung by the Udupi Krishna Temple musicians. Two huge baskets of puffed rice and Jaggery are offered to the God and an Aarti is raised.
  • Ratri Pooja – The usual Naivedyam consisting of pots of cooked rice, ghee, jaggery, tender coconut and milk is offered. Aarti is raised on this occasion as the music and chanting of hymns continues. This Pooja occurs at 7:30 PM.
  • Ranga Pooja – This service to God happens at 7:40 PM. Four pots of Panchakajjaya are spread on Banana leaves in a line in front of Sri Mukyaprana. Rows of lamps are lighted on either side and an Aarti is raised. The Utsava Murthi is taken around the Matha and offerings are made. The  recitations of songs and kirtans are carried out.
  • Ekantha Seva – This Pooja happens at 8:50 PM. The Utsava murti is laid down on a golden cradle. Aarti is raised and lullabies are sung. The blowing of a Conch indicates the end of rituals for the day.

Besides these daily rituals, as a devotee, a number of Sevas can be offered to the God. Some of them are Akhanda Saptotsava, Laksha Deepotsava, Maha Puja Rathotsava, Sarva Seva, Annadanam, Ksheera Abhishek, Nanda Deepa, Godaana, Sahasranamarchana, Ashtotta Archana, Karpoora Mangal Aarti and Vaayustuti Parayana.

Festivals celebrated at the Temple

  • The Saptosava – The unique festival is celebrated in the Udupi Krishna Temple in a grand manner for a period of seven days. The festival begins five days before the Makara Sankranama or Makara Sankranthi in January. During the first five days of the festival, the idols of Lord Krishna and Lord Mukhyaprana are placed on the Garuda ratha and idols of Lord Anantheshwara and Chandreshwara are placed on the Mahapuja ratha. Then the two Rathas are taken around the town.
  • Rathotsava – On the day of Makara Sankranthi, the sixth day, the Utsava Murthis of Lord Krishna and Lord Mukhyaprana are placed in a golden palanquin and taken to the Madhava Sarovar where they are placed in a decorated float and taken around the Sarovar. This Utsava is called the Teppotsava. The day of Makara Sankranthi is believed to be the day that Sri Madhava Acharya installed the idol of Lord Krishna in the sanctum.
  • From the floats, the idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Mukhyaprana, Lord Anantheshwara and Lord Chandreshwara are taken to the three chariots. The idol of Lord Krishna is placed on the main beautifully decorated Brahma Ratha, the idol of Lord Mukhyaprana is placed in the Garuda Ratha and the idols of Chandreshwara and Anantheshwara are placed in the Mahapuja Ratha. Thousands of devotees pull the three chariots chanting the names of the Lord. After the Rathas reach the Temple, the idols are taken to the Vasantha Mahal where God is placed in a cradle and Pooja is performed for him. After the Poojas, the idols are taken to the sanctum where the Flute Seva and Ekantha Seva takes place signaling the end of the day.
  • Churnotsava – On the last or the seventh day, after the Mahapuja, the Utsava Murthis of Lord Krishna and Lord Mukhyaprayana are brought in a gold palanquin to the main chariot named Brahma Ratha. The Mangala Aarti is performed for the Lords and then offerings of sweets and fruits are made. It is to be observed that during this ritual; a Garuda can always be seen revolving around the chariot from above. Then the chariots are taken around the Ratha street and then to the Madhava Sarovar. The Lord is given a bath followed by all the priests and people taking a dip in the Sarovar. The unique feature is that flowers smeared with a gold paste are offered to the Lord and then dispersed into the crowd. Hence, the name of the occasion was named as Churnotsava.
  • Shri Krishna Jayanti – The auspicious day occurs in August – September. The devotees and the priests observe a complete fast for the entire day. Special Poojas and Sevas are performed for the deity. On the next day morning, a large number of guests are fed with special offerings like milk sweets. A clay image of Sri Krishna is taken around the town in a Ratha and the Handi ceremony is celebrated with great energy. Handi is the process of breaking clay pots that are hung between buildings and poles. A parade can be seen in which people dress as animals, masked figures and entertain the crowd. The idol is then submerged in the Madhava Sarovar signaling the end of the celebrations.
  • Mesha Sankranti – The Hindu New Year usually falls in the month of April and is celebrated with grand festivities in Udupi. The festival popularly known as Vishu (Kerala), Puthandu (Tamil), Baisakhi (Punjab), and Bihu (Assam) is celebrated by taking out a Ratha Yatra of Lor Krishna and then doing a Pooja in a cradle.
  • Vasantotsava – The day marks the beginning of the spring season and usually celebrated in March – April. The special Pooja and Prasadam are done for two months during the period. A Ratha Yatra for the God takes place every night starting from the day of Akshaya Tritiya and ending on the Vaisakha Poornima in May.
  • Sri Madhava Navami – The festival is celebrated in a grand manner during the month of February. It is believed that this is the day on which Saint Madhavacharya disappeared from mortal sight. Special Poojas are performed for the Saint at the Anathasana Temple, where it is believed that he is still present as a holy spirit. The mass feeding of Brahmins, as well as recitation of the Madhwavijaya (biography of Madhavacharya), takes place.
  • Holi Kamadahana – The auspicious and festive day of Holi is celebrated in March. On this day, a procession of Lord Krishna starts from the Temple till Kadiyali and back. An effigy of Lord Kamadeva (God of Love) is burnt in accordance of the mythological tale where he sacrifices himself so that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati fall in love after the death of Goddess Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva. Devotees smear themselves with colored water and paste and revel in the festival. It is believed that Holi was Lord Krishna’s favorite festival and is celebrated throughout the country, especially in Mathura and Dwarka.
  • Besides the above festivals, Ram Navami, Narasimha Jayanti, Bhagirathi Jayanti, Chaturmasa, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, Deepavali, Subramanya Shashti, and Gurusamaradhana are celebrated with great spiritual significance and fervor.
  • The Tulasi Vrindavana Festival – In the month of Karthik (November – December), a sacred Tulasi plant and a lamp post situated at the North of the Temple is decorated and worshiped by singing holy songs and recitals for a period of twelve days.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air – The nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport situated 59 km away from the town. Mangalore is well connected to cities like Mumbai, Goa, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. Taxis can be hired from the Airport to reach the Udupi Krishna Temple.
  • By Train – Udupi is an important railway station in the Konkan Railway route. Regular trains are available from cities like Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Gokarna, Murudeshwar, Kohlapur, Trivandrum and Madgaon.
  • By Road – The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operated regular buses from Bengaluru, Mangalore, and Mysore. The town is also well connected to Kerala and Goa.

Where to stay

The holy town of Udupi is bustling with small hotels and lodges that offer the devotees a decent option to stay overnight.

Where to eat

  • The Bhojana Saale in the northern part of the Udupi Krishna Temple is where the devotees are fed. One can eat the Prasadam served at the Temple kitchen.
  • Several restaurants serve delicious Udupi cuisine (mainly Idlis, Dosas, Vada, Sambhar) along with North Indian cuisine as well. Non-vegetarian food, especially seafood is also served in restaurants.

