Archive for the ‘Karnataka Temples’ Category

Today I would like to talk about Sri Chennakeshava Temple in Somanathapura, Karnataka. The temple is one among the thousands of temples built by Hoysala Kings and depicts another exemplary work of Hoysala Architecture. The temple was consecrated on the banks of River Kaveri by the Dhandanakya of Hoysala dynasty called Somanatha in 1258 CE. (town named after its general Somanatha) Somanatha was an officer under the Hoyasala King Narasimha III (1254-1291 A.D.)
The temple is built on a star shaped platform within a closed courtyard with three symmetrical sanctums (garbha grihas), one each for Keshava, Janardhana and Venugopala. Currently only Janardhana and Venugopala statues can be seen and Keshava’s statue is missing. The temple also has a multiple pillar community hall (sabha-mantapa). The temple pillars, ceiling, inner and exterior walls are all carved with legends and spiritual stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavata. Janardhana-somnathpura-temple
The basement band of the outer wall of main temple is ornamented with carved artwork of marching elephants, horses with armed riders, nature scrolls along with epic scene from Ramayana and Purana.

Above these bands sculptures of all the Vishnu avatar and other god and goddesses like Ganesha, Shiva, Saraswati, Lakshmi can be found. Temple mahadvara is to the east and as you enter the shrine (Navaranga) you can see beautiful lathe turned pillars and the roof consisting of 16 squares, each of it is elegantly carved in different designs.

Somnatupura-temple-mysore-hoysalaImage source

The temple was damaged multiple times by many Muslim invaders and was repaired by the Kings of the Vijayanagar empire and in the 20th century by the Mysore government.

Artwork in Somanathapura temple resembles to the famous and beautiful Hoysala Architectural temples in Belur and Halebidu (which I’ll try to cover in my next post)

Somanathapura is around 130 kilometers form Bangalore and 35 kilometers from Mysore. KSRTC and Private buses run frequent service from Mysore.


durga parameshwari devi

Kateel town in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka is famous for Goddess Durga Parameshwari temple located on the bank of river Nandini. Goddess Sri Durga parameshwari Devi emerged in the form of ‘Linga’ in the center of river Nandini. To know about the history of the temple visit our Temple of South India Blog

kateel temple

Kateel is about 360 kilometers from Bangalore and about 26 km from Mangalore. Nearest airport is the airport at Bajpe, just 16 kms from Mangalore city and you can also reach the place by train through the Konkan Railways. Kateel is well connected to other places by road by NH 48 and NH 17.

Kateel Temple Address:

Kateel Post, Mangalore,
Dakshina Kannada District.
Pin Code-574 148, Karnataka State, INDIA
Phone: +91 824 2200361 / 2200591
Fax : +91 824 2200561

Kurudumale Ganesha Temple, Mulbagal

Posted: February 18, 2013 by kkhatwar in Karnataka Temples
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Kurudumale Ganesha
Kurudumale near Mulbagal is famous for lord Ganesha and Someshwara Temples. These temples are believed to be have been built by legendary sculptors Jakanachari and his son Dankanachari. To know more about these temples and to view the photos of the temples visit our blog.

Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple, Horanadu

Posted: February 14, 2013 by kkhatwar in Karnataka Temples
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annapoorneshwari temple horanadu
Adhishakthyathmaka Shri Annapoorneshwari Ammanavara Temple popularly known as  Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple is in Sri Kshetra Horanadu, chikamaglur dist., Karnataka. The temple is situated on the banks of river Bhadra, surrounded by the natural vegetation, forest, green lands, and natural beauty of the western Ghats.

Annapoorna Devi is also known as goddess of food. For traveling and more information about the temple visit our blog.

Kukke Temple

Kukke Subrahmanya Temple is located in the village of Subramanya in the Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada District, Karnataka.  The temple is built on the bank of river Dhara.

