Mookambika Temple

Mookambika temple was located on the banks of holy river Sauparni in Kollur, Udpi district of Karnataka. This temple is situated in the pleasant atmosphere of Western Ghats, where greenery can be seen in the vicinity of this temple. The principal deity here is goddess Mookambika.  It is considered to be one among the seven Muktisalas of Karnataka. All Muktisalas were said to be constructed by Parasurama, on the land that is recovered from Samudra.

Kollur Mookambika Temple

7 Muktisalas by Parasurama

  1. Kollur – Mookambika Temple
  2. Udpi – Bala Krishna Gopala Temple
  3. Gokarna –Atma Lingam Temple
  4. Subramanya – Subramanya Temple
  5. Kumbasi- Ganesha Temple
  6. Kodeshwara – Kotilingeshwar Temple
  7. Sankaranarayana- Sankaranarayana Temple

Here Mookambika goddess is worshiped in three different forms at different time periods. However all of them were said to be the incarnations of Shakti Devi.

  1. Morning- Mahakali (Goddess of Power)
  2. Afternoon- Maha Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth)
  3. Evening- Maha Saraswathi (Goddess of Wisdom)

Legend of Mookambika Temple

The history of this temple dates back to nearly 1200 years. One of the sources say that, there existed a cruel demon here with the name Kaumasura. He conducted strict penance for Lord Shiva’s appearance, his hard work conceived in the form of mammoth power granted to him. Since he is Asura his evil intentions remained the same. Thinking that he is the supreme power, he committed to harassing and killing of several Devathas. Devathas were helpless in this case owing to extreme powers rested in Kaumasura. At this point of time, a news reached Devathas that Kaumasura is going to die. On hearing this Kaumasura was frightened, therefore he conducted another penance for Shiva’s presence. Devathas feared that if his penance will go successful again this time, then there would be no chance of killing him. On getting satisfaction with Kaumasura’s penace, Shiva appeared once again and he asked Kaumasura to state his wish. Kaumasura went dumb; no words were coming out of his mouth. This is because Shakti devi came in the form of Saraswathi (Goddess of Knowledge) to this place. She made Kaumasura dumb. Therefore Kaumasura is referred to as Mukasura. Finally with the aid of other gods like Ganesha, Vishnu, Subramanya, Shakti Devi killed Kaumasura. From then onwards Shakti devi is worshipped as Mookambika here.

Mookambika Temple

According to another legend Adi Shankaracharya of Kerala, a renowned spiritual guru penanced here for Saraswathi Devi’s presence in Karnataka. Saraswathi devi questioned Adi Shankaracharya, what was his wish. TO that Shankaracharya replied ‘I want your holiness to be prevailed in the lands of Kerala, therefore I want you to come along with me to Kerala ’. Saraswathi Devi accepted this on one condition that “I’ll come along with you, but if you ever turned around and look at me in travel. I’ll cease to come further”. Shankaracharya accepted this and they started their journey. At certain point of time Shankaracharya turned back to look her, then and there Saraswathi Devi became Idol.

Holy River Sauparnika at Mookambika Temple

Sauparnika is a perennial river. It takes its birth in Kodachadi hills. Mythology tells us that Sauparna (Garuda) conducted a strict penance on the banks of this river to nullify his mother’s sorrows. Therefore this river is known as Sauparnika. Even to this day there was a cave on the banks of this river where Garuda penanced, and It is known as “ Garuda Cave” . People believe that the water of Sauparnika consists of many medicinal properties; taking a dip in these waters can cure all ailments.

Prayers at Mookambika Temple

“Sharanavarthri” was the prominent festival celebrated here with pomp and gaiter. Besides this daily poojas were performed regularly. In the month of March “Brahmotsavam” will be celebrated here. Peculiar thing with regard to the customs of this temple is that, on one day of every year Muslims visit this temple and offer prayers to Mookambika temple.

Swayambhulinga of Mookambika temple

Legend tells us that, Swayambhulinga emerged here when Parameshwara drew the Shrichakra, at the same time Kola Maharshi was penancing here. Due to high meditation powers in the region Shrichakra Bindu fell here. Mookambika goddess along with many others are said to become part of this Linga. One can find the crack on top left side of this Linga, indicating the presence of all gods.

Mookambika Temple Architecture

Even this temple is constructed in Karnataka, most of the architecture resembles Kerala style. The idol of Mookambika was made with Pancha loham by Adi Shankaracharya. Beautiful carvings can be seen on the pillars of Lakshmi Mandapam inside this temple. The carvings of Lord Ganesha can be seen on all the doors within the temple.

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