Nearby Temples

  • Chandramouleeshwara Temple – The Temple is located just opposite to the Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. It is believed that this is the place where Chandra did his penance and Lord Shiva relieved him of the curse of Daksha which stated that Chandra will keep decreasing in size and eventually disappear. Lord Shiva gave a boon that he will decrease in size for 15 days and then increase for 15 days in a month. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Linga changes color from black in the morning, blue at noon and white at night. It is believed that one must visit the Chandramouleeshwara Temple and the Anantheshwara Temple before visiting the Krishna Temple.
  • Anatheshwara Temple – The Temple legend says that Sage Parashurama retrieved the land from the sea and made his devotee Ramabhoja as the King. During the plowing of the land to perform the Ashwamedha Yagna, he accidently killed a snake. To relieve the sin, he made a silver peetham known as Rajatha Peetham in Kannada with images of a snake carved on it.
  • Shri Janardhana Mahakali Temple – The Temple is located in Ambalpay area in Udupi, about 3 km away from the Sri Krishna Temple. The presiding deity of the beautiful temple is Goddess Mahakali. It is believed that she came down to Earth as a guardian for the town and eventually was followed by Janardhana Swamy.
  • Batte Vinayaka Temple – The Temple is one of the oldest Temples in the district, constructed by the Barkur kingdom. The unique feature of the Temple is that the idol of Lord Ganapathi is facing the North but leaning towards West.
  • Sri Mahishamardhini Temple – The Temple is located at Kadiyali. The Temple’s history dates back to around 1200 years.  The idol of Mahishamardhini is in a standing posture with four arms. She holds the Prayaga chakra on one hand and the Shanka on the other. She is shown piercing the head of the demon Mahishasura.
Gokarna Temple

Gokarna Temple

Gokarna Temple – Lord Mahabaleshwara Sacred Atmalinga

Gokarna Temple Video 

Atmalinga of Lord Shiva is worshiped in the Gokarna Temple. This temple is located in the coastal town of Gokarna in Karnataka. The region of Gokarna is located between an ear-shaped confluence of the Rivers of Gangavali and Agnashini. The sacredness of the Gokarna Temple is considered on par with the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. Hence, Gokarna is also known as Dakshina Kasi (Southern Kasi) and as the Bhookailasa. The region of Gokarna and its religious importance is mentioned in several Puranas like the Bhagavata Purana, Sthala Purana, Guru Charitra and the Skanda Purana. The legends related to the region and the existence of the Temples has been mentioned in the epic Ramayana.

Gokarna Temple architecture features resemble the Dravidian style of construction. The walls are made of granite. Inside the Sanctum, the main Atmalinga is enshrined in a square shaped Saligrama Peetha with a small hole on the top. One can view the top of the Linga from the hole. A carved image of Lord Shiva is kept near the Linga. The image represents Lord Shiva in a standing position and is believed to be 1500 years old. The actual Atmalinga can be seen in whole only once in 40 years during the Ashtabandana Kumbhabhishekam. Gokarna Temple Complex also has shrines dedicated to Lord Ganapathi, Lord Dattatreya, and the Goddess Taamaragowri. The Kotitheertham or the Pushkarini is a small manmade tank present near the Gokarna Temple.

Gokarna Temple History and Legend

  • According to the archeological evidence, Gokarna Temple was constructed by Mayurasharma of the Kadamba dynasty during the period of 345 – 365 AD.
  • Gokarna Temple has been visited by several prominent historical personalities. The Vijayanagara Kingdom Emperor Krishnadevaraya visited the shrine and weighed himself in Gold here. The great ruler Shivaji often prayed at the shrine.
  • The importance of Gokarna Temple has been mentioned by several imminent Saints and Maharishis. The famous Kalidasa mentions Lord Mahabaleshwar as Lord of Gokarna in his 4th-century work, Raghuvamsha. The Nayanars praised the deity of the Tulu Nadu, Mahabaleshwar in their work Tevaram between the 6th and 9th century.
  • As per one legend, when Lord Shiva cursed Lord Brahma that he will not be worshiped because of his lie about finding the end of the endless beam of light emanating from Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma cursed him back stating that Lord Shiva will go to hell. It is believed that after going to the underworld, Lord Shiva appeared out through a cow’s ear, a metaphor for emerging out of an ear-shaped place (Mother Earth) known as Gokarna.
  • As per the legends and mentions in the chapters of the epic Ramayana, Kaikesi who was the mother of Ravana worshiped Lord Shiva ardently. She used to make Lingas out of the beach sand and pray to them daily. However, every night the Linga used to get washed away by the sea. Seeing the distraught mother, Ravana promised to her that he will proceed to Mount Kailash and bring back Lord Shiva’s Atma Linga itself to her.
  • Ravana went to Mount Kailash and performed severe penance to impress Lord Shiva. He sang his praises in the acclaimed Shiva Tandava Stotram. He chopped one of his ten heads as a gift for Lord Shiva. Eventually, Lord Shiva granted him a wish. Ravana asked for the Atma Linga from Lord Shiva as well as a wife as beautiful as Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva then took out the Atma Linga from his heart and offered it to Ravana but placed a condition that the Linga should not be kept down until he reaches his destination. If the Linga is kept down, the Linga will become affixed and nothing can separate it. He also asked Goddess Parvati to accompany Ravana as he considered no one more beautiful than the Goddess herself. Ravana agreed and started proceeding southwards towards his kingdom. All the other Lords were disturbed by the occurrence as they were sure that Ravana will misuse the Atma Linga to create havoc in the world.
  • Lord Vishnu interrupted Ravana’s journey after disguising himself as an old Brahmin. He enquired about the beautiful woman accompanying Ravana. When Ravana started boasting about how he received the Goddess as a boon from Lord Shiva, the Brahmin created an illusion in which the Goddess turned into an old and frail lady. Humiliated, Ravana left the Goddess and proceeded with the Atma Linga.
  • Narada approached Lord Ganesha to request help for interrupting Ravana’s journey. Lord Ganesha was aware of Ravana’s daily rituals especially about the evening bath Ravana would take. With the help of Lord Vishnu, who blotted out the Sun to give an appearance of dusk, Lord Ganesha turned himself into a small boy. Ravana wanted to take a bath but could not put down the idol. Lord Ganesha disguised as a boy passed him. Ravana called him and passed on the idol to him giving instructions that the idol must not be placed on the ground. The boy placed the idol on the ground before Ravana returned from his bath. Lord Vishnu unblocked the sun and it was daylight again. The place where Lord Ganesha placed the idol is known as Gokarna.
  • Ravana became furious and tried to uproot the Linga but he could not accomplish it. He threw the case covering the Linga which fell to a place called Sajjeshwara. The lid of the case which held the Linga fell in a place called Gunavanthe and the string covering the Linga fell at Dhareshwara. The cloth covering the Linga fell in Murudeshwar.
  • When Lord Shiva learned of this, he visited these five places and worshiped the Lingas there. He declared that these places will be known as the Pancha Kshetras and anyone who worships here will be free from all their sins.