As per legends, Taraka a powerful demon threatened to conquer the world. Fearing to his powers all the gods went to Lord Shiva for help. Lord Shiva created Kumaraswamy/Karttikeya to combat the demon. Kumaraswamy had battle with demon Taraka, Shoorpadmasura & his followers and killed them all. After the battle, Lord Kumaraswamy came to the top of Kumaraparvatha along with his brothers Lord Ganesha, Veerabahu. It is believed as, he washed his Shakthi Ayudha (battle-axe) in the Dhara River and hence the river is known as Kumaradhara from then onwards. When lord came to Kumaraparvatha, he was received by Lord Indra along with other Gods. Pleased by the success of the war, Indra requested the Lord to marry his daughter Devasena. Lord agreed to Indra’s request and got married to Devasen on the banks of Kumaradhara on Shashti of Margasira Masa (Margasira Masa is the ninth month in a traditional Hindu calendar).

Vasuki the serpent king was performing penance for many years in the Biladwara caves of Kukke Subramanya to avoid attack from Garuda. Vasuki prayed Lord Shanmuka to give a boon of permanently staying with him in this place and the lord blessed Vasuki with the boon. From that time it a believed that the Lord has made his spiritual presence in this shrine along with Vasuki. Hence Vasuki (king of serpents) is worshiped here along Lord Subramanya

Every year a famous car festival is being held here along with special pooja to the lord on Shashti of Margasira Masa also known as ‘Champa Shashti’.


The main deity in the temple is placed in 3 dais, in the upper dais there is the idol of Shree Lord Subrahmanya and then the idol of Vasuki and in the lower dais is the idol of Shesha. The main entrance to the temple lies to the east. The devotees will have to enter courtyard from behind and go before the idol. The sanctuary of Sri Subrahmanya Swamy lies opposite to the main entrance facing Kumara parvatha.

Two important Poojas performed in the temple are Ashlesha Bali Pooja & Sarpa Samskara. Ashlesha Bali Puja is one of the important Kaalasarpa dosha puja performed in the temple it is performed on Aslesha nakshatra every month. Another important pooja is Sarpa Samskara it is performed to get rid of the sarpa dosha (serpent curse) according to belief, a person, either in this birth or in any of his previous births, could be afflicted by the serpent either knowingly or unknowingly. Persons who are afflicted are advised to perform this pooja for their own wellbeing.


Other sacred places in Subramanya are Adi Subrahmanya, Kukke Linga, Samputa NarasimhaDevaru, Kala Bairava Devaru, Umamaheshwara devaru, Hosoligamma, Sri Subrahmanya Mutt, Sringeri Mutt, Kashikatte Ganapathi and Darpana Theertha.

Subramanya is about 325 kilometers from Bangalore (via National Highway NH-48). There is frequent bus facility and direct train facility from Bangalore. Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport which is around 100 kilometers and Dharmasthala is around 50 kilometers away.

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Mookambika Temple

Kollur town is in the Kodachadri Peak of Western Ghats. Kollur is famous for Sri Mookambika Temple, where goddess Parvathi is worshiped as Sri Mookambika. As per the legend, there was a demon by name Kaumasura who obtained a boon from Lord Shiva and reigned over all the gods and divine beings. The terrified and helpless gods came to Kodachadri as a hiding place to take shelter from his harassment. Meanwhile, Shukracharya Guru of demons with his divine powers envisioned that his follower Kaumasura would be impending death in the hands of a woman. He advised Kaumasura to perform another penance to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva pleased with his penance appears before him and asks him to name the boon that he wishes. Lord Vagdevi, the Goddess of speech senses that this could lead to a greater devastation and makes him speechless. The dumb Kaumasura then becomes unable to verbalize his wish making his penance a waste and from that day onwards Kaumasura is called Mookasura.

This didn’t stop him from continuing his harassment over gods and divine beings. To put an end to his terror Kola Rishi requested the goddess to create a mystical power by bringing together the individual powers of all the gods. This Divine Power waged war on Mookasura and killed him, the place where Devi killed Mookasura is known as “Marana Katte” and the Goddess is known as Mookambika.

Mookambika Temple is situated on the banks of river Saupaarnika, the river is named after (Garuda/Eagle) called Suparna attaining salvation by performing penance on the banks of the river. The Goddess Mookambika is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakthi. Adi Shankaracharya meditated in this place and Mookambika is said to have appeared before him. In the very place where goddess appeared before him, he consecrated a Panchaloha idol of the Goddess (the current idol we can see in the temple).

