Kollur Mookambika Temple - A brief trip report

#1 Mar 18th, 2011, 13:40
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#1
We have been gifted a cake. This is a modest attempt to sample it.



"Enough is enough."
I wanted to go away; to get away from madness; to get away from the control of the Matrix; to point my finger at the slaving masses and say "ha ha, look at me, I have gotten away."

Well, where exactly is "away?"
"Away," in this case, happens to be Kollur Mookambika Temple. Me and my friend decided we could very well do with a spiritual shot to our battered souls.

But why Kollur? Don't you have temples closer to home? We have a long-standing "connection" with that place. We have memories; of laughter, of tears, of friendship; of a past we wish we could relive.

So, with the target set and plans made, we boarded IISL of Gandhidham Express from Kollam at 1615 hours. Cost of a Tatkal ticket: Rs. 360/-

Lush greenery all around, even in March:
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I'll be there for you, again, tomorrow:
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Apparently, not everyone believes that; judging by the frantic search of these cranes in the fading light:
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On-board entertainment was provided free of cost by a stoned vagabond. He hijacked a vacant berth and promptly went ahead and began yelling and singing on the top of his voice. After an hour, a Ticket Examiner threw him out. It's only about midnight. With any luck, we will get a few hours sleep and get down at Mookambika Road Station, erstwhile known as Byndoor Station. Scheduled arrival time: 0720.
#2 Mar 18th, 2011, 21:30
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Day 2

Everything went per plan...till about 5 in the morning. The train reached Mangalore Junction/Kankanadi on time. Time for an engine change (from electric to diesel for the Konkan route). It took 2-1/2 hours for the process. Took off again with the new engine at 7:40; 2:45 hours behind schedule. We still need to go 175 km to our destination station.

A cold, foggy morning:
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Back as promised yesterday:
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Come fog or rain, he has to work:
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The train gave up all pretentions of being a superfast and huffed and puffed into Mookambika Road station at 10 am. The station itself is a small one; 1 km from the main road (NH-17) and 2 km from the Byndoor Town bus stop. An autorickshaw will charge you Rs. 30 till the bus stop. Taxis are also available for Kollur (27 km from Byndoor) at a charge of Rs. 400. We got into an auto and got down at the bus stop. The next bus to Kollur was 45 minutes away. Had our breakfast from a vegetarian restaurant in town in the meantime. The bus finally pulled out at 10:45 (Hanuman Transport, Byndoor-Kollur-Shimoga) and dropped us off at Kollur 45 minutes later.
#3 Mar 18th, 2011, 21:36
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#3
Wonderful snaps... waiting for more!
#4 Mar 19th, 2011, 19:18
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My friend insisted on checking into Souparnika Guest House operated by the temple administration. A double room comes cheap at Rs.150. The room is fairly clean with a clean bathroom attached. That is it. Nothing fancy, not even proper lighting. You get a ceiling fan though and expansive vehicle parking. I probably won't stay there if I am with my family.

The room:
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The temple timings are 5 am to 1:30 pm and 3 pm to 9 pm. We decided to visit the temple before it closes for noon. The stone-paved ground was like an oven due to the heat. Try and walk in the shades once inside the temple or make use of the carpet draped over the stone floor. Either way, make sure your feet doesn't get cooked.

The temple entrance:
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Entrance to sanctum sanctorum.
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Artwork on the flagpost.
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The heat was oppressive, and we were tired after the long journey. We decided to scrap our plan to visit Kudajadri Peak and get some rest. We had lunch and retired to our room.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post Wonderful snaps... waiting for more!
Thank you.
#5 Mar 21st, 2011, 18:46
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After a rejuvenating siesta and a cup of tea, it was time to take a walk.

River Souparnika, drying up in the summer:
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There is just enough water for a ritual dip though:
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Birds camping near the water source:
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Since the water was more or less stagnant, didn't feel like taking a bath. We walked back.

The main street. Go straight towards the temple. Take a left (not in picture) from here for Sowparnika. Turn back for Bus stand:
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The hills in the background:
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Time for the night prayer:
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The fee list for various offerings:
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I decided to offer Pushpanjali. I like the way the temple goes about executing it. A junior priest attends to you in person. He also made sure we got a seat inside the podium in front of the idol, so that we could spend quality time praying; without the security guys shouting "keep moving, keep moving." Also, make sure you get "Kashaya Theertha" offered free of cost to devotees after the 8:45 PM prayer. It is given out just beside the entrance to sanctum sanctorum; take a small bottle if you want to take home some of it (they give out may be 25 - 50 ml). It is said to be a cure for sore throat and respiratory problems; best consumed a little hot, inside the temple premises itself.

