The legendary temple of Sri Mookambika is in Kollur in the Udupi district of Karnataka. Goddess Mookambika is an avatar of Goddess Parvati who 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 in a unique form of a Swayambhulinga. Devotees also believe that Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself installed the idol of the Goddess. Also, according to beliefs, 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 also visit the Kollur Mookambika Temple frequently to receive the blessings of the Goddess. The Kollur Mookambika Temple is “The Temple of knowledge and wisdom”. Moreover, Goddess Mookambika is the Shakti Devatha.
The architecture of the Kollur Mookambika Temple is unique and belongs to the Keladi kingdom period. The Kollur Mookambika Temple also 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 has a covering of gold. Besides the main shrine, several other shrines for Lord Subramanya, Dashabhuja Ganapathi, Anjaneya, Chandramouleeshwara, and Gopalakrishna are also there. Behind the Swayambhu Linga of Goddess Mookambika, an idol of the Goddess is there. The idol of Goddess Mookambika has three eyes and four arms. She also holds a Sri Chakra in one hand and a conch in the other.
The idol of Goddess Mookambika consists of the material called the Panchaloha element. The Panchaloha is traditionally an alloy of five metals. The composition of the alloy was a secret for several centuries and is often finds mention in the Shilpa Shastras. Devotees also believe that worshiping idols made of the Panchaloha material imparts balance, self-confidence, health, fortune and peace of mind.
The Kashaaya Theertham is made of ginger, pepper, cardamom, lavang and Jaggery. It is a ritual that is in practice since the time of Sri Adi Shankaracharya who introduced this Theertham as a medicinal drink.
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 are the Parashurama Kshetras. People also believe that these Temples are on the land of Parashurama from the sea.
What is the history of Kollur Mookambika Temple?
Documented evidence in the history of Kollur Mookambika Temple dates back to 1200 years. People also believe that the Great Parashurama himself built the first Kollur Moombika temple. People worship the Linga since the times of the Sage Kola Maharishi and Sri Adi Shankaracharya installed the idol of the Goddess.
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.
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.
Story 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, a demon by the name of Kaumasura was also 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 then requested the help of the Goddess in annihilating the demon.
So, She appeared in an integrated form imbibing the powers of the Trimurti as well as of the other Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati. Then She killed Mookasura and hence became famous as Goddess Mookambika. And 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. According to beliefs, Goddess Mookambika himself prepared a medicine for him with a combination of herbs 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. People also believe 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. Hence, the River became famous as the name of the Garuda (Sowparnika). This river contains rich extracts of herbals as it passes through the Kodachadri hills.
What is the significance of Kollur Mookambika Temple?
The significance of Kollur Mookambika Temple is that Goddess Mookambika is the 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 are present as one.
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 takes place for the idol. The Abhishekams take place for the Linga only.
People believe 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 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 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 the places where Sri Adi Shankaracharya meditated.
Offering sincere prayers and offerings to the Goddess relieves one of the ailments, financial problems, business hurdles, marital issues, and the problem of infertility.
What are the timings of Kollur Mookambika Temple?
Here are the timings of Kollur Mookambika Temple:
|Morning Darshan||5 AM||1:30 PM|
|Evening Darshan||3 PM||9 PM|
|General Darshan Timings: 1||5 AM||7:15 AM|
|2||7:45 AM||11:30 AM|
|3||12 PM||12:20 PM|
|4||12:45 PM||1:30 PM|
|5||3 PM||6:30 PM|
|6||5 PM||9 PM|
What is the dress code of Kollur Mookambika Temple?
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.
What are the festivals celebrated at Kollur Mookambika?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Kollur Mookambika Temple are:
The festival occurs during the month of October for ten days. The festival period is 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 for the Goddess take place 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 also take place.
Annual Ratha Festival
The annual Ratha Yatra festival lasts for ten days in the month of March – April. During these ten days, the devotees take Goddess Sri Mookambika around the town in different Vahanas or vehicles and worshiped with reverence.
On the first day, they raise the flag, known as the Dhvajarohana.
On the second day, they take the Goddess around the village in a Peacock chariot and perform the Ashtavadana Seva for her in the Saraswati Mandapam.
The Katte Utsava and the Ashtavadhana Seva take place in the evening for the Goddess in the Saraswati Mandapam on the third day.
On the fourth day, the Katte Pooja takes place at the Sri GopalaKrishna Temple. They then take Sri Mookambikat to the Saraswati mandapam in a different chariot named Pushparatham.