Kollur is regarded as one of the seven pilgrimage places in Karnataka created by Parashurama. Among all other places that were created by Parashurama only Moolambika temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi however rest all other places are dedicated to lord Shiva or his children’s Ganesh and Subramanya.

One of the other attractions of this temple is a large and beautiful Deepa Sthambha (a pillar to hold lamps) with 21 concentric just before the entrance of the sanctum. This beautiful Deepa Sthambha rests on a Koorma Peeta (seat with tortoise) and on this tortoise is a huge elephant upon which Lord Ganapathi idol can be seen which is facing Goddess Mookambika Devi. The lamps are lighted on special occasions like Navarathri and during the Rathotsava.

Navarathri/Dasara is considered as one of the most important festival of Mookambika Temple. Thousands of devotees visit the place during this period of 10 days. Durgashtami falls on eighth day when Maha Chandika Yaga is organized in the temple and on the ninth day, known as Mahanavami Pushparathothsava is conducted and on the last day which is known as Dasara/Vijaya Dashami lot of devotees come here with their children’s to get goddess blessing and for beginning their child’s education as it is considered as the most auspicious day for beginning education (Vidya Arambham).

Kollur is about 406 kms from Bangalore (via National Highway NH-69) and Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport which is around 135 kms. Distance between Udupi and Kollur is around 73 kms. There is frequent bus facility and accommodation facility in Kundapur which is around 40 kms away.

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Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka

Anegudde Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka Temple is situated in Kumbasi, Udupi District, Kundapura Taluk. Anegudde means Ane = elephant Gudde = hill, it is called as elephant hill. It is one of the seven pilgrimage places of created by ‘Parashurama’.

As per the legend, Gautam maharishi resided in this place and performed various religious rituals. But a demon named Kumbasura started interrupting and destroying the religious rituals. Tired of Kumbasura’s interruption Gautam Maharishi went to Dharmaraja head of Pandava’s to protect from the demon. Dharmaraja ordered to his younger brother Bheemasena to kill the demon. Even after a big war Bheemasena was not able to kill the demon. When Bheemasena was worried and stared thinking of ways to kill the demon, he heard a divine voice saying “Demon can be only killed by a sword from lord Vigneshwara”. Bheema prayed lord Ganesh and lord appeared before him in the form of elephant and gave him the sword. Kumbasura was killed with this sword by Bheem. Since the demon Kumbasur was killed here, this place was later was called as “Kumbasi”. Kumbasi was called as ‘Hari Hara Kshetra’ in Krita Yuga, ‘Madhu Kannana’ in Treta Yuga and ‘Gowtham Kshetra’ in Dwapara Yuga.

The place where lord Vigneshwara appeared before Bheemasena and gave the sword is known as Anegudde and lord Ganesh arose in that place in the form of elephant. Here, only the trunk portion of the lord Vinayaka is visible and worshiped with puja and abhishek, however the remaining portion of the body is bounded behind the wall and can’t be seen.

Temple is open from morning 6am to evening 9pm. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated grandly in Anegudde Mahaganapathi temple. Some of the sevas offered in this temple are Ganahoma, Ranga puja and Mudganapathi.

Kumbhasi is located at about 400 kms from Bengaluru, the nearest airport is in Mangalore which is located at a distance of 96 km and nearest railway station and major city is Kundapur which is located at around 9 Kms away from the temple. If you are travelling by road it is located on the NH 17 on the way to Kundapur from Mangalore and about 30 Kms from Udupi. Temple has 2 guesthouse for pilgrims ‘Amoda’ and ‘Pramoda’ and there are good accommodation facilities in Kundapur.

Other places to visit in Kumbashi are “Shree Harihara temple”, ” Shree Surynarayana temple” and “Shree Aiyappa swamy temple”. All the three temples are located in the vicinity of “Anegudde temple”.

