Besides inviting beaches, coastal Karnataka is also popular for its range of ancient temples. While some tourists add temple visit to their itinerary along with other places/attractions, many visit Udupi/Mangalore districts exclusively for its temples. Some are small while others are big and empowering. Some are in the city, while others are far away amidst the Western Ghats. All these temples have long standing history and the power of these gods and goddesses are feared and respected by the devotees. In this article, let us familiarise ourselves with some of the prominent temples in the region. On your next visit to Karnataka, do not forget to seek divine blessing from these places.
Note: In some of these temple, male visitors are expected to enter topless (remove their shirts and baniyans), as a symbol of being humble in front of god.
1.Kollur Mookambika Temple
Mookambika Devi Temple in Kollur is about 130 km from Mangaluru and 440 km from state capital Bengaluru.
2.Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple
At a distance of just about 20 km from Mangaluru is the popular Durgaparameshwari Temple in Kateel.
3.Udupi Sri Krishna Temple
Udupi is considered as the final resting place of Lord Krishna. Sri Krishna Temple and matha was set up in the 13th century by Madhvacharya.
4.Sringeri Sharada Temple
Goddess Saraswati resides in Sringeri, a temple town some 100 km away from Mangaluru and 330 km from Bengaluru.
5.Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy Temple
Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy Temple, located on the banks of Netravati River, is popular for a range of activities such as dispute resolution offered by Dharmadhikari Sri Virendra Hedge, honesty tests, social service events like mass Marriage functions and so on. Temple gets over 10000 visitors a day on an average and all are served free food by the temple authorities. The name Dharmasthala resembles religious harmony. A Jain Theerthankara is also worshipped besides Lord Manjunatha. People from different communities are involves in temple management. Temple doesn’t differentiate between deities on the basis of cast, creed, religion or any other parameters. Similar to Tirupati, you will find many devotees dedicating all their hair to lord here in Dharmasthala. Dr Virendra Heggade is passionate about cars and has a collection of 20-30 vintage cars. During your visit to Dharmasthala, do not miss to explore vintage car collection of Virendra Heggade. No photography is allowed inside, but you can buy a booklet containing photos of the cars. Temple management also runs a range of academic institutes where students are offered quality education at affordable price. Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy Temple is at a distance of about 75 km from Mangaluru down and 320 km from Bengaluru. It is well connected by public transportation.
6.Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple
Sri Kshethra Horanadu is located on the banks of River Badra, about 100 km away from Chikmagalur, closer to border with Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. Annapoorneshwari means ‘Goddess who would feed all’.
7.Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple
Gokarna has an interesting history. Ravana, the king of Lanka performed Tapas (Penance) on top of Kailasa Hill.
The gigantic idol of Lord Shiva at Murudeshwara is visible from a distance. This is the second tallest Shiva statue in the world (tallest one being in Nepal).
9.Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple
Located on the banks of Sharavati River, Sigandur temple draws devotees from all over the state.
10.Guddattu Mahaganapathi Temple
This small but 800 years old Guddattu Vinayaka temple is about 10 km off NH-66 (formerly NH-17) and about 90 km away from Mangalore town.