Dakshina Kannada is a place of great natural beauty and picturesque scenery. It is a mystic land that is abode to many sacred shrines for Hindu gods and goddesses. Each temple has a story to tell rooted in ancient mythology and folktales. One such beautiful temple located in this region is the Kollur Mookambika temple, which is very popular and attracts large crowds of devotees. The temple is located in Kollur, which is approximately 80 kms from Udupi, 135 kms from Mangalore, and 440 kms from Bengaluru. It nestles among
the hills of Kodachadri in the western ghats, near the Souparnika river, and is a famous pilgrimage site. Let us find out 10 incredible things about the temple.
Things to know about Kollur Mookambika Temple:
1. The Kollur Mookambika temple is in the Udupi district of Karnataka and is known as one of the seven abodes of Salvation that were created by Parashurama.
2. This sacred temple is dedicated to Shree Mookambika Devi, who was an incarnation of Adi Shakthi. The Goddess is seen to have four arms and three eyes. She carries a disc and a conch in her hands. Mookambika temple stands on the banks of the Souparnika river, and the Goddess is found here in the form of a self-manifested Linga or Swayambhu Linga.
3. This is a very rare abode of the Goddess on earth, where Adi Shakthi is revered in the form of Udbhava Linga. One can also see an integration of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva on the right side. A gold chain divides the linga into left and right portions.
4. The idol of Goddess Mookambika Devi in its most subtle form was supposedly installed and consecrated by Adi Shankaracharya. It is set up on a yantra called ‘Shri Chakra Yantra’, and this yantra is believed to be the most powerful form of the Goddess. The rituals performed in the temples are according to the Vijayagama system, which was formulated by Shri Adi Shankara. On the western side of the sanctorum, one can also see the Shankara Peetha.
5. The history of this temple goes back many years. In fact, it is believed to be 1200 years old. According to legend, once there was a demon named Kaumasura, who was killed in this temple. It is said that Kaumasura did severe penance to acquire boons so that he could become invincible and terrorize the earth. So Parvathi made the demon dumb in order to prevent him from asking for boons. Since then, Kaumasura was known as Mookasura. However, due to Shukracharya’s blessings, his speech was restored to him, and he began killing sages. When his atrocities became too much, Goddess Parvati took a powerful form and came down to earth to kill Mookasura. After slaying the demon, she took the name Mookambika. Since then, the Goddess in Kollur is worshipped as Mookambika, and hence the name Kollur Mookambika. The local people thanked the Goddess for rescuing them from Kaumasura and began worshipping her.
6. The temple at Kollur is mostly dedicated to knowledge and art. The Goddess here is also revered as Vagdevatha (Goddess of Speech and Letters). The idol is made of five metals or Panchaloha (Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, and Lead). This is the only temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The Goddess is in the form of Jyotir-Linga, combines both Shakti and Shiva.
7. The temple conducts Trikala Pooja for the Devi on a daily basis. There is a special Nirmalya Pooja at 5 am, during which devotees are able to have a darshan of the Swayambhoo Linga.
8. Today, Kollur Mookambika temple is known as one of the most important pilgrimage centers in South India. Around 50% of the devotees who visit the temple are from Kerala, while the remaining are from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
9. During Vasant Navratri, the annual festival is held, and the temple wears a resplendent look, as this is a festival that honors the Goddess. During Phalguna month (March – April), on the day of Moola Nakshatra, the Devi’s birthday is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. Many politicians, film stars, and other celebrities are among the devotees who flock to the temple in large numbers.
10. Kollur is famous not only for the shrine of Devi Mookambika but also its scenic landscape, defined by verdant hills and rivers. People flock to it not only to worship the Goddess but also to experience and enjoy its natural splendors and ancient heritage.