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Krishna Vajrakavacha Alankara

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There are two ancient temples in Udupi, Chandrmouleshwara and Anatheshwara temples. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Linga and occupied the silver pedestal and a temple was built and worshiped here as Anantheshwara. Chandra worshiped lord Shiva on the banks of holy pond ‘Chandra Pushkarini’ to redeem him from the curse. Lord Shiva was pleased by his worship and appeared before Chandra and released the curse. Hence Shiva is called as Chandramouleeshwara and a temple was built to mark this event in this place popularly known as Chandramouleshwara Temple.In ancient times, Udupi was known as Sivalli or Siva-belli or Rajathapeetha Pura. This place was caleed Rajathapeetha Puta because Ramabhoja, a great devotee of Lord Parashurama was proclaimed the king of Parashurama Kshetra. Intending to perform a maha yajna a snake got killed while ploughing the yajna site. Lord Parashurama directed King Rama Boja to make a Silver Pedestal (Rajatha Peetha) with images of snake carved on it in order to redeem himself from Sarpa Dosha (sin of killing a snake). Rajathapeetha Pura was later named after Chandra, the Moon God performing the penance propitiating Lord Shiva to redeem him from a curse by Daksha Prajaapati. In Sanskrit, Udu means `star’ and Pa means `leader’. Chandra being the head of the stars, the place came to be known as `Udupi’.

Sri Krishna statue was installed in the Mutt by Sri Madhvacharya during the 13th Century in front of Chandramouleshwara Temple. The usual practice in Udupi is to visit Chandrmouleswara and Anantheshwara temples and then visit Sri Krishna temple.

Sri Madvacharya got the Sri Krishna statue from a Captain of the ship, whose ship was saved from a terrible storm by using his divine spiritual powers. The story goes as follows; As per legend Rukmini herself was worshipping this idol at Dwaraka. Arjuna deposited this idol in the spot called ‘Rukmini Vana’. The idol which lay buried inside the mud of Gopichandan, was mistaken for a lump of Gopichandan and loaded as ballast into a ship carrying merchandise from Dwaraka along the Western Coast. When the ship was approaching the Malpe Port, it got caught in terrible storm and was about to sink. When the meditating Sri Madhvacharya sensed this by his divine spiritual powers and got his ship safely to the shore by waving his saffron robe and slowing down the storm. The pleased captain of the ship offered all the wealth in the ship in return as a favor. Sri Madhvacharya asked for the gopichandanam peice containing the statue of Sri Krishna. He took the statue to Udupi and immersed gopichandana into Chandra Pushkarini or Madhwa Sarovar and the beautiful idol of Sri Krishna emerged which he installed it in the main shrine of the mutt.

Sri Madhwacharya started worshipping Lord Krishna in the Mutt and started the “Paryaya” system of worshiping Sri Krishna by Swamiji’s of Ashta Mutts (eight mutts). The right of touching and worshipping the idol rests with the pontiffs of eight mutts, who are the spiritual descendants of Sri Madhwacharya. The Swamijis of the eight Mutts conduct the worship at Sri Krishna Mutt by turns, for two years each. This tenure of worship by rotation is known as “Paryaya”. The Swamiji in charge of worship at any point of time is called ‘paryaya Swamiji’ and his mutt called the ‘Paryaya Mutt’. The eight Paryaya mutts are Sode Mutt, Pejvar Mutt, Puttige Mutt, Admar Mutt, Kaniyoor Mutt, Palimaru Mutt, Shiroor Mutt and Krishnapura Mutt. The current Paryaya Swamiji is “Sri Vishvavallabha Tirtha Swamiji” of Sri Sodhe Mutt.

Kirshna darshan is done through the Navagraha Kindi, legend behind the kindi is during the 16th century Kanakadasa and a disciple of Sri Krishna came to Udupi to worship Lord Krishna. But he was not allowed inside the Mutt since he was from a lower caste and also was tied to a pillar behind the mutt as he was treated guilty of a theft. Sri Krishna, who was pleased by the worship of Kanakadasa gave him darshan by creating a small hole in the back wall of the mutt and turned to face the hole so that Kanakadasa could see him. This hole is popularly known as Kanakana Kindi.