Significance of the Gokarna Temple

  • The Atmalinga of Lord Shiva is worshiped here, making it a must visit pilgrimage spot among all Hindus. The Atmalinga is believed to be the Linga that forms an integral part of Lord Shiva himself and signifies “the reality of god which can be apprehended by the mind”. As per Hinduism, all the Gods attained mortality and invincibility by worshiping the Atma Linga of Lord Shiva. The Atma Linga originally resided in the heart of Lord Shiva but the Lord gave it to Ravana as a reward for his penance.
  • The Atmalinga of Lord Shiva at Gokarna Temple is considered as sacred as the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva in Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is believed that even a glimpse of the Linga will bestow blessings of Lord Shiva and will relieve one of all his or her sins.
  • Gokarna Temple is one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka. The other six are Udupi, Subramanya, Kumbhashi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayanan, and Kollur. These places are together known as the Parashurama Kshetras. It is believed that these Temples were built on land which was claimed by Parashurama from the sea.
  • The Gokarna Temple is one of the five Temples known in Karnataka as the Pancha Kshetras of Lord Shiva. The other four Temples are in Nanjanagud, Dharmasthala, Dhareshwara and Murudeshwar. It is believed that Lord Shiva along with the Goddess Parvati visited these five places after Lord Ganesha conned Ravana and kept the Atmalinga down where it permanently resides till date.
  • The Gokarna Temple is also mentioned as one of the 276 Paadal Petra Sthalams in India. These are referred to the temples considered as the greatest Shiva Temples by the Saiva Nayanars in the 6th to 9th century CE. They are praised in Thevaram, divine songs sung in praise of Lord Shiva and composed by three Tamil poets named Thirugana Sambanthar, Thirunavakkarasar, and Sundaramoorthy Nayanar. In the present, these songs are sung daily in almost all major Shiva Temples in Tamilnadu.
  • The region of Gokarna is not only sacred to devotees of Lord Shiva but equally holy for the followers of Lord Dattatreya and the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nath tradition. It is believed that he resided here for 3 years and performed penance here. Lord Dattatreya is believed to be the Avatar or Incarnation of the Trimurti or the Holy Trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. He is worshiped in different ways. Some consider him as an avatar of Vishnu and his siblings Chandra and Durvasa as Brahma and Shiva respectively. Some consider him as an avatar of Lord Shiva and as an Adi-Guru. Some believe that he is the ultimate God as he represents the three Gods together.
  • As per the legend, after returning from the Underworld (Sapta Paathala), Lord Shiva collected the essence of all of Brahma’s creations and created a golden deer with three horns and three eyes. It is believed that the three horns were placed at Pushkar, Shaligram, and Gokarna. These three places are collectively called as the Siddhi Kshetras.
  • It is believed that the Atmalinga which was installed here in the Treta Yuga was initially red in color. It became yellow in the Dwapara Yuga and turned black in the Kaliyuga. It is a belief that the root of the Linga leads to the seven realms of the Paathala Loka (underworld regions inhabited by the Danavas, Daityas, Yakshas and Nagas.
  • The revered Hindu Saint Sri Adi Shankaracharya established the Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt in Gokarna who look after the administration of the Gokarna Temple.
  • It is believed that performing the death rites of the departed individuals will grant them salvation or moksha on par with those performed at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Gokarna Temple Timings

  • Gokarna temple opens at 6 am and closes at 8:30 pm.
  • However, the gokarna temple is closed for afternoon break from 2 pm to 5 pm.
  • The Mangal Aarti and the Udyana Bali takes place at 6 AM followed by the Sparsha Darshan.
  • The Sparsha Darshan end at 12:30 PM and the rituals of Mahanaivedyam and Mahapooja begins. The Temple then closes at 2 PM till 5 PM.
  • The Sparsha Darshan starts at 5 PM and continues till 8 PM.
  • The Nityotsava starts at 8:30 PM after which the Gokarna Temple is closed.
  • The Amrutanna Prasada Bhojana or the Annadanam is provided to the visiting devotees free of cost in the afternoon between 12 PM to 2 PM and then in the evening between 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Dress Code

The devotees are requested to dress decently. Bermuda shorts, beach wear, miniskirts and other revealing wear are not allowed inside the gokarna temple premises.

Festivals celebrated at the Gokarna Temple

  • Mahashivaratri – The most sacred festival dedicated to Lord Shiva is celebrated in the month of February – March at Gokarna Temple. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and fare. 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 occasion is celebrated for 9 days, the 6th day being the day of Shivaratri. The devotees are allowed to perform various special Poojas like Mahapooja, Rathotsava, Bhootabali, Tulabhara and other cultural programs like music and dance festival. A  Ratha Yatra is carried out on the last day of the festival. The Lord idol of Lord Mahabaleshwar is carried in the Dodda Ratha, ceremoniously decorated in a procession around the town among the chants of prayers and hymns. More than 100 persons are required to pull the Ratha. Continous Annadanam is performed during these days when lakhs of pilgrims visit the Temple to receive Lord Shiva’s blessings.
  • Ratha Saptami – The Car or the Ratha festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the bright half of the month of February at Gokarna Temple. It denotes the seventh day of the movement of Sun towards the northern direction of vernical equinox from Capricorn. It is also believed to represent the birth of Sun God Surya. Hence, in some places, it is also celebrated as the Surya Jayanti. The festival symbolizes the beginning of spring and the harvesting season. In Gokarna, a grand Ratha Yatra of the God is carried out around the town and special Prasadams are distributed to the devotees.
  • Tripurakhya Deepotsava – The festival is celebrated on the day of the Karthik Poornima at Gokarna Temple. The festive day is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Karthik (November – December). The Purnima is called Tripuri Purnima because of the legend of Lord Shiva destroying the three demon cities, collectively known as Tripura of the Tripurasura demon. Special Poojas like the Laksha Bilvarchana, Dhatri Homam, Vanabhojana, and Deepotsava are performed on the day.
  • Vijayadashami – On the auspicious day, Goddess Bhadrakali is worshiped in the Gokarna Temple. The idol of Sri Mahabaleshwar is taken in a procession to the Bhadrakali Temple and brought back amidst great chantings of religious mantras and bhajans. Special Prasadam is distributed to the devotees visiting the shrine on the day.
  • Kadiru Haranotsava – The first harvest of Paddy (Rice) is celebrated as the Kadiru Haranotsava. The festival and its rituals are performed in a nearby village named Bankikodia. The Utsava Moorthy (idol) of the Lord is taken to the field and worshiped. Following his blessings, the crop is harvested every year.

Besides these festivals, the Sharada Pooja, Ganesha Chaturthi, Ugadi, Krishna Janmashtami, Kaamadahana and Shiva-Ganga Vivahotsava are celebrated at the Gokarna Temple premises.

Gokarna Temple Poojas and Rituals

The devotees are allowed to perform the Poojas and Abhishekams by themselves to the holy Atmalinga. Below is the list of Poojas that one can perform at the Gokarna Temple:

  • Sankalpa Pooja Mangal Aarti – The Mangal Aarti is performed for the day in the name of the devotee.
  • Bilvarchana – The Archana is performed to the Lord with Bilva leaves on behalf of the devotee.
  • Ashttotara Bilvarchana – The Archana with Bilva leaves is performed by reciting the 108 names of Lord Shiva on behalf of the devotee.
  • Kumbhabhishek and Kshirabhishek Pooja – The Lord is bathed with cow’s milk and worshiped on behalf of the devotee.
  • Panchamrutabhishek Pooja – The Lord is bathed with “Panch Amrits” that are milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar among the recitals of several mantras and shlokas praising the greatness of Lord Shiva.
  • Maha Panchamrutabhisheka Pooja including Rudrabhishekam – The Lord is bathed with “Panch Amrit” that are milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar. The Rudrabhishekam is also performed after the bathing process is over. The Rudrabhishek Pooja wipes out all sins and purifies the atmosphere. It also removes all sorts of planetary related ill-occurrences.
  • Navadhanya Abhishek Pooja – The deity is worshiped with Navadhanya meaning nine grains. Usually, these grains are Bengal Gram (Chana dal), Wheat, Horse Gram, Green Gram, Rice, White Beans, Sesame, Chick Peas, and Black Gram.
  • Silver Nagabharana Special Pooja – The idol of a silver Nagabharana (image of a snake with five fangs protecting Lord Shiva) is worshiped on behalf of the devotee.
  • Golden Nagabharana Special Pooja – The idol of a Golden Nagabharana is worshiped on behalf of the devotee.

