Sri Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Udupi district attracts devotees from all parts of South India. The village of Kollur lies amid the green canopy of the Western Ghats, on the base of Kodachadri Hill. Here, the Mookambika Temple, one of the seven most sacred spots of Salvation, is dedicated to the Goddess of emotional power and strength. The temple has a gold plated crest and copper roofs. Adi Shankaracharya, the great philosopher, is said to have visited this temple to perform penance. Adi Shankaracharya is also believed to have consecrated the idol of Goddess Mookambika.
Sri Mookambika Temple
The gurgling of a mountain stream in the background rings in the ears of the pilgrim as we enter the revered Mookambika Temple. One of the major Shakti shrines in the country, Kollur draws many practitioners of Tantra too. Behind the linga, on a raised platform, is the large panchaloha (five precious metals) icon of the four-armed Mookambika, considered to be one of the best in the country. The deity looks as she appeared in Adi Shankara’s vision. Seated in the lotus posture, she carries the chakra (discus) and sankha (conch) in her two upper hands and holds her other two hands in the gesture of Abhaya mudra (protection) and varada mudra (boon-bestowal). It is an image of exquisite beauty. In the outer ambulatory, there is a passage that leads to the shrine of Veerabhadra Swamy. He is the kshetrapala, the protector of the temple.
The Subrahmanya Swamy Temple is on the other side of the Mookambika Temple. Nearby is Saraswati Mantap, the very spot at which Adi Shankara is believed to have composed the superb hymn, the Soundarya-Lahari. Artists come here to seek Saraswati’s blessings. At the Chowdeshwari Temple, to the north, is the kshetrapalani (the female divinity that protects the temple). In the outer ambulatory passage, apart from several interesting smaller shrines, a golden chariot is on display. The puja rituals are a combination of Vedic and Tantric rites. Devotees enter the sanctum in orderly queues. Kollur is free of touts or pujaris hassling the pilgrims. Everything is clean, orderly and systematic.
It is said in the Skanda Purana that all times are auspicious for worshiping Mookambika. Friday is considered to be most auspicious day in a week. Other auspicious days are Tuesday, New moon day, Full moon day, Ashtami, Navami and Chaturdashi. Dasara or Navaratri is the most important festival of Mookambika. .Vijaya Dashami day is considered to be the most auspicious day to begin the education process (vidyarambha) of children. Annual car festival usually comes in the month of March (moola nakshatra of meena masa as per lunar calendar). Karthika masa (November-December) is also auspicious time to worship Mookambika. Other festivals relating to various Hindu deities are also celebrated at Mookambika Temple.
- Generally devotees can have darshan between 5 a.m and 1 p.m. in forenoon session and between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m in the night session.
- Mookambika temple has a flexible time schedule and hence the timings given above are not fixed.
- Vidyarambham, Annaprashana, Thulabhara and Chandika Homa are performed during forenoon session only.
- Kashaya Theertham is a special consecrated concoction of medicinal herbs distributed to the pilgrims only at the end of night session.
Mookambika Temple Mythology
Kollur Mookambika Temple is located at Kollur in Byndoor Taluk of Udupi District in the region of Tulunadu and in the state of Karnataka, India. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess known as Mookambika Devi. Mookambika is the union of Adipara Shakthi and Parabramha as the Linga has integrated on its left side “Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswathi”. It is situated in the foothills of Kodachadri hills, on the southern bank of Souparnika River. Being situated in the land between Gokarna and Kanyakumari, believed to be created by sage Parashurama. The main deity of the temple is a swayambhu jyotirlinga with a golden line cutting it into half, in which the left half represents Tridevis, and the right half represents Trimurtis. Along with this, a four-handed panchaloha idol of Goddess Mookambika is also installed. There are sub-shrines for Ganapathi, Shiva, Vishnu, Hanuman, Subrahmanya, Virabhadra and Snake gods in the temple. Rathotsava in the month of Phalguna and Navaratri in the month of Ashwina are the main festivals in this temple. Goddess Mookambika is said to be the name given to Goddess Shakti after she killed the demon Mookasura.
History of Mookambika Temple
The temple is believed to be 1200 years old. There exist two different stories of the temple, which are believed to be true by different people. One says that Devi Mookambika appeared before Adi Shankara while he was meditating Devi Saraswati and, on her appearance, he established a shrine at the place of her image. Another story speaks, that the idol of Devi was installed by King Halugallu Veera Sangayya.
Mookambika Temple Dress Code
Men Dress Code
Not to wear Shirt, Baniyan, Lungi, shirts, Hat, Bermuda
White Dhoti and Upper cloth is preferred
Women Dress Code
Saree with blouse/ Punjabi Dress with Dupatta / Churidar with Dupatta/ Half saree
How To Reach Mookambika Temple
The Mookambika Temple is situated 2 km north of city bus stand and 100 m north of the bazaar and guest houses. From Udupi we can reach Mookambika Temple – Kollur by bus. The nearest airport is the Mangalore airport located at Bajpe, 60 km away from Udupi. There are regular flights from different parts of the country. You can also hire a cab to reach the temple.