Mookambika Temple (Kollur) The Mookambika Devi Temple of Kollur , dedicated to Mookambika Devi, is one of the most prominent shrines for people in the state of Karnataka and Kerala . Located at a distance of 147 km from Mangalore in the picturesque surroundings presented by the banks of the river Sauparnika and the lush green Kodachadri hill, the temple attracts millions of pilgrims every year. The temple holds immense relevance for the devotees as it is associated with revered Hindu saint and Vedic scholar Adi Shankara . It is believed that Adi Shankara perceived the idea of having a Mookambika Devi temple at Kollur and himself installed the idol of deity in the temple some 1200 years ago. People have high faith in Mookambika Devi Temple as Goddess Mookambika is regarded as a manifestation of Shakti, Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi. In fact Temple of Mookambika Devi is one of the 'Seven Muktistala' pilgrimage sites in Karnataka which are Kollur, Udupi, Subrahmanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna.
The Mookambika Devi Temple stands on a spur of the Kodachadri peak. The deity is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakti . The Panchaloha image (five element mixed metal) of the Goddess on Shree Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi Shankaracharya during his visit to this place. There is an exquisite sculpture of Panchamukha Ganesha here.
Kollur is regarded as one of the Seven Muktistala pilgrimage sites, of Parashurama Kshetra, in Karnataka which are (Kollur), Udupi, Subrahmanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna.
According to the legends, Kola Maharshi who was doing penance here, was disturbed by a demon who was also engaged in doing penance to please Lord Shiva, to get a boon from Him. To prevent the demon from fulfilling his evil desire, Adi Shakti made him dumb (mooka) and when the Lord appeared before him, he could not ask for anything. Thereupon he got enraged and soon began troubling Kola Maharshi who prayed to Adi Shakti for deliverance. Adi Shakti who vanquished demon Mookasura, was extolled by the gods as Mookambika. At Kola Maharshi's prayer, the Divine Mother accompanied by all the Gods; stayed there to be perpetually worshipped by the devotees.
It is believed that Sri Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and he installed the deity here.The story goes like this. Adi Shankara mediated at Kudajadri hills and Devi was incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to incorporate devi to a place in Kerala to worship where he wanted.Devi agreed and put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back until he reaches his destination.But to test Shankara devi deliberately stopped the voice of her ornamets when they reached Kollur, and Shankara turned back because of doubt.Devi then asked Shankara to install her vigraha as he sees her. Kollur was also a part of ancient Kerala which stretched from Gokarna to Kanyakumari.
Significance of Swayambhulinga
Swayambhulinga manifested itself when Parameshwara drew the Srichakra with his toe and Kola Maharshi performed a long lasting penance in its vicinity, as a result of which power of meditation spread far and wide on the earth. Udhbhava linga is the tangible form of Sri Chakra Bindu that is said to have the proximity of all gods. It has a very high significance since Shri Mookambika Devi has merged with this Linga and fulfills the desires of devotees. A golden line has formed in the swayambhu Linga and it is wider on the left side as also taller. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi, Parvathi and Saraswathi have all merged in the left side and the Lord Parameshwara, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma resides in the right side of the Linga. Besides the golden line, it is also said there is an image (carving) of Shiva injured by Arjuna's blow during the clash of Kiratharjuna, on the right side of the Linga. Towards the left, we may find the image (carving) of Gopada (foot of the Holy cow) at the Shakthi Peeta.
Adi Shankara (Vedic scholar and saint) has perceived and realized Goddess Mookambika as residing thus. Adi Shankaracharya appeared here leading Shri Saraswathi with a view to finding a place for enshrining her. He stopped at this temple, fixed Shrichakram and on it installed the idol of Mookambika which is the central idol behind the lingam. On the either side of this are idols of Kali or Parvathi and Saraswathi. The place where sage stayed and did penance and the gate by which he left are at the back of the Mulasthana and to north respectively. Votaries to the temple are allowed the privilege of sitting at the place and passing under that gate for a fee. The temple has been patronized by ancient Hindu Kings and several parts in it are still believed to contain valuable treasure. This was the state temple for the Nagara or Bednore Rajas and many of the jewels now adorning the idol are said to have been presented by them and by their overlords of Vijayanagara.
Sanctum of Shri Mookambika
The installation of the idol at Mookambika temple has a history as ancient as about 1200 years. As suggested by Rani Chennammaji, the feudal lord by name Halugallu Veera Sangayya has covered the inside of the temple with stone. When we look at the temple structure, we find the sanctorum, then entrance hall and then the Lakshmi Mantapa. There are four pillars at Lakshmi Mantapa and on upper portion of each of these pillars, we find beautifully carved images of various gods. Prominently, they have sculpted the images of Ganesha, Subrahmanya, Naga, Mahishasura Mardini and the goddess in different postures as delineated in Devi Mahatma. Earlier, this made up the total temple structure and the outer prakara was not present. So Veera Sangayya also took up the prakara, as per the principles of temple architecture. We may also find beautiful images of Ganapathi atop the doors situated at the entrance to Garbhagriha, Lakshmi Mantapa and the Mukhya Dwara (main entrance). It is normal practice in any temple to depict the main deity over the entrance, and the fact that all three doors carry the carvings of Ganesha is considered to be of special significance.