All the Poojas mentioned above can be performed on behalf of the devotee once every year. These Sevas are called as the Shashwat Sevas and they can be booked from the Gokarna Temple Counter.

The Annadana Sevas can also be booked by the devotee. As per his or her wishes, on paying the requisite amount, the Annadanam can be provided to 10, 25, 50 and 100 people at once. The full day Annadanam can also be provided by contacting the Gokarna Temple administration.

How to reach Gokarna: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air – The Dabolim International Airport in Panaji, Goa is the nearest airport to Gokarna. It lies 150 km from the town. The KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) operated regular buses from Panaji to Gokarna.
  • By Train – The nearest railway station is Gokarna Road, situated 6 km from the town. Regular trains are available connecting major towns of Karnataka. The Karwar express from Bengaluru connects Gokarna to other towns like Mysore, Hassan, Subrahmanya, Mangalore, Udupi, Mookambika, Murdeshwar and Karwar. Similarly, the Matsyagandha express beginning from Mumbai connects Gokarna to Thane, Ratnagiri, Madgaon, Honnavar, Bhatkal and Surathkal.
  • By Road – The devotees can arrive in Gokarna by taking any of the KSRTC buses from Panaji, Bengaluru, and Mangalore. Alternatively, one can hire taxis from nearby towns like Murudeshwar, Ankola, and Karwar. Private buses also ply connecting Gokarna to Bengaluru and Mangalore.

Gokarna Hotels: Where to stay

A large number of Hotels and Lodges provide a comfortable stay at nominal rates. Since the town also boasts of a number of scenic beaches, a few beach resorts have also come up in the vicinity. Advanced booking is preferable as the town is usually packed with devotees during the festive and the holiday season.

Where to eat in Gokarna

The devotees to the Gokarna Temple are served Prasada Bhojana every day free of cost in the afternoon and the evening at 12:30 PM and 7:30 PM respectively.

A large number of small restaurants have come up at the Gokarna Temple and nearby areas. They mainly serve delicious South Indian cuisine, mainly vegetarian. Seafood is also available in certain places.

Nearby Temples

  • Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple – The Temple is located only a few meters away from the Mahabaleshwar Temple. The Temple was built in honor of Lord Ganapathi, who took the form of a normal boy deceived Ravana and established the Atmalinga in Gokarna. The idol of the deity is 5 feet tall with a hole in the top of the head. The hole represents the spot where Ravana struck when he found out that the boy had kept the Linga down.
  • Bhadrakali Temple – The Temple is located 4 km by road from the Mahabaleshwar Temple. As per the legend, the Goddess Bhadrakali, an Avatar of Parvati was freed from Ravana by Lord Vishnu’s illusion.  Lord Vishnu requested her to stay there and hence the Temple was built for her.
  • Bharat Temple – The Temple dedicated to Bharat, brother of Lord Rama is situated on a hillock near the Mahabaleshwar Temple. The Temple is located in the Temple dedicated to Lord Rama. A theertham called as Ramatheertham can also be visited here.
  • The Pancha Kshetra pilgrimage – One can visit the Pancha Kshetras of Dhareshwar (40 km), Murudeshwar (55 km), Guneshwar (40 km), and Sajjeshwar (40 km towards Goa) from Gokarna. The group of five temples is considered as extremely holy and is a must for any Shaivite pilgrimage.
Kollur Mookambika Temple

Kollur Mookambika Temple

Kollur Mookambika Temple – Temple of Knowledge and Wisdom

Kollur Mookambika Temple Video

The legendary temple of Sri Mookambika is situated at Kollur in the Udupi district of Karnataka. Goddess Mookambika is an avatar of Goddess Parvati who is believed to have descended to Earth to annihilate the demon Kaumasura. The Kollur Mookambika Temple holds high spiritual value and receives lakhs of pilgrims every year. The Kollur Mookambika Temple is one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka. The presiding deity is Goddess Mookambika worshiped here in a unique form of a Swayambhulinga. The idol of the Goddess is believed to have been installed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself. It is believed that Sri Mookambika embodies all the Gods of the realm in herself and thus worshiping her is equivalent to worshiping all the Gods at the same time.

Pilgrims from all over the country, especially from the southern states of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh visit the Kollur Mookambika Temple frequently to receive the blessings of the Goddess. The Kollur Mookambika Temple is known to be “The Temple of knowledge and wisdom”. Goddess Mookambika is worshiped here as the Shakti Devatha.

The architecture of the Kollur Mookambika Temple is unique and belongs to the Keladi kingdom period. The Kollur Mookambika Temple comprises of the Sanctum or the Garbhagriha, a hall and the Lakshmi Mantapam. The Sanctum has a quadrangular shape with a Vimana Gopuram. The tower of the Sanctum is covered with gold. Besides the main shrine, several other shrines dedicated to Lord Subramanya, Dashabhuja Ganapathi, Anjaneya, Chandramouleeshwara, and Gopalakrishna. Behind the Swayambhu Linga of Goddess Mookambika, an idol of the Goddess is kept. The idol of Goddess Mookambika has three eyes and four arms. She holds a Sri Chakra in one hand and a conch in the other.

Kollur Mookambika Temple History and Legend

  • The documented evidence of the Kollur Mookambika Temple dates back to 1200 years. The first Kollur Mookambika Temple is believed to have been built by the Great Parashurama himself. The Linga is believed to have been worshiped since the times of the Sage Kola Maharishi and the idol of the Goddess had been installed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
  • The King Halugulla Veera Sangayya constructed the stone walls inside the Kollur Mookambika Temple and created several of the present structures under the orders of Rani Chennamaji.
  • The Kollur Mookambika Temple has been patronized by different kingdoms and people till date. Many have contributed graciously to the development of the Temple. The legendary Rani Chennamma offered precious emerald jewelry to the Goddess which she still adorns. The Vijayanagara Empire King Krishnadevaraya presented a Gold Mask which is kept as a Temple treasure. The King Chennamaji presented a Gold face for the Lingam. The Late MG Ramachandran, CM of Tamilnadu presented a Silver sword to the Goddess.
  • The legend of the origins of the Kollur Mookambika Temple and the importance of the region of Kollur are mentioned in the Skanda Puranam. The legend begins with the Tapas or Penance of Sage Kola Maharishi. At the same time, another demon by the name of Kaumasura was doing penance for Lord Shiva. He wanted immortality and great strength as a boon from Lord Shiva. The Gods were aware that if he achieves his boon, he will unleash a reign of terror on Earth. Therefore, when Lord Shiva appeared before him, Goddess Parvati made him dumb or Mooka. As a result, he was unable to ask for a boon and came to be known as the Mookasura. The event enraged him and he started disrupting the penance of Kola Maharishi. The Sage requested the help of the Goddess in annihilating the demon. She appeared in an integrated form imbibing the powers of the Trimurti as well as of the other Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati. She killed Mookasura and hence came to be known as Goddess Mookambika. On the request of Kola Maharishi, she stayed at the place in her divine integrated form.
  • As per one legend associated with Sri Adi Shankaracharya, one day he was unable to stand up after his meditation. It is believed that Goddess Mookambika himself prepared a medicine for him with a combination of herbs taken from the Kodachadri hills nearby. Sri Adi Shankaracharya recovered and eventually introduced the custom of preparing the Kashayam Theertham for the visiting pilgrims so that they attain good health.
  • The mythology associated with River Sowparnika, the perennial river that flows beside the Kollur Mookambika Temple is also worth learning. It is believed that a Garuda named Suparna prayed on the banks of the river to relieve his mother of all the sufferings and bad luck. The Kollur Mookambika Devi appeared before him and granted his wishes. The River was named after the Garuda as the Sowparnika. This river contains rich extracts of herbals as it passes through the Kodachadri hills.

