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Pilgrimages of Karnataka

  1. Kollur: Famous pilgrimage of Devi Mookambika and a Mukti Sthala of Karnataka
  2. Udupi: Famous pilgrimage of Sri Krishna and a Mukti Sthala of Karnataka
  3. Dharmasthala: Famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva as Manjunathaswamy which is considered as a Dharma Kshetra
  4. Nanjangud: Famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva as Lord Srikantheswara
  5. Sringeri: Math of Adi Shankara with the famous temple of Devi Sharada inside it


Kollur Mookambika Kollur Mookambika Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Devi Mookambika: Kollur is a famous pilgrimage of Devi Mookambika. It is a Mukti Sthala of Karnataka. The river Souparnika emanating from the Kutaja Hill flows near the temple of the Devi.

- Mukti Sthala of Karnataka: Kollur is one of the 7 Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka.
(The seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka are: Kollur, Udupi, Gokarna, Subramanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana)

- Legend of Devi Mookambika: According to legend, Devi made demon Kamhasura dumb (mooka) when the demon was about to ask for the boon of immortality from Lord Shiva after performing a severe penance. Thereafter the demon came to be known as Mookasura (or the dumb asura). Kamhasura was enraged due to this and started harassing the devas and the rishis. When he troubled Kola Rishi who was performing penance, the rishi prayed to the Devi for deliverance. The Devi appeared before the rishi in response to his ardent prayers and fought a terrible battle with Kamhasura. Devi slayed Kamhasura. Kola Rishi then requested Devi to stay there permanently. Thus Devi made Kollur Her abode and came to be known as Mookambika.

- The Idol: The main idol of the temple is in the form of a Linga which is divided into two halves by a swarna rekha (golden line). One half represents the Tri-Devis and the other half the Tri-Devas. The idol of Devi Mookambika is in the center behind the Linga. On either sides are idols of Durga and Saraswati.

- Kollur is located in the Udupi district of Karnataka.

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Udupi Krishna Udupi Krishna Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Sri Krishna: Udupi is a famous pilgrimage of Sri Krishna. It is a Mukti Sthala of Karnataka. Udupi also has the ancient temples of Chandramouleshwara and Anantheswara which predates the Sri Krishna temple. Udupa means Moon. The name Udupi is derived from the legend associated with the Chandramouleshwara temple.

- Mukti Sthala of Karnataka: Udupi is one of the 7 Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka.
(The seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka are: Kollur, Udupi, Gokarna, Subramanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana)

- Temple of Chandramouleshwara: According to legend, Sri Chandra Deva performed penance here (near Chandra Pushkarini) and worshipped Lord Shiva (Chandramouleshwara) to get release from the curse of Daksha Prajapati. Lord Shiva appeared here and released Chandra Deva from the curse. Udupa means Moon, and the name of the place Udupi refers to this incident.

- Temple of Anantheswara: This temple is situated near the Chandramouleshwara temple. Parents of Sri Madhavacharya is said to have worshipped this deity continuously for 12 years to beget a child. Also Sri Madhavacharya is said to have been initiated by Sri Achyuta Prajna in this temple.

- Temple of Sri Krishna: According to legend the idol of Sri Krishna in Udupi was installed by Sri Madhavacharya. The idol of Bala Krishna was an ancient idol worshipped by Devi Rukmini at Dwaraka in the Dwapara Yuga. After Dwaraka was submerged in the sea, this idol lay hidden covered by "Gopi Chandana" (A white mud sacred to the Vaishnavas). A ship passing through Dwaraka picked up this heap of mud (along with the concealed idol) as ballast for the ship. When the ship came to Vadabhandeshwara at Udupi, it got caught up in a heavy storm. In that moment Madhavacharya stopped the storm through his powers and saved the ship. The captain was grateful and requested the acharya to take anything from the ship as a token of gratitude. The acharya prompted by intuition selected the heap of mud concealing the idol. The acharya restored the idol by washing off the mud in a tank now known as Madhava Sarovara. With great joy he installed the idol in a small temple near the ancient Chandramouleshwara temple. During this occasion the acharya composed the Dwadasha Stotra in praise of the Lord.

- Udupi is located in the Udupi district of Karnataka.

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Sri Shiva Dharmasthala Majunatha Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva: Dharmasthala is a famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva popularly called by the name of Sri Manjunathaswamy. Dharmasthala is considered as the abode of Dharma. It is associated with the legend of Pergade family and the guardian angels of Dharma.

- Legend of Manjunathaswamy: Dharmasthala is associated with the legend of Pergade family. According to this legend, several centuries ago Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma and was located in Mallarmadi village in South Kanara. There lived a Jain chieftain Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi. Their house was called Nelliadi Beedu. They were simple, pious and affectionate people, and were known for their generosity and hospitality towards all.

One day the guardian angels of Dharma assumed human forms and arrived at Pergade's house. They were searching for a place where Dharma was being practiced and from where Dharma can be propagated. The Pergade couple welcomed the guests and extended their warm hospitality. The Dharma Daivas were pleased by their sincerity and generosity. They appeared in the dreams of Birmanna Pergade and explained their purpose of visit. They instructed him to vacate the house for the worship of the Dharma Daivas and dedicate his life for the propagation of Dharma.

Without any question, Pergade vacated his house (Nelliadi Beedu) for worship of the Dharma Daivas. The Dharma Daivas again appeared before Birmanna Pergade and instructed him to build separate shrines for four Dharma Daivas - Kalarahu, Kalarkai, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari; Also to choose two persons of noble birth to act as the oracle of the Daivas and four worthy persons to assist Sri Pergade in his duties. In return the Daivas promised Sri Pergade family - protection, abundance of charity and renown for the "Kshetra".

