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Kollur Mookambika Temple

Kollur-mookambika-temple

       The Goddess Mookambika is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakthi. 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.

        Kollur is regarded as one of the Seven Muktislala pilgrimage sites in Karnataka which are (kollur), Udupi, Subrahmanya, Kumbasi, Koteshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna. Kollur is known for its association with Aadi Sankara. Mookambika is said to have appeared before Aadi Sankara here, and he is said to have installed her image at this shrine. There is a room near the sanctum – enshrining the Sankara Simhasanam which is regarded as the very spot where he meditated and had a vision of Mookambika. Mookambika is regarded as a manifestation of Shakti, Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi.

        The Kodachadri hill houses sites such as Ambavanam and Chitramoolam where Adi Sankara isbelieved to have meditated. The temple has been patronised by ancient Hindu Kings and several parts in it are still believed to contain valuable treasures. This was the state temple for the Nagara or Bednore Rajas and many jewels now adorning the idol are said to have been presented by them and by their overlords of Vijayanagar. During the Mahratta raids in this district in the 18th century these freebooters are believed to have carried away gold, silver and gems worth crores of rupees.

Mythology: Long ago when a demon called Kaumasura obtained a boon from Lord Shiva was reigning pompously, Kodachadri became the hiding place for all the gods and divine beings who became helpless against his harassment. While the Saptarishis were engaged in prayers and poojas to bring about the end of demon kaumasura, Guru Shukracharya enlightens him about his impending death at the hands of a woman. Learning this, Kaumasura performs an austere penance t please Lord Shiva. When Lord pleased with his prayers, appears before him and asks him to name the boon that he wishes, 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 verbalise his wishes and then onwards he is called Mookasura. Soon after, on the request of Kola Rishi, the goddess creates a mystical power by bringing together the individual powers of all the gods who had assembled. This Divine Power wages war on Mookasura and brings about his destruction, thereby granting him salvation. The place where devi killed Mookasura is known as “Marana Katte”. Since that day, the Goddess has resided at this holy place Kollur by the name Mookambika, fulfilling the wishes of all her devotees. Here resides Sreedevi in the Padmasana posture, of a serene countenance, and with three eyes, bearing always a shankha, a chakra and with a pleasant appearance as the embodiment of mantra to bless the devotees.

SanctumThe 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 3 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.

SwayambhulingaSwayambhulinga 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.

Deepa Sthambha: 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.

Pooja practices: 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.

Saraswathi: 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

Sowparnika: 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.

Kollur Sri Mookambika Temple
Kollur, Udupi District – 5762200 Karnataka, India
Phone: +91 8254 258488, 258328, 258521, 258221