Significance of Kollur Mookambika Temple

  • The Goddess Mookambika is represented as the Linga and is worshiped as Adi Shakti as she embodies both Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakthi (Parvati). On the left side of the Linga, as an Adi Shakti Goddess Mahakali, Goddess Mahalakshmi, and Goddess Saraswathi have integrated as one. On the right side, as an Udbhavalinga, Mookambika has been integrated with Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. A gold chain divides the Linga into two – the larger left side and the smaller right side. The left side represents Goddess Mookambika or Parvati and the right side represents Lord Shiva. No Abhishekam is done for the idol, only Poojas are performed for her. The Abhishekams are performed for the Linga only.
  • The idol of Goddess Mookambika is made of the material called 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 region of Kollur is among the seven Mukti Sthalas in Karnataka. The other six are Udupi, Subramanya, Kumbhashi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayanan, and Gokarna. These places are together known as the Parashurama Kshetras. It is believed that these Temples were built on land which was claimed by Parashurama from the sea.
  • It is believed that Sri Adi Shankaracharya had a dream during his penance in which Goddess Shakthi appeared. He later installed the idol resembling the image of her in the shrine. The Shankara Simhasanam situated inside the Kollur Mookambika Temple is the place where he meditated and had a vision of the Goddess.
  • The Kodachadri hill range situated just beyond the Temple is believed to be a part of the legendary Sanjeevini Mountain that Lord Hanuman carried for the ailing Lakshman in the Ramayana. The hills are home to rare species of herbs. The Ambavanam and the Chitramoolam areas within the range are believed to be the places where Sri Adi Shankaracharya meditated. Several Theerthams are located at the range.
  • Offering sincere prayers and offerings to the Goddess relieves one of the ailments, financial problems, business hurdles, marital issues, and the problem of infertility. The Chandika Homam performed here has immense value and the advance booking has to be done for the Seva.
  • It is believed that offering prayers to the Goddess enhance excellence in education and in creative pursuits. Performing music and other arts at the Saraswati Mandapam of the Kollur Mookambika Temple is considered a divine and a blessed experience.
  • The Kashaaya Theertham that is distributed to the devotees in the evening is made of ginger, pepper, cardamom, lavang and Jaggery. It is a ritual that is practiced since the time of Sri Adi Shankaracharya who introduced this Theertham as a medicinal drink.

Kollur Mookambika Temple Timings

  • Kollur Mookambika Temple opens daily at 5 am and closes at 9 pm. The devotees are allowed for general darshan from 5 AM to 7:15 AM, 7:45 AM to 11:30 AM, 12 PM to 12:20 PM, 12:45 PM to 1:30 PM, 3 PM to 6:30 PM, and evening 5 PM to 9 PM.
  • The evening 5 PM to 9 PM darshan is allowed only on normal days. The devotees are not allowed for darshan during this time on days like festivals or special festivities.
  • Special darshan facilities are available on the northern side of the temple by paying Rupees hundred only.
  • Disabled citizens, as well as senior citizens, can have direct darshan of the deities. They do not have to wait in the long queues.
  • As a Prasadam, free lunch and dinner are provided to the visiting devotees at 12 PM and 8 PM respectively.
  • Parking facilities and Footwear stand are available for devotees.
  • Bathing Ghats are available for devotees on the banks of the River Sowparnika and the Kashi Theertha.

Dress code

The Kollur Mookambika Temple administration requests the male devotees to remove their shirts and vests before entering the Temple premises. Clothes such as Coats, Hats, Turbans, Bermuda and Shorts, and Lungi are not allowed inside the temple. The Women are requested to dress decently. Women who have delivered a newborn should not enter the Temple for the first eleven days after the birth. Pregnant women are not allowed inside the temple after 7 months.

Festivals celebrated at Kollur Mookambika Temple

  • Navarathri – The festival is celebrated in a grand way during the month of October for ten days. The festival period is considered as the most auspicious time to worship Goddess Parvati and her other forms. On the tenth day, known as the Vijayadasami, devotees conduct the practice of Aksharabhyasam. It is a ritual in which young kids and their parents participate and perform the act of writing on a plate of rice as an initiation to their educational career. Several Poojas dedicated to the Goddess are performed throughout the ten days like Ranga Pooja, Suvasini Pooja, Lalitha Vruta, Kalpoktha Pooja and the Ghata Sthapana. On the ninth day, the Maha Chandika Yagna and a Pushparathotsavam are performed.
  • Annual Ratha Festival – The annual Ratha Yatra festival is celebrated for ten days in the month of March – April. During these ten days, the Goddess Sri Mookambika is taken around the town in different Vahanas or vehicles and worshiped with reverence.
    • On the first day, the flag is raised, known as the Dhvajarohana. This is an invitation o all the Gods and Goddesses to come and attend the festivities of the Kollur Mookambika Temple.
    • On the second day of the festival, the Goddess is taken around the village in a Peacock chariot and the Ashtavadana Seva is performed to her in the Saraswati Mandapam.
    • The Katte Utsava and the Ashtavadhana Seva are performed in the evening to the Goddess in the Saraswati Mandapam on the third day.
    • On the fourth day, the Katte Pooja is performed at the Sri GopalaKrishna Temple. Sri Mookambika is then taken to the Saraswati mandapam in a different chariot named Pushparatham.
    • The Goddess is transported to the Saraswati Mandapam in the Rishaba Vahana on the fifth day.
    • On the sixth day, the Goddess is taken around the town to the Saraswati Mandapam in the Gaja Vahana.
    • The idol of the Goddess Sri Mookambika Devi is taken to the Saraswati Mandapam on the seventh day after the Pradosha Pooja and the Rangapooja has been performed. Then the Goddess is taken to the west side of the Mandapam in the Simma Vahana.
    • The eighth day is marked by the celebration of the Maha Rathotsava, in which the Goddess is taken around the taken in the Brahma Ratham and various Poojas are performed to her in the evening.
    • The Churnotsava (smearing of the Goddess with flowers and gold paste), Okuli (devotees and priests smear themselves with colored water), and the Teppotsava (Goddess is taken around in a float on the Sowparnika River) occurs on the ninth day.
    • The tenth day is marked by the lowering of the flag, Poorna Kumbhabhishekam, and the Prasadam distribution.
  • Mahashivaratri – 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.
  • Ugadi – On the festive day, special preparations made with Neem will be offered to the Goddess throughout the day. In the evening, between 5:30 PM to 6 PM, the Goddess will be kept at the Saraswati Mandapam. The Mangala Aarti is performed. The “Panchanga Shravana” is held after that. This ritual involves predicting important events of the year like Rain, political affairs of the country, agriculture and national occurrences.
  • The Ashtabhandha Brahmakalashotsava – This auspicious celebration happens once in 12 years. The Linga is given a ritualistic bath with 1008 Kalasas of holy water.