Udupi is 407 kms from Bangalore (via National Highway NH-48) and Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport which is around 60 kms from Udupi.

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Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, Shree Vadiraja Swami of Udupi named the place “Dharmasthala” as he was pleased by the ceremonial of the vedic rites and Heggade’s charity to all. During the 16th Century, Shree Vadiraja Swamiji was invited by Devaraja Heggade to visit this place. Swamiji accepted the invitation and visited the place. During his visit Swamiji he refused to accept ‘Bhiksha’ because the idol of lord Manjunatha had not been consecrated according to Vedic rites. Shree Devaraja Heggade requested the Swamiji to re-consecrate the Shivalinga. Swamiji agreed to Heggade’s request and consecrated the shivalinga.

Heggade’s (followers of Jain religion) guardian the Shree Manjunatha Temple in Dharmasthala. In Dharmasthala, Heggades dispenses justice without any legal formality or argument acting in the tradition of his ancestral role as the Heggade and representing the presiding deity. Shri Veerendra Heggade is the present Dharma Adhikari of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala the hereditary administrator of Dharmasthala Shree Manjunatha temple. Please visit the following link for more information about the temple

Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Manjunatheshwara along with Shri Ammanavaru, Lord Ganapathi, Lord Annappa and Four Dharma Daivas: Kalarahu, Kalarkaayi, Kanyakumari and Kumaraswamy. Throughout the year ‘Annadaana’ is offered to thousands of pilgrims who visit the kshetra every day. Some of the major festivals of Dharmasthala are ‘Lakshadeepotsava’, ‘Shivarathri’, and ‘Mahamasthakaabhisheka’.

Other shrines that can be visited in Dharmasthala are:

  1. The statue of Shri Bahubali at Ratnagiri Hill
  2. Maha Ganpathy Temple at Annapoorna Choultry
  3. Annappa Swami Temple in Badinade Hill
  4. The Neliyadi Beedu: The original abode of the Heggades and the Dharma Daivas.
  5. Shrine of Shri Chandranatha Swami at Sri Chandranatha Basadi
  6. Ram Mandir (on the banks of river Nethravathi)

Shree Kshetra is also famous for Vintage car museum, Manjusha vastu sangrahalaya (museum), Pushpa vatika and Vasantha Mahal – Cultural Hall

Dharmasthala is 325 km from Bangalore (via National Highway NH-48) and the nearest airport is Mangalore Airport situated around 75 km away.

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Gokarnanath Temple

Mangalore is named after Hindu deity Mangaladevi, the presiding deity of the Mangaladevi temple. Mangalore is home of some very famous temples and Kudroli Gokarnath Temple is one of them. Foundation stone for construction of Kudroli Gokarnath Temple was laid in 1908 and was completed by 1912. The Temple was later renovated under the leadership of Sri B. Janardhana Poojary in 1989 and was completed within two years in 1991. The main deity in Sri Gokarnanatheshwara temple is Lord Shiva, The main temple is surrounded by the smaller temples for Shri Hanuman in the front followed by Shri Kirshna, Mahaganapathi, Subramanya, Shaneeshwara, the Navagraha and Annapoorneswari.

Maha Shivaratri, Navrathri festivals are celebrated in a spectacular and grand way. Mangalore Dasara is celebrated in a unique way by worshipping the Idol of Sri Ganesh along with nava durgas (Sri Adhi Shakthi Maatha, Sri Sharada Maatha, Navadurgas such as Sri Shaila Puthri Maatha, Sri Brahmachaarini Maatha, Sri Chandrakaantha Maatha, Sri Kushmaandini Maatha, Sri Skanda Maatha, Sri Kathyaahini Maatha, Sri Maha Kaali Maatha, Sri Maha Gowri Maatha and Sri Siddhi Dhaathri Maatha). All these Idols are worshipped for 9 days of navarathri and on the 10th day that is on Dashara all these Idols are taken in a grand procession throughout the Mangalore city.

Here is a glimpse of the grand celebration of Navarathri and some of the snaps of the beautiful architectural beauty

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