They then transport the Goddess to the Saraswati Mandapam in the Rishaba Vahana on the fifth day.
On the sixth day, they take the Goddess around the town to the Saraswati Mandapam in the Gaja Vahana.
Then they take the idol of the Goddess Sri Mookambika Devi to the Saraswati Mandapam on the seventh day after the Pradosha Pooja and the Rangapooja take place. Then they take the Goddess to the west side of the Mandapam in the Simma Vahana.
The eighth day includes the celebration of the Maha Rathotsava, in which devotees take the Goddess in the Brahma Ratham and perform various Poojas for 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 (taking the Goddess around in a float on the Sowparnika River) occurs on the ninth day.
On the tenth day the lowering of the flag, Poorna Kumbhabhishekam, and the Prasadam distribution also take place.
The festival occurs in February or March. It 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. Devotees keep fast and sing bhajans throughout the night and into the day. They also perform Special Poojas for the Linga.
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.
What are the sevas that take place at Kollur Mookambika Temple?
The below daily Poojas take place every day at Kollur Mookambika Temple:
|Danthadavan Bali Pooja||7:30 AM|
|Udayakaala Pooja||7:30 AM|
|Mangala Aarti||8 AM|
|Pradoshana Pooja||6 PM|
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:
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.
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.
The Lingam of Adishakti is bathed with Cow Milk amongst the recital of several mantras and shlokas.
This Pooja is an elaborate form of the Rudrabhishekam. In the Pooja, the priests worship all the eleven Rudras of Lord Shiva by reciting shlokas like Laghu – nyasam and the Rudra Trishati. They also recite the Rudram 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 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 devotee must arrive a day before the Homam. The Homam begins at 8 AM in the morning and ends at 11:30 AM.
The naming ceremony of the infants can also take place with the blessings of the Goddess at Kollur Mookambika Temple.
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 takes place between 6:45 AM to 1 PM daily for children above the age of 3.
This is a unique type of Pooja takes place for one full day, starting from dawn till dusk. There is a total of 18 Poojas for the devotees throughout the day.
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?
Here’s how to reach Kollur Mookambika Temple:
- Air –The nearest airport is the Bajpe International Airport, Mangalore at a distance of 140 km.
- Train -The Kundapura and the Byndoor railway stations are at a distance of 32 km and 28 km respectively.
- Road – Moreover, KSRTC buses run from major cities in Karnataka.
Where to stay near Kollur Mookambika Temple?
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 also 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.
Where to eat near Kollur Mookambika Temple?
The Kollur Mookambika Temple administration provides free meals in the Temple premises at 12 PM and at 8 PM to all pilgrims who wish to eat. Besides that, a number of small vegetarian restaurants are available outside the Temple Complex. The cuisine is mostly South Indian.
What are some of the temples near Kollur Mookambika Temple?
Some of the temples near Kollur Mookambika Temple are:
Maranakatte Sri Brahma Lingeshwara Temple
The famous Temple is at a distance of 25 km from Kollur. People believe that Goddess Mookambika performed a Marana Homam here after killing the demon Mookasura. Also, the temple is or Lord Brahmalingeshwara along with Malyali Yakshi and Vata Yakshi. A Sri Chakra is there in front of the sanctum. Moreover, Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself installed it.
Kumbhashi Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Annegude
The Temple is also one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka 45 km away from Kollur. The legendary temple is for Lord Ganapathi. Some also believe 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 28 km away from Kollur. The history of the Seneshvara Temple runs back to many centuries as per evidence. However, devotees believe that the temple exists since the Treta Yuga. They also believe that Lord Rama installed the Linga. He had initially wanted to build the bridge to Lanka from here but Sage Bindumaharishi advised him against it.
Bagvadi Mahisamardini Temple
The temple is for Goddess Mahishasura Mardini, and is 30 km away from Kollur. According to beliefs, Goddess Mahakali killed the buffalo faced demon by the name of Mahishasura at this place. The Temple is around 1000 years old. Also, Dugappa Nayaka constructed it.
The Temple is at Gullwadi in the Udupi district at a distance of 31 km from Kollur. The temple is for Goddess Durga. Devotees also 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 at a distance of 25 km from the Kollur Mookambika Temple. This hill is extremely pious as devotees believe that this hill was a part of the Sanjeevini hill. They also believe that the hill possesses 64 varieties of rare herbal plants and 64 sacred springs. Moreover, it is here that the famous Sage Kola Maharishi performed penance and Goddess Mookambika created a waterfall for the use of the Sage.