Karkala is a town and the headquarters of Karkala taluk in the Udupi district of Karnataka, India. Located about 380 km from Bangalore, it lies near the Western Ghats. The town was called Pandya Nagari during the period of Jain rule, and later became known as Karikallu, then Karkal and finally to Karkala. Karkala has a number of natural and historical landmarks.
Fairs and Festivals
Every twelve years, hundreds of thousands of Jain devotees congregate to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a ceremony where the Gommateshwara statue is bathed and anointed with milk, water, and saffron paste and sprinkled with sandalwood powder, turmeric, and vermilion. The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in February 2002, and the next will be in 2014. An annual Rathotsava is held in February.
Karkala is a piligrimage location for Jains and it attracts tourists. There are several Hindu temples, Jain Basadis, Mosques, Churches and lakes in Karkala.