The Mookambika Devi Temple of Kollur, dedicated to Mookambika Devi, is one of the most prominent shrines for people in the state of Karnataka and Kerala, India. Located at a distance of 147 km from Mangalore in the picturesque surroundings presented by the banks of the river Sauparnika and the lush green Kodachadri hill, the temple attracts millions of pilgrims every year. The temple holds immense relevance for the devotees as it is associated with revered Hindu saint and Vedic scholar Adi Shankara. It is believed that Adi Shankara perceived the idea of having a Mookambika Devi temple at Kollur and himself installed the idol of deity in the temple some 1200 years ago.
People have high faith in Mookambika Devi Temple as Goddess Mookambika is regarded as a manifestation of Shakti, Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi. In fact the Temple of Mookambika Devi is one of the 'Seven Muktisthala' pilgrimage sites in Karnataka which are Kollur, Udupi, Subrahmanya, Kumbashi, Koteshwara, Shankaranarayana and Gokarna. During the Navratri celebrations in October, the temple is crowded with devotees. Janmashtami or Krishna jayanthi is also a popular festival here. It is believed that the Swayambu Linga appeared on this day.
The Swayambhulingam at Sri Mookambika temple is said to have come into existence when Parameshwara drew the chakra with his toe. This chakra is believed to be the Udhbava linga which has drawn its strength due its proximity to all divine beings. It is also very sacred since Kollur Devi is supposed to be merged with this Suyambulinga and that has made her acquire great power. Here she is said to have formed part of Lingam along with Lakshmi and Saraswathi on one side and Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Parameshwara on the other side. Apart from this there is also an carved image of Shiva said to be injured by during the clash with Arjuna known as Kiratharjuna and this is on the right side of this Suyambulinga.
The deity 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. It is believed that the original place of the goddess is on top of Kodachadri Peak (3880') and as it was very difficult for ordinary people to trek all the way to Kodachadri, Shankaracharya reestablished the temple at Kollur.
Ornamental Jewels Of Sri Devi Mookambika:
There is a vast collection of jewels at the temple received as gifts of acknowledgement from the community of devotees who have realized their dreams and desires with the blessings of the Goddess. Of the various jewels of the Devi, the one in emerald is very valuable. Emerald represents knowledge. The temple has two processional deities. One is offered by Rani Chennamma as a substitute for the missing original one. But subsequently the missing one was found and thus there are two processional idols.
Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.G.R. gifted a gold sword, which weighs one kg and is 2½ feet long. The former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Gundu Rao has gifted a similar type sword made of silver. The facial mask of Goddess Mookambika is completely made of gold and gifted by Vijaya Nagara Empire. The gold face mask of Jyothirlinga gifted by Chennammaji of Keladi is another unique ornament.
Pooja Timings And Practices:
At this temple prayers are offered following two traditions, one as per the sacrificial ritual and the other as per Vijay Yagna Shastra. The poojas are performed at the temple every day in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Among the rituals that are performed and celebrated, Navarathri is considered very important and the other is Brahmotsava and both are celebrated with great pomp and gaiety.
This Navarathri is also is known as Sharannavarathri that falls during October month. The Goddess is said to grant boons to many an ardent devotee during these days. Vidhyarambha or the initiation of small children in the letters of the alphabet of their mother tongue is carried out in the Saraswathi mantapa on the last day of the Navarathri festival. However Vidhyaramba can be conducted on any suitable day at the temple. Annadhana is offered as a free offering to the devotees every afternoon and in the evenings.
There are a lots of lodging facilities available at Kollur. The Temple Administration runs the Sowparnika Guest House. Shri Lalithambika Guest House, Matha Chathram Guest House, Goenka Guest House etc. are available besides a few private hotels like Beena Residency, Rathna Guest House, etc. Room rates are quite affordable for the common devotee. There is a dormitory in the bus stand complex for single visitors. Athithi Mandira is another facility that is run by the Ramakrishna Yogashram. Recently, many hotels have sprung up owing to the heavy influx of pilgrims to the temple.
- Varshika Uthsavam
- Navarathri Festival
For the past 30 years, Yesudas has been coming to Kollur Mookambika temple on his birthday to sing keerthans of Saraswati devi. The music festival was started from his 60th birthday. The nine-day music festival begins every January at the temple. On Sunday, January 10, 2010 he celebrated his 70th birthday at the temple with ‘Sangeetharchana’ (classical devotional songs), along with 70 singers before goddess Mookambika. The Sangeetharchana included ‘Pancharatna gayana’ of Thyagaraja’s poems. He also took part in the Vidyarambha function.
Places Of Interest Nearby:
How To Reach:
- Baindoor : 15 k.m. Famous for its beach.
- Ottinane : 14 k.m. Here highland and sea meets, near the Highway.
- Nagara Fort : 30 k.m. Old fort often visited by tourists.
- Mookambika Reserve Forest : 5 k.m. Includes Ghat Roads and forest view.
- Sigandur : 35 k.m, a beautiful village with Chowdeswari Temple in the backwaters of Sharavathi.
- Maravanthe : 20 k.m. Where a Highway road passes between Arabian sea and River, only one of its kind in India.
Kollur Mookambika Temple is connected by road and there are a lot of buses plying from Mangalore, Udupi and Kundapura
. Private buses ply at every half an hour from Mangalore. There are also State Transport Buses, and some buses from cities of Kerala run by the Kerala RTC. The road traverses the Mookambika Wild Life Sanctuary, and is in good navigable condition throughout the year. The nearest Railway station is Kundapura. Another station, Baindur- BYNR, has been renamed as Mookambika Road Railway Station, with many trains stopping there. The Baindur station has now been the major hub of rail travel on the way to Kollur Mookambika Temple.