Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple is located in Mangalore. It is the spectacular temple of Lord Manjunatha or Lord Shiva on the Kadri hills. The temple is a complete depiction of early Vijayanagara architecture dating back to 10th and 11th century AD.
The location of the temple is overwhelming with the presence of the deity of the temple, and the marvelous hillocks of the Kadri hills, which has many caves cut into the hills. The caves contain many pre-historic pieces of evidence too which adds to the impeccable holy spirit of the valley. The overall location is extremely spiritual and calm. The temple belongs to the category of Tulunadu temples in the Dakshina Kannada region. The Kadri hill also has the biggest Natha Pantha (idolization) in the south of India.
The name Kadri was derived from Kadari which meant plantain and Kadri is filled with plantain trees all over. In Buddhism, the word Kadarika meant a ridge side pasture land. The Kadri mountain has been mentioned in the earlier epigraphs which are dated back to A.D.968 on the pedestal of the Lokeshwara picture installed in the Kadrika Vihara which was installed by the King Kundravarma of Alupa dynasty. Hence the inscriptions confirmed the former name of the Kadri hills was Kadrika.
History of Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple
Kadri was a center of Buddhist in the early 10th century. Later when Buddhism declined the Natha Pantha (a new religious belief) came into existence here. Natha Prantha was believed to be a modified form of religious beliefs obtained from the Vajrayana from the Mahayana section of Buddhism. Later the Natha Prantha was more of worshiping Lord Shiva as the deity. The followers were called Jogi and the monasteries were called jogimutt by the localities.
The earliest settlements in Kadri were the Buddhists and the people of Natha Prantha. In the earliest epigraphs found in these places, Kadri was called Kadrika Vihara and Mangalore as Mangalapura.In some inscriptions in the stone epigraphs, around 12-13th centuries, a King who ruled then declared to give away the land for the construction of the temple is mentioned in Kannada and Malayalam languages.
In the 12th century the magnificent temple was built in typical Hindu architectural style (Hindu Agama Shastra). Later it was rebuilt using granite stone in 14-15th century and the pancha loha idol of Lord Manjunatha was installed. The jogies being ardent devotees of Lord Shiva, worships Lord Manjunatha who is a form of Lord Shiva. The jogimutt is surrounded by caves called the Pandava caves and the Jogimutt is of great significance here. Many small temples have been installed in and around the Jogimutt which gives the place a holy appearance and ambience.
Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple: Mythological Connect
In “Bharadwaja Samhita” a Sanskrit mythological Vedic compilations, the mount Kadri is clearly mentioned. Kadri was famous for being the abode of Lord Manjunatha in ancient times too. Kadrika was the place where many sages and saint’s practiced meditation, spirituality and penance when Kadrika was a part of Siddhashrama. The references in Agama texts of Vaishnavism called the Bhardwaja Samhita contains stories of the sages who lived in the valleys of Kadri.
The story of the region of Kadri is connected to Lord Parasurama. When Lord Parasurama rigorously prayed and Lord Shiva appeared in front of him asked to find a new place for his shelter called the Kadrivana. Lord Parasuama, set off to find the Mount Kadri to set up the Kadrivana for Lord Manajunatha a form of Lord Shiva. Later with immense struggles with the ocean king who had occupied the space near the Kadri mountain, Lord Parasurama, with his axe, won over the place and set up the Kadalivana in the space. The new land became the abode of Lord Manjunatha where later many saints, philosophers and sages came and lived together and preached. Later with the help of Vishwakarma, the temple of Lord Manjunatha was constructed around the Shiva Linga. Later the Saptaokoti Mantras settled here as Sapta Theerthas or the seven ponds.
The Heggade Family carries out all the traditional ceremonies here in the temple has over a history of hundreds of years. The family members have dedicated their life to the development of the temple and are patrons of art, literature, philosophy etc.
Gomukha – A Natural Spring
At the elevated point at the back of the temple is the natural spring called Gomukha. The people believe that the water flows from the river Bhageerathi in Kashi, hence they called the spring Kashi Bhageerathi Theertha.People cleanse themselves in the ponds which is filled by the natural spring water before entering the temple.
Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple and Deities
The temple has various statues of Gorakanatha, Machendranath, Shringinath, Manjushri, Lokshewara and even Buddha apart from Lord Manjunatha. Goddess Durga is worshipped on the west of the temple, Lord Ganesh in the North.
Udhbhava linga: It is the naturally formed lingam of Lord Narayana and Lord Shankara which forms the diet of the temple Shankaranayana Temple.
Statue of Thrilokeshwara and the Deepasthambha which is around 5 feet tall. The Deepasthmaba is lit on the Karthika vilaku day and the Lakshadweep Mahotsava day.
Major Festival of Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple
Annual Jathra Mahotsava festival is conducted in the month of January starting with the Makara Sankranthi and extends to about 9 days from then. From the Kadri kambala ganada kottya house the Bhandara of Malaraya daiva along with the supplies of mass feeding (hasiru horey kanike) is ostentatiously paraded on that day. The major ceremonies include theertha snana in the morning and the followed by the Dhwajasthambha arohana, then the lighting of the Kanchi Sthambha and the bali utsava which commence on the same day.
Rudrabheeeksha is held every Monday. Ganesh Chathurthi, Karthikamasa, Navratri, Deepawali etc. are some of the major festivals celebrated here in the temple. Even Dhanurmasa Pooja and Udagadi are also celebrated pompously.
During the Annual fair a 40 feet Garuda is hoisted to the 62 feet flagpole and is held on the April 17th to 23rd for the BrahmaKalothsava. Laksha dweepa Mahotsava is also a major festival here.
How to Reach Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple
Mangalore airport is the nearest airport which is around 60 km from Kadri and Bangalore airport is around 381km. Mangalore airport is connected to various cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore etc. Airport has good connectivity to the city areas. Tourists can hire a cab or a bus from the airport to reach Kadri.
Kadri temple is just 4km away from the Mangalore city, which is well connected to the other cities via Road. Numerous KSRTC buses ply in the area, making it convenient for tourists. Tourists can also hire a cab or autos to reach Kadri.
Mangalore Railway station is well connected to all the southern states via rail. From the station tourists, can hire a taxi or a bus to reach the temple.