Kollur Mookambika Temple – Poojas and Rituals

The below daily Poojas are performed every day at Kollur Mookambika Temple.

  • The Danthadavan Bali Pooja and the Udayakaala Pooja are performed at 7:30 AM.
  • The morning Mangala Aarti takes place at 8 AM. The devotees are given a special Prasadam named Gudu Shanti.
  • The Pradoshana Pooja is performed at 6 PM. Afterward; a special theertham called the Kashaaya Theertham is distributed to the devotees.

At the Kollur Mookambika Temple, around 64 Sevas and Poojas can be performed dedicated to the Goddess. Listed below are some of the main Sevas that one can perform:

  • Sahasranama Kumkumarchana – The Pooja includes doing Archana to the Goddess with Kumkum along with the recital of the 1000 names of the Goddess in a devoted manner.
  • Ashtottara Kumkumarchana – The Pooja includes doing Archana to the Goddess with Kumkum along with the recital of the 108 names in a devoted manner.
  • Panchamrita and Phala Panchamrita – The Lingam of Adishakti is bathed with Panchamrit which includes Milk, Sugar, Curd, Honey and Ghee. The Phala Panchamrit includes an addition of fruit in the ritual, usually a Banana.
  • Ksheerabhisheam – The Lingam of Adishakti is bathed with Cow Milk amongst the recital of several mantras and shlokas.
  • Ekadasha Rudrabhisheam – This Pooja is an elaborate form of the Rudrabhishekam. In the Pooja, all the eleven Rudras of Lord Shiva are worshiped by reciting shlokas like Laghu – nyasam and the Rudra Trishati. The Rudram is recited eleven times as per instructions in the Shiv Puraanam.
  • Mookambika Alankara Pooja – The Goddess Mokkambika is adorned with all her jewels and worshiped reverently at Kollur Mookambika Temple.
  • The Maha Pooja – In this ritual, all the major Poojas of the day will be performed in the name of the devotee. The Poojas that will be performed are Alankara Pooja, Paramanna Naivedyam, Yedenaivedyam, Harivana Naivedyam, Shata Rudrabhishekam, Panchamrutha Abhishekam, Pushpa Rathotsava and Lalki Utsava.
  • Chandika Homam – The Chandika Homam requires the presence of 7 priests. They chant the 700 verses and hymns from the Devi Mahatmayam. Offerings of the Payasam (sweet pudding or Kheer) is made to Agni during the chantings. The special Homam has to be booked years in advance. The devotee has to arrive a day before the Homam. The Homam begins at 8 AM in the morning and ends at 11:30 AM.
  • Naamkaranam – The naming ceremony of the infants can also be performed with the blessings of the Goddess at Kollur Mookambika Temple.
  • Vidyarambam Pooja – The children along with the parents can perform this Pooja dedicating it to Goddess Saraswati to initiate the educational career of their offspring. The Pooja is performed between 6:45 AM to 1 PM daily for children above the age of 3.
  • Udayastamana Pooja – This is a unique type of Pooja performed for one full day, starting from dawn till dusk. There is a total of 18 Poojas done for the devotees throughout the day.
  • Anna Santharpane – The devotee can provide Annadanam for the pilgrims for one whole day on obtaining a receipt.

Besides these Poojas, one can also perform other Poojas like Parivara Pooja, Pushpanjali, Mahatrimudhara, Ganahoma, Nithya Naivedya, Nanda Deepa, Punyaha Prayaschita, Thulabhara and Vahana Pooja.

How to reach Kollur Mookambika Temple – Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air – The nearest airport is the Bajpe International Airport, Mangalore situated at a distance of 140 km from the Kollur Mookambika Temple. Trains and buses are available from Mangalore to Kollur. The Temple is located just 500 mts from the Bus Stand.
  • By Train – The Kundapura and the Byndoor railway stations are situated at a distance of 32 km and 28 km respectively from the Temple. Trains connecting BYndoor and Kundapura from Mangalore, Mumbai, Thane, Udupi, Bengaluru and Gokarna are available. State Bus Transport and private taxis are available from the stations to the Kollur Mookambika Temple.
  • By Road – Regular Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses are available from major cities and towns in Karnataka like Bengaluru, Mangalore, Udupi, Mysore, Murudeshwar, Gokarna, Shimoga, and Sringeri.

Kollur Mookambika Hotels – Where to stay

The Kollur Mookambika Temple administration has constructed a few Guest Houses which provide a wide range of rooms that can be booked as per the devotee’s needs. Non – Deluxe rooms, deluxe rooms, Air-Conditioned rooms and dormitories are all available for rent at a nominal rate. The Guest houses are The Lalithamba Guest House, The Sowparnika Guest House, Matha Chatra Guest House and the Jagadambika Guest House.

Apart from the Guest houses run by the Kollur Mookambika Temple Administration, several private hotels and lodges are also available for accommodation. Some of the popular options are the Bhagirathi Tourist Home, Kairala Residency, and the Mookambika Palace.

Kollur Mookambika Temple – Where to eat

The Kollur Mookambika Temple administration provides free meals in the Temple premises at 12 PM and at 8 PM to all pilgrims. Besides that, a number of small vegetarian restaurants are available outside the Temple Complex. The cuisine is mostly South Indian.

Nearby Temples

  • Maranakatte Sri Brahma Lingeshwara Temple – The revered Temple is located at a distance of 25 km from Kollur. It is believed that Goddess Mookambika performed a Marana Homam here after killing the demon Mookasura. The temple is dedicated to Lord Brahmalingeshwara along with Malyali Yakshi and Vata Yakshi. A Sri Chakra has been installed in front of the sanctum by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself.
  • Kumbhashi Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Annegude – The Temple is one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka located 45 km away from Kollur. The legendary temple is dedicated to Lord Ganapathi. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Ganesha blessed Bheema (one of the Pandavas) with a sword with which he killed Kumbhasura, a demon.
  • Byndoor Seneshvara Temple – The Temple is situated 28 km away from Kollur. The history of the Seneshvara Temple can be traced back to many centuries as per evidence. However, it is believed that the temple has existed since the Treta Yuga. It is believed that the Linga was installed by Lord Rama. He had initially wanted to build the bridge to Lanka from here but was advised against it by the Sage Bindumaharishi.
  • Bagvadi Mahisamardini Temple – The temple dedicated to Goddess Mahishasura Mardini, an avatar of Durga is situated 30 km away from Kollur. It is believed that Goddess Mahakali killed the buffalo faced demon by the name of Mahishasura at this place. The Temple is around 1000 years old and was constructed by Dugappa Nayaka.
  • Saukuru Durgaparameshwari – The Temple is located at Gullwadi in the Udupi district at a distance of 31 km from Kollur. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, Devotees come here to pray for good marital life, freedom from financial problems, removal of fear psychosis and for good health.
  • The Kodachadri Mountain Range – The mountain range is located at a distance of 25 km from the Kollur Mookambika Temple. This hill is considered extremely sacred as it is believed that this hill was a part of the Sanjeevini hill carried by Lord Hanuman to heal Lakshman. The hill is believed to possess 64 varieties of rare herbal plants and 64 sacred springs. It is here that the famous Sage Kola Maharishi performed penance and Goddess Mookambika created a waterfall for the use of the Sage.
Kukke Subramanya Temple

Kukke Subramanya Temple

Kukke Subramanya Temple – The Abode of Lord Subramanya

Kukke Subramanya Temple Video

Amongst the enchanting surroundings of nature, in the town of Subrahmanya in Sullia Taluk of the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka lies the small but one of the most sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya. The Kukke Subramanya Temple is located on a land mass that is sandwiched between two water bodies – River Kumaradhara and the Darpana Theertha. The Kukke Subramanya Temple is one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka.