We had masala dosa for dinner and called it a day:
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#6 Mar 21st, 2011, 22:29
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#6
in addition to nature and spiritual things, the cuisine is mouth watering though simple. :-)
#7 Mar 23rd, 2011, 00:28
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History and an anecdote:

The story of the origin of Kollur Mookambika temple varies. I am narrating the one, which I think, is the most widely acknowledged:
Quote:
It is believed that Sri Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and he installed the deity here.The story goes like this. Adi Shankara meditated at Kudajadri hills and Devi was incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to incorporate devi to a place in Kerala to worship where he wanted.Devi agreed and put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back until he reaches his destination.But to test Shankara, devi deliberately paused and when he couldn't hear Devi's anklets, Shankara suddenly turned around. Devi then stopped following him and asked Shankara to install her vigraha as he sees her. Kollur was also a part of ancient Kerala which stretched from Gokarna to Kanyakumari.
You can further read here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mookambika#Legends

Sri Sankaracharya is believed to have lived from 788 CE to 820 CE. This makes the temple about 1200 years old.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_Shankara


The Kollur temple has a "Trimadhura nivedya" (tri-sweet offering) of honey, sugar, and a special banana (Kadali). Unlike the regular offerings, the temple priests does not offer this to the Goddess. The three ingredients are kept in a bowl in front of the idol, before the temple closes for night. At night, Gods come for worshipping the Goddess, and they offer this sweet to the Goddess. Some days, flowers from heaven can be seen inside the temple. This is supposed to be a secret and the offering and flowers are destroyed the next day. The priests are made to swear "what we see inside, we won't tell outside," before given priesthood. [From "Aitihyamala" or "Book of Folklore" by Kottarathil Shankunni, first published about 120 years ago].

I know, the history of Kollur Mookambika I have given is a mix of legend, facts, and folklore. I am presenting it as I know it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post in addition to nature and spiritual things, the cuisine is mouth watering though simple. :-)
Agreed, considering that the HQ of Udupi cuisine is not so far away from Kollur .
#8 Mar 25th, 2011, 02:29
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Day 3

We had an early darshan at 5 am, as soon as the temple opened. No rush; prayed peacefully. Went back to room and slept some more. We had to catch the Malabar Express from Mangalore at 6 PM, so we left Kollur at 1 PM. We boarded a "Rajkumar" bus leaving Kollur at 1:15 towards Mangalore. There is also a TNSTC bus leaving for Coimbathore around that time (via Mangalore-Mysore).

Enroute:
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The going is slow because Kundapura-Mangalore section of NH-17 is being widened to four lane. Dust and traffic bottlenecks all around:
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Reached Mangalore at 5:30 PM. The train was waiting, to take us back; to home, to work, to deal with the mechanical routine that is life.
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#9 Jan 30th, 2014, 20:34
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#9
Thank you for writing!

Chanced upon this wonderful wealth of information in quest of our ensuing trip to South India including Kollur (where we will be reaching from Udupi)!

Loved it!
#10 Jan 31st, 2014, 18:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Thank you for writing!

Chanced upon this wonderful wealth of information in quest of our ensuing trip to South India including Kollur (where we will be reaching from Udupi)!

Loved it!
Thanks.

Glad you found it useful. Hope you have a nice trip.
#11 Jan 31st, 2014, 19:25
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#11
I just finished hitting the like button on every single post. I went to Karnataka earlier this year - passed by Kollur due to schedule but the terrain looks so familiar now. Your posts made me smile
#12 Aug 17th, 2014, 16:00
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#12
Lovely write-up and smart pictures. Will include in our South trip. krish
#13 Oct 21st, 2016, 16:47
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Did another trip to Kollur and Murdeshwar in June. This time, we drove to Kollur from Bangalore. Route taken was Bangalore-Channarayapatna-Ariskere-Bhadravati-Shimoga-Ayanur-Hosanagar-Nagara-Nittur-Kollur. Started at 5 a.m. from Bannerghatta Road and reached Kollur a little after 2 p.m., with a lot of breaks en route.


The excellent Bangalore-Hassan Highway:



Breakfast:



SH-7 near Gandasi:





Railway cross near Birur:



Lots and lots of butterflies near Shimoga Safari Park. The ones I was able to photograph:



SH-26 near Ayanur:







It started to rain while we were passing through Ripponpet.....
#14 Oct 21st, 2016, 18:33
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.....and continued with us in Hosanagar...



....en route Nagara...



...en route Nittur...





Thankfully though once we reached Kollur, rain stayed away and the weather turned pleasant:



Being a weekend and due to some auspicious occasion, the town was crowded with pilgrims and we had a bit of a difficulty in finding accommodation. Finally, found accommodation near the temple itself, Beena Residency. After resting for a bit, went to the temple in the evening, which had one of the biggest queues for darshan that I had encountered in Kollur. After darshan, we had to wait a bit for dinner as all the restaurants were full.


The next day morning, we went to the temple again for the main purpose of our visit, i.e., vidyarambham (learning initiation) for my niece.


Temple:



Saraswati Mandapam where the ritual is performed, lots of children began their studies that day:



Lunch:



Post lunch, the plan was to visit Murdeshwar, a pligrimage/tourist center 60 KM from Kollur Mookambika temple. As a few of our relatives had met up with us in Kollur, we hired a Chevy Tavera for the trip. The going rate was 1800 for the trip with a 2 hour layover in Murdeshwar. The route was Kollur-Baindur-Bhatkal-Murdeshwar.


Setting out:



The Gates of Kollur:
#15 Oct 21st, 2016, 19:52
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#15
Cutting through Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary:



SH-27, near Areshiroor:





Baindur Town:



NH-66 four-laning in progress:



The sea and the sky:



Shiroor Town:





Bhatkal Town:


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