Sri Pergade built the shrines and invited brahmin priests to perform the rituals. The priests requested him to install a Shiva Linga beside the native Daivas. The Daivas sent their vassal Annapa Swami to procure the idol of Lord Manjunatheshwara from Kadri, near Mangalore. Subsequently Sri Manjunatha Swamy temple was built around this idol.

Around 16th century, Sri Vadiraja Swamy of Udupi reconsecrated the Shiva Linga there. Pleased by the observance of the vedic rites and Heggade's charity towards all, the Swamiji named the place Dharmasthala, meaning the abode of Dharma.

- Dharmasthala is located in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

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Srikantheswara Nanjangud Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva: Nanjangud is a famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva who is popularly called Lord Srikantheswara.

- Legend of samudra manthana: According to the legend, during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean) when the dreadful halahala poison emerged, the devas and danavas ran away to save their lives. But the effect of this dreadful poison was bringing destruction. Lord Maheshwara drank this poison to save the world. Devi Parvati held the throat of Shankara tightly so that the poison could not go down the throat. The poison stagnated on the throat and made it blue. So Shiva is known as Srikantha (one with poison in the throat) and also Nilakantha (one with a blue throat). The place where it happened was called Galapuri or Garalapuri, the present Nanjangud.

- Legend of Devi Lakshmi: According to another legend, when Devi Lakshmi emerged during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean), She desired to marry Vishnu. She expressed Her desire to father Samudraraja. Samudraraja advised her to go to Galapuri and perform penance to please Lord Shiva. She performed deep penance and propitiated Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before her and told her to ask for a boon. When Devi Lakshmi expressed her desire, Lord Shiva mediated and arranged for the wedding of Mahalakshmi and Mahavishnu. Therefore this place fulfils the desires of the devotees who worship the Lord with pure devotion.

- Legend of demon Keshi: According to another legend, during the episode of samudra manthana (churning of the ocean), Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Mohini to distribute the amrita (nectar) among the devas and the danavas. When Mohini was distributing the amrita to the devas, demon Keshi mingled among the devas to get the amrita. Lord Vishnu as Mohini knew his deceit and gave him poison instead. But because Keshi got the poison from the hand of Mahavishnu, he did not die, but on the other hand became more powerful. Keshi establised his kingdom here and started harassing the sages. When their lives became unbearable they sought the refuge of Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma took them to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in turn took them to Lord Shiva. Moved by their pathetic condition, Lord Shiva told the sages to perform a yagya at the sangam of Kapila and Koundini rivers to attract there. When the yagya started Keshi came there with a group of demons to destroy the yagya. Lord Shiva appeared there assuming Rudra rupa. There was a tough fight between them. Finally the Lord caught hold of the hair of Keshi and threw him into the yagya kunda. The demon was burnt by the flames but the poison started coming out of his burnt body which raised cries of agony all around. Lord Shiva swallowed the poison and saved the lives of all.

- Legend of Sri Parashurama: According to another legend, when Sri Parashurama killed his mother Renuka Devi with his axe at the command of his father, the sin of matricide came over him (although Renuka Devi was rejuvenated later). To get rid of this sin he went from place to place and finally came to Garalapuri. He was attracted by the sublimity of the place with thick woods and decided to perform penance here. When he was clearing the woods to make free space, he unknowingly hit Lord Vishnu who was performing penance there. Blood flowed from the body of Vishnu and would not stop. Parashurama was greatly aggrieved. Lord Vishnu told him to bring soil from the place where Lord Shiva killed demon Keshi. The soil from the holy spot stopped the flow of blood of Vishnu and at the same time removed the sin of matricide of Parashurama. Therefore the place is also known as Parashurama Kshetra. People come here for expiation of their sins.

- Nanjangud is located in the Mysore district of Karnataka.

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Sringeri Sharada Sringeri Sharada Peetha - Math of Adi Shankara with famous temple of Devi Sharada: Sringeri Sharada Peetham is the first math (monastery) built by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. It has the famous temple of Devi Sharada inside it. The math is situated on the bank of river Tunga. According to legend, sage Vibhandaka and his son Rishyasringa (of Valmiki Ramayana) had their hermitage in this place. The name Sringeri is derived from the name of sage Rishyasringa.

- Sringeri is located in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka.

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Pilgrimages by States:

North India: Jammu and Kashmir - Himachal Pradesh - Uttarakhand - Punjab - Haryana - Rajasthan - Uttar Pradesh

West India: Gujarat - Maharashtra

Central India: Madhya Pradesh

East India: Assam - Meghalaya - Tripura - Jharkhand - Odisha - West Bengal

South India: Karnataka - Andhra Pradesh - Telangana - Kerala - Tamil Nadu

Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha - Hanuman - Gurudeva - Gayatri
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - (Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) - Parvati
Others: Murugan - Surya - Ganga - Yamuna - Narmada - Others
Final: Vedas - Brahman

2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - Lakshmi - (Parvati - Shakambari)
Others: Murugan - Ganga

3. Sadhana: Sadhana - Hermitages - Penances

4. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints

5. Sacred Geography: Forests - Mountains - Rivers - Lakes

6. Puranas: Scriptures

7. Religious Life: Stotras - Puja - Pilgrimages - Festivals - Varnashramas - Samskaras - Traditions

8. Other Aspects: Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy

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Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,
May there be Peace in the Water,
May there be Peace in the Plants,
May there be Peace in the Trees,
May there be Peace in the Gods in the various Worlds,
May there be Peace in Brahman,
May there be Peace in All,
May there be Peace Indeed within Peace,
Giving Me the Peace which Grows within Me,
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And make the Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Last updated on Oct-2017

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