October 24, 2012

Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple, Mangalore

Site Name: Manjunatheshwara Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Around 4 kms from the bus stand - Mangalore, Karnataka state, India
Highlights: 11th century temple; an important Shiva temple in Karnataka state
Nearest Railway Station: Mangalore
Nearest Airport: Mangalore
How to reach: Well connected by road 
Hotel: A lot of options across the city
Restaurants: All sorts of restaurants are present in the city

After Bangalore and Mysore, Mangalore is the main city of Karnataka state of India. Manjunatheshwara temple, located in the scenic Kadri hill, is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Although the temple can be dated back to the 11th century AD, the current structure built in Vijayanagara architectural style should have been built in the 15th or 16th century AD. 

As per the legend, Parasurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu donated all the land that he won from the kings in the battle to the saints. He made rigorous penance towards Lord Shiva seeking a new land for his shelter. Lord appeared and advised him to meditate at the site where Kadri hill is located today. The area was occupied by sea; Parasurama claimed the land from sea and constructed the temple of Manjunath with the help of Vishwakarma.

The main idol of this huge temple is Manjunatheshwara in the form of a Shiv Linga with a human face. The east facing temple has a beautiful tower; the entrance to the main shrine is facing the north direction. There are two corridors (prakara) surrounding the main shrine. 

The outer corridor is huge and has no ceiling. There are many important shrines located in this corridor. A big shrine for Ganesha, a shrine for Durga (copper idol), shrine of Ayyappa and also a rare shrine of Shaneeswara with his mound crow are all located in this corridor. The temple tank is found near the holy tree. Few steps from this place takes you to a small Shiva shrine where a lot of small copper idols are also found. A beautiful Ganesha shrine along with the naturally flowing Kasi Bhageerath teerth nearby are a major attraction for devotees.

The inner corridor of the temple also houses a lot of interesting idols and shrines. The either side of the main shrine has the bas relief images of Ganesha and Krishna dancing on Kalinga. One of the best bronze statues of the entire India is located in this temple. It is the idol of Trilokeshwara - three faced Shiva, dated back to 968 AD. The big idols of Gorakshnatha and Chowranginatha are also found in the same corridor. Two beautiful bronze idols - Vyas and Vishnu are unique attractions of the temple. Apart from these, the small shrines of Surya, Navagraha and Satyanarayana are also located.

A not to be missed place in Karnataka.

Happy travelling.

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