There are many inscriptions at Kodachadri that relate the tale of time. The Prakaras, which underwent renovation from time to time, hold a mirror to the changing mores in architecture during bygone cultures. Specifically the Vaasthu of Garbhagriha structure is very ancient and extraordinary.
The Garbhagriha is single yoni flag size (Eka yoni pramana dwaja aya). Pre entrance has a three flag proportion and is about 3½ feet wide and 12 feet long. Lakshmi Mantapa measures 134'. 11". Then comes the prakara. Beyond that, is Navaranga Mantapa. Outside the temple is a large and beautiful Deepa Sthambha ( a pillar to hold lamps). This has 21 concentric circles in which the lamps can be lighted, and when viewed from Kodachadri, one would feel as though we were looking at the Divine Makara Jyothi at Lord Manikanta's Shabarimale. This beautiful Deepa Sthambha rests on a Koorma Peeta (seat with tortoise head); on this tortoise is a huge elephant upon which Lord Ganapathi is astride, looking westward and facing Goddess Mookambika Devi. During Navarathri, and during the Rathotsava on Phalghuni Masa Krishna Paksha Ashtami day (the day after Holi), the age-old practice of starting the pooja by praying to Lord Ganesha present on the pillar is kept up even today. In the inner corridor, just beyond the Garbhagriha, as we move around the shrine in a pradakshina , we will find totally four different idols of Ganapathi being worshipped, beginning with the Dashabhuja Ganapathi.
Of these, the Balamuri Ganapathi idol that is made of white marble is beautiful and high of significance. Then we have the image of serpent which has formed on the stone in the south-west corner. It is believed that, as we move in pradakshina, if we touch this serpent and offer our prayers, it results in several benefits, like warding of Sarpadosha, averting all doshas, and most importantly, acquiring good fortune.
Then we see the Shankara Peeta, where Adi Shankara Bhagavathpada meditated, and by virtue of his ascetic powers, visualized the form of Devi in all totality and realized the Devi herself. As we move in a pradakshina at the outer enclosure, we first find Subrahmanya swamy, then Saraswathi and then Pranalingeshwara, Partheshwara, the deity of Mukhya Prana (with a bell on the tail) installed by Vadiraja, Vishnu Brindavana, a beautiful idol of Gopalakrishna within the Brindaana (Considered as upa-pradhana Devatha), the platform for Tulasi and then the temple of Veerabhadraswamy who is the presiding deity. Entrance to this shrine being made of wood, we may see an excellent image, of Nrutya Ganapathi, right at the centre of the arch. It is said that the deity of Mukhya Prana has been situated right opposite the Veerabhadraswamy shrine with a view to balance its frightful appearance.
Here pooja practices are based on two disciplines- one as per vathula, which is one of the 28 vedas of Shaivagama, and which includes the rituals of Bali (sacrifice); secondly, as per Vijaya yagama Shastra. The five different poojas performed at the temple everyday are during Dantadavana (brushing the teeth), morning, afternoon, evening (pradhosha) and night. Pradosha Pooja is also called as "Salam Mangalarathi". It is said that Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Srirangapatna, once arrived here during pradosha pooja, witnessed the Mangalarathi, and became so impressed with the Devi, that he offered a Salaam in Muslim tradition to the Goddess, hence the name came into use. Complementary to this account is the practice observed every year, when the Muslim brethren visit the temple on a specific day for the darshana of the Goddess. This special feature has been in vogue for many years now. Of the various festivals and other celebrations held at the temple, "Sharannavarathri" which is held usually during October, and "Brahma Rathotsava" held usually in the month of March are both very prominently observed. There are several instances of childless couples, the dumb, the blind and many such other people making a vow to the Goddess and realizing their desires.
Ornamental jewels of Sri Devi Mookambika
There is vast collection of jewels at the temple received as gifts of acknowledgement from the community of devotees who have realized their dreams and desires with the blessings of the Goddess. Of the various jewels of the Devi, the one in emerald is very valuable. Emerald represents knowledge. This temple has two processional deities of gold. One is offered by Rani Chennamma as a substitute for the missing of original one. But subsequently the missing one found and thus there are two processional idols. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Sri. M.G.R. gifted a gold sword, which weighs one kg. And are 2½ feet long. The former Chief Minister of Karnataka - Sri Gundu Rao, has gifted a similar type sword made of silver. The facial mask of Goddess Mookambika is completely of gold and gifted by Vijaya Nagara Empire. The gold face mask of Jyothirlinga gifted by Chennammaji of Keladi is another unique ornament.