The Kukke Subramanya Temple main entrance faces west. The pilgrims have to enter and descend a few steps and go around the sanctum to reach its entrance in the east. The Garuda pillar can be seen between the sanctum and the portico entrance. The main idol shows Lord Subrahmanya standing above the Serpents Vasuki and Shesha.

A cluster of Lingas called as the “Kukke Lingas” can be seen in the northern corner of the Kukke Subramanya Temple. The history and the origin of the prefix “Kukke” before the Lingas and Lord Subrahmanya is conflicted. According to some, that the word Kukke meaning Basket in Kannada was added because in ancient times, these Lingas were worshiped together in a basket. Some other explanations put forward are Kukke derives from the old Sanskrit word “Kukshi” which means Cave. It is believd that Vasuki, the serpent installed these Lingas initially in a cave.

Shrines dedicated to Lord Bhairava, Lakshmi Narasimha, Lord Ganapathi and Umamaheshwara are built around the Kukke Subramanya Temple Complex.

Kukke Subramanya Temple History

  • The Kukke Subramanya Temple is vividly described in the chapter named Sahyadrikhanda in Skanda Puranam. As per the Puranas, the Subrahmanya Kshetra is situated on the banks of the River Dhara. The place Subrahmanya was known as Kukke Pattanna in ancient times.
  • In the scriptures of “Shankara Vijaya”, Anandagiri mentions that Sri Adi Shankaracharya visited the place and has referred the place as “Bhaje Kukke Lingam” in his work “Subrahmanya Bhujangaprayata Stotram”.
  • The legend of the origins of the Kukke Subramanya Temple is explained in detail in the Skanda Puranam. The snake king Vasuki was hiding in the cave called Biladvara (located near the Temple) to escape from Garuda who was hunting for snakes to satisfy his hunger. Vasuki was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Garuda spotted Vasuki and started attacking it viciously. The great Sage Kashyapa Muni intervened and instructed Garuda to go to the Ramanaka islands (present day Fiji) to hunt for snakes. He requested Vasuki to pray to Lord Shiva for protection. After his penance, Lord Shiva appeared to Vasuki and informed him that in the next Kalpa, his son Karthikeya (Subrahmanya)will come and reside there to bless and protect them.
  • Eventually in the next Kalpa, after killing the demon Tarakasura, Lord Subrahmanya along with his brother Lord Ganesha arrived in Kumara Parvatha. Lord Indra received them with good wishes. He offered Lord Subrahmanya a marriage proposal with his daughter Devasena. The Lord agreed and the divine marriage was conducted on the Kumara Parvatha mountain. The marriage happened on the day of “Margashira Shuddha Shasthi” and was attended by Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and many others. During the coronation ceremony, water from the holy river was collected and brought down to Earth in the form of the stream Kumaradhara.
  • Vasuki, the serpent was also present at the ceremony. Lord Subrahmanya gave him his darshan and promised to stay with them for their protection.
  • There is another little known version of the story present behind the origin of the Kukke Subramanya Temple. It is believed that once an argument happened between Katru and Vinatha, wives of Sage Kashyapa. It was decided that the loser of the srgument will become the slave of the winner. Katru lost the argument and along with her snake children, became a servant of Vinatha. Garuda, Vinatha’s son harassed the snake children and wanted to harm Vasuki. Vasui was an ardent Shiva bhakt and requested his help. Lord Shiva then asked Lord Subrahmanya to protect the snakes from Garuda. Lord Subrahmanya arrived at the place and gave refuge to the snakes from Garuda. On the insistence of the snakes, he took abode here among the snakes.
  • As per another legend, after killing the demon Tarakasura in the battle, Lord Subrahmanya washed his sword in the adjoining water stream named Dhara. Henceforth, the stream was named as the Kumaradhara.

Significance of Kukke Subramanya Temple

  • The region of Subrahmanya is among the seven Mukti Sthalas in Karnataka. The other six are Udupi, Kollur, Kumbhashi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayanan, and Gokarna. These places are together known as the Parashurama Kshetras. It is believed that these Temples were built on land which was claimed by Parashurama from the sea.
  • It is mentioned in ancient scriptures like the Subrahmanya Mahatmaya, that Lord Subrahmanya installed Shiva Lingas in three locations around the Kukke Subramanya Temple. He was followed by several Gods and Goddesses who installed small Lingas as a mark of respect to Lord Shiva. As time went by, people collected all these Lingas and kept them inside the Kukke Subramanya Temple for worshiping.
  • The Kukke Subramanya Temple and its surroundings have played vital roles in various Yugas of the Hindu calendar. It is believed that in the Satya Yuga (first of the four Yugas), Lord Subrahmanya was anointed as the Senapati of the demigods on the banks of the stream Dhara. In the Treta Yuga, Lord Parashurama visited the Temple and the stream to absolve himself od the sins of eliminating the Kshatriya race twenty one times. In the Dvapara Yuga, Samba, son of Lord Krishna came here and bathed in the water of the Dhara to relieve himself from Leprosy.
  • The Kukke Subramanya Temple is also extremely significant to the followers of Lord Vishnu.
  • The Kashikatte Ganapathi idol situated just 250 meters away from the Temple is believed to be ancient and installed by the Sage Narada himself.
  • It is believed that the Pandavas arrived at the Kukke Subramanya Temple and paid their respects to the Lord.
  • Thousands of pilgrims visit the Kukke Subramanya Temple to perform the Ashlesha Bali Pooja and the Sarpa Dosha Pooja from all over the country. Lord Subrahmanya is considered as the protector from the Kaalsarpa dosha and the Sarpa Dosha.
  • On the south-eastern side of the Kukke Subramanya Temple Complex, a shrine dedicated to Samputa Narasingha is located. It is believed that the shrine was established by Sri Madhavacharya. It is believed that when Sri Madhavacharya visited Badrinath, he met Ved Vyas (one of the seven immortals believed to be still roaming the Earth). Ved Vyas gave him eight Saligrama Shilas (they are fossilized stones, each representing Lord Vishnu). Six of the Shilas are worshiped in the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple. Apart from these Shilas, he was also given a Narasimha Saligrama which is believed to be so powerful that, if uncovered will destroy the three worlds. Sri Madhavacharya put this Narasimha Saligrama along with 22 Laxminarayana Shilas and five of the Saligrama Shilas inside a box (Samputa) and established it inside the shrine. The Box or the Samputa is worshiped till date.
  • It is believed that people whose lives have been affected by the Sarpa Dosha should offer Sarpa Samskara Pooja at Kukke Subramanya Temple as it will relieve one from long suffering ailments, infertility and blindness.
  • It is believed that by taking a dip in the Kumaradhara Theertha, one can obtain the cure for severe skin diseases like Leprosy.

Kukke Subramanya Temple Timings

  • Kukke Subramanya Temple opens at 7 am and closes at 8 pm. Afternoon break timings are from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
  • The morning Pooja or the UShakala Pooja along with the Go-pooja (worshiping Cow) is performed between 5:30 AM to 6 AM.
  • The afternoon Poojas begin at 10 AM and continues till 12:15 PM.
  • The Theertha Prasada are distributed between 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM and from 7:45 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Anna Santharpane (Annadanam) takes place twice a day, once between 11:30 AM to 2 PM and then between 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
  • The Hannukai Seva and the Nisha Pooja takes place between 3:30 PM to 6 PM and 6 PM to 7:45 PM respectively.
  • The devotees can offer Sevas at Kukke Subramanya Temple between 7 AM to 10 AM.

Dress Code

The Kukke Subramanya Temple administration requests the male devotees to remove their shirts and vests before entering the Temple premises. Clothes such as Coats, Hats, Turbans, Bermuda and Shorts, and Lungi are not allowed inside the Temple. The Women are requested to dress decently.

Festivals celebrated at Kukke Subramanya Temple

  • Champashashti Mahothsavam – The Kukke Subramanya Temple Ratha Yatra is celebrated in a grand manner during the month of Karthika Margashira. The idol of Lord Subrahmanya is decorated and taken out in a procession around the streets of Subrahmanya in several Vahanas exclusively decorated for the Lord. The Lord is taken around in different Vahanas like Sheshavahana, Ashwa Vahana, Mayura Vahana, and finally the Brahma Ratha on the Maharathotsavam day. The Laksha Deepotsavam is also celebrated in the Temple, where a lakh Deepams are lit and worshiped. The Moola Mrithike Prasadam is also distributed to the devotees on these days.
  • Makara Sankranama – The festival is celebrated in almost all parts of the country under different names. The festival signifies the beginning of the harvest season. People pray for a bountiful harvest on the day. In the Kukke Subramanya Temple, the Kukke Lingas are taken out of the sanctum and are taken around the town in a procession.
  • Mesha Sankranama – The festival falls on the day when the Sun enters the zodiac Mesha (Aries). It represents the spring equinox. The festival is celebrated in the month of April. Several Poojas and bhajans are performed for the God on the day.
  • Mahashivaratri – 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.
  • Naag Panchami – The festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the full moon in the month of Shravan (June). The day is dedicated to worshiping of the Nagas or serpents that are considered as the lowest Loka of the Seven Lokas or realms of the universe. They are worshiped for their blessings are sought for the well-being of the family.

Kukke Subramanya Temple Pooja Booking and Pooja List

  • Ashlesha Bali

    The special Pooja can be performed at the Kukke Subramanya Temple in two slots – one at 7:00 AM and the other at 9:15 AM. It is believed that the months of Shravan (June-July), Karthikai(November) and the Margashira are the most auspicious months to perform the Pooja.

  • Sarpa Samskara for Kalasarpa Dosha

    The Sarpa Samskara Pooja is performed by the people who have Sarpa Dosha in their fortune. The Sarpadosha is a curse affecting a person who has knowingly or unknowingly harmed a Sarpa (snake or a serpent) in this birth or in the previous births. It is believed that by performing Poojas like the Sarpadosha and the Ashlesha Bali, one can relieve himself from the ill-effects of this curse. In the Temple, the seva requires the devotee to stay for 2 days. In one Seva, a maximum number of 4 persons can attend the Pooja. The Seva can be performed on all days except Dasami, fasting days like the Ekadasis, Grahan, Shivaratri and during the Temple festival.

  • Other Poojas

  • Nagaprathishtha – This Pooja is performed for relieving one from the curse of the Sarpa Dosha. The Pooja takes place in the Nagaprathishtha Mandapam in the outer quadrangle of the Kukke Subramanya Temple. The Pooja can be performed on all days except on Ekadashi and fasting days.
  • Mahapooja – All the Poojas and rituals of the day are performed for the God on behalf of the devotee’s name.
  • Panchamritha Abhishekam – The idol of the God is bathed with the five Amrits (Panch Amrit) which are Milk, Ghee, Honey, Curd, and Sugar.
  • Karthik Pooja – A special Pooja complete with the recital of hymns from the Karthik Purana and Lamp offerings is performed for the God on behalf of the devotee.
  • Sahasra Namarchana – The Archana is performed for the God by reciting his thousand names and praising him on behalf of the devotee.
  • Satyanarayana 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.

Besides these Sevas, one can also perform the Thulabhara Seva, Ear piercing, Choula (Hair removal for children), Nandadeepa for one month, Panchakkajaya, Naamkarana, and Vehicle Pooja.

How to reach Kukke Subramanya Temple: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air – The nearest airport is the Bajpe International Airport at Mangalore at a distance of 120 km. Trains and buses are available from Mangalore that arrive at the Subrahmanya Road station and the bus stand respectively.
  • By Train – The nearest railway station is the Subrahmanya Road station at a distance of 12 km from the Kukke Subramanya Temple. Regular trains are available from Bengaluru, Mangalore, and Mysore and other nearby towns to the Subrahmanya town.
  • By Road – The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates buses from all major cities and towns in Karnataka to Subrahmanya. Regular buses are available from Bengaluru, Mangalore, Mysore, Dharmasthala and many other small towns.

Hotels in Kukke Subramanya: Where to stay

The Kukke Subramanya Temple administration has constructed several Guest Houses and Choultries that can be booked by the devotees for a stay. The Guest houses are Akshara, Ashlesha, Karthikeya Kripa, Kumara Kripa, Skanda Kripa, a choultry and a Temple Cottage.

Besides these, several privately owned Lodges and Hotels operate out of the Subrahmanya town. They offer basic facilities and are very clean.

Where to eat

The Kukke Subramanya Temple provides Annadanam free of cost every afternoon and evening to all the devotees. Apart from that, several small hotels are available to the pilgrims. They mainly serve vegetarian South Indian cuisine. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited around the Temple premises.

Nearby Temples

  • Sowthadka Shri Mahaganapathi Temple – The unique temple dedicated to Lord Ganapathi is located 3 km away from the town of Kokkada in the Dakshina Kannada district. The temple lies 35 km from the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple. In Kannada, “Southe” means Cucumber and “Adka” means a vast plain. The idol of Lord Ganapathi is placed in open without a Garbhagriha and is open for 24 hours.
  • Somnatheshwara Temple – The Temple is situated about 2.5 km from the Temple, on the banks of the river Kumaradhara. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Linga of Lord Shiva is said to be at least 1000 years ago. The Temple, unfortunately, was not well maintained and abandoned until recently. The Subrahmanya Matha has taken over the administration recently and restarted the worship there.
  • Sri Manjunatha Temple – The famous Temple of Dharmasthala located along the banks of River Nethravathi is situated 55 km away from the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple. The main deity of the Temple is Lord Manjunatha, another form of Lord Shiva. The unique feature of the Temple is that along with Lord Shiva and Parvati, the Gods of Jainism Chandraprabha, and others are also worshiped.
  • Kollur Mookambika Temple – The famous and revered Sri Mookambikai Temple is located in Kollur which is 150 km from Horanadu. The presiding deity is Goddess Mookambikai also known as Devi and in front of her idol, is a Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. The unique feature of the Linga is that it is divided into two unequal parts – The Smaller right part represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and the larger Left part represents Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
  • Sringeri Sharada Peetham – The holy town of Sringeri is located at a distance of about 93 km from Horanadu. The Temple was the first of the four Ammaya Peetham established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. Sri Sharadamba believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati is the presiding deity of the Temple.