The two rivers Agnithirtha & Sowparnika which flow in the sanctuary of mookambika descend from Kodachadri hills. The wee spring of cool water situated in between the temples of Kalabhairava and Umamaheshwara is the source of river Sowparnika. Legend says that Suparna (Garuda) did a penance on the banks of this river praying to the Goddess for the abatement of his mother Vinutha's sorrows. When the Goddess appeared before him, he prayed that the river be henceforth known after him, Suparna, and therefore came to be called as Sowparnika. At the location where he is said to have sat in penance, there is a small cave even today which is known as "Garuda's Cave".
This holy river takes birth at the Kodachadri and flows up to the edge of Anthargami (now oluru) region where two more streams called Bhrungisha and Pippalada join it. Then it flows westward, surrounding Kollur in the name of "Sampara", and proceeds to join the sea near the temple of "Maharajaswamy" (Varahaswamy) at Maravanthe. It is believed that river absorbs the elements of 64 different medicinal plants and roots as it flows, therefore it cures all the diseases of those who bathe in it. Hence a bath in this river assumes significance and is considered sacred.
Places of interest
- Arishna Gundi Water falls
- Scenic waterfall inside the deep jungle only approachable by trekking and due to the special effect of sunrays falling on the water droplets around the waterfall looks orange/yellow the name is Arishna (Turmeric/yellow).
- Kodachadri Mountain on Western Ghats
- Adi Sri Shakthi Mookambika Temple is on the top of mountain believed to be the real abode of Devi from where Adi Shankara re-established it at foothills at Kollur.
- Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is world Wildlife Fund Aided. This sanctuary is home for endangered species animal called Lion tailed monkey.
- Spread along the Kundapur-Kollur- Shimoga road, this sanctuary is generally off the tourist map.
- before going to Kollur, you will get a railway from that u take a left turn (if you are coming from Kundapura city via Hemmady route to Kollur) and travel for about an about 10 minutes and you will get a very beautiful river covered by coconut tree on its both banks. It is an excellent location and should see it on standing on bridge.
- In between Hemmady and Kundapura you will get a haladi hole. The place is called herikudru the view of the sunset is very beautiful and excellent.
||405 km (via Shimoga) from Bangalore . Mangalore - 130km, Baindur - 30km.
|By Road: -
Kollur is around 36 km from Kundapur, the taluk head quarters. From Kundapur , one can take three different routes to reach Kollur.
Kollur is a 2 hour drive from Udupi , so a visit to Udupi can include Kollur. The drive is a very scenic one.
- One route is via Tallur- Hattiangadi -Karkunje-Vandse.
- Second route via Hemmadi-Vandse and third one is via Byndoor .
- However, the shortest route is through Hemmady. On the National Highway 17 , after around 7 km from Kundapur, at Hemmady one has to take right deviation to reach Kollur.
|By Rail: -
||The nearest railway station is Kundapura (40 km) where a few long-distance trains halt. You can get taxis from the station. The station has a waiting room for the passengers. Railway Station Phone no: +91-8254-237365.
|By Air: -
||The nearest Airport is Mangalore International Airport ( Bajpe )flights are operated by Air India Express. There are pre-paid taxi to kollur from Airport and it is a 3 hours drive or approximately 150 kilometre.
||Sri Mookambika Temple is in Kollur. Kollur is around 36 km from Kundapur, the taluk head quarters.
One route is via Tallur- Hattiangadi -Karkunje-Vandse. Second route via Hemmadi-Vandse and third one is via Byndoor . However, the shortest route is through Hemmady. On the National Highway 17 , after around 7 km from Kundapur, at Hemmady one has to take right deviation to reach Kollur.
|When to go:-
||Dont go during monsoons. October to February would be ideal.
||KSTDC(bookings and info) Badami House, NR Square, Bangalore Tel: 080-2275869, Fax: 2352626 Email: email@example.com
|Where to stay :-
||Sri Mookambika Temple Kollur - 5762200
Udupi District Karnataka State India
Phone:(08254) 258488, 258489, 258521, 258221
Bhagirathi Tourist Home Gopalkrishna Temple Road, Kollur Post, Kundapur Taluk, Udupi - 576 220 Tel: 0820-2758290,2758235 Tariff: Rs. 300/-
SEETHA DELUXE LODGE Shimoga road, KOLLUR- 576 220 Udupi District ph: 08254-258239
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M.M.BHAT RESIDENCY Boarding & Lodging
opposite Sri Mookambika Temple, Kollur-576 220
A/C,Non A/C,Deluxe Rooms,clock Room and Dormitory facilities available
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HOTEL AKSHAYA Vegetarian near Sri Mookambika temple,kollur-576 220 sathyanarayana Bhat,swarga
ph: 08254 258244