Karkala is a peaceful and silent town and also the headquarters of Karkala Taluk in Udupi district of Karnataka , India , and is located about 38 km from Udupi and about 480 km from Bangalore . The name Karkala has been derived from the Kannada word karikallu , meaning black stones. Karkala is connected to 3 major roads,i.e National Highway-13(Karkala-Mudabidri-Mangalore),State Highway-66(Karkala-Nitte-Padubidri) and State Highway-37(Karkala-Manipal-Udupi).Nearby airport is in Mangalore and railway station in Udupi .The bus station plies KSRTC buses regularly to all the important places of Karnataka via Karkala.Private buses are also available to Bombay and Bangalore .Local and express buses to Udupi and Mangalore ply every 5-10 minutes.Autorickshaws and permit cars are also available to view the nearby places.
BAHUBALI AND JAIN TEMPLES -A Piligrimage centre
Karkala is a town of historical importance and a famous pilgrim centre for Jains. The famous single stone 42-foot (13 m) statue Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali ) is located about 1 km from the center of the town. There are about 18 Jain basadis here. The Bahubali statue is the second tallest in the State. This monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali was installed at Karkala on February 13 , 1432 on the instructions of the pontiff of Karkala, Lalitakeerti .You can find several other temples,mosques and churches in and around Karkala. Several jain temples were constructed namely Chaturmukha Thirthankara Basadi,Hiriyangaddi Neminatha Basadi and Anekere Padmavathi Basadi.The other statues of Bahubali in the state are at Shravanabelagola installed by Chamundaraya , which is 57 feet tall, at Venur installed by Timmaraja , which is 35 feet (11 m) tall, and at Dharmasthala installed by D. Veerendra Heggade , which is 39 feet (12 m) tall.
Every 12 years, thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka , a ceremony where the statue is bathed and anointed with milk, water, and saffron paste and sprinkled with sandal wood powder, turmeric, and vermilion. The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in February 2002, and the next will be in 2014 A.D. The other main festivals celebrated at Karkala are St.Lawrence feast at Attur, Lakshadeepotsava(festival of lights) at Sri Venkataramana Temple, AnanthaChathurdashi at Sri Ananthapadmanaabh Temple and Jama Masjid feast at Salmaar and Sanoor.
Places to be visited
Karkala has many places of worship like the Attur Church of St. Lawrence which was built some centuries ago,Padutirupathi Sreenivasa and Venkataramana Temple situated in town which is above 550 years old(www.karkala.gsb.in),the Jama Masjid at Salmaar,Anekere Lake,Ramasamudra pond,Hiriyangadi Basadi,Chathurmukha Basadi,Padmavathi Kere Basadi and so on. These are situated 45km from the iron mining centre Kudremukh ,40 km from Sringeri & Horanadu ,50Kms from Mangalore and 40Kms from Udupi .
PADUTIRUPATHI KARKALA -The Tirupati of the West Attracting Devotees
The Venkatramana temple of Karkala is popular with many people, as many find it irresistible to visit the temple daily and receive the Lord's blessings.
Each year, thousands flock Lord Venkatramana temple in Karkala with the firm belief in the deity's power to grant wishes. About 50 kms from Mangalore, Karkala is a tranquil town more popular for the Jain Basadi and the monolithic statue of Bahubali that stands majestically in the heart of the City.
Better known as 'Padu Tirupati', Lord Venkatramana temple is considered the main piligrimage of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins,even other people visit this temple on a daily basis to seek a glimpse of the deities. Legend has it that a family of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins brought Lord Venkatramana's idols along with them while migrating from Goa. As they decided to settle down in Karkala, the family built a temple for the Lords and started worshipping them here.
When the rulers of Mangalore attacked the temple, the priests saved the main idols and other valuables by throwing them down a well in Mulki. As things cooled down, they could retrieve the belongings of the temple except for the main deity. However, a person in Mulki found the statue in the well, which was taken as an indication that the Lord wanted to stay there, instead of in Karkala. It's said that the Lord appeared in people's dreams and asked them to leave his statue with residents of Mulki. He seemed to have reassured them that a hermit would present them his statue in which he resides. The people of Karkala returned back and as told by the Lord himself, a hermit of Tirumala, who was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkatramana from Tirupati, came to Karkala and presented the Lord's statue with the condition that the proceeds of the temple be given to Tirupathi. Heeding to the condition, people of Karkala undertake a pilgrimage to Tirupati each year to present the temple's proceeds.
Since the rites and rituals at the Karkala temple are similar to that of Tirupati, it is regarded as Tirupati in the West (while the original shrine is located in the east). So, it's called Padu (or West) Tirupathi. Any kind of pooja performed by a devotee over here is taken as rendering a service at the feet of the Lord but not as a seva.A ritual called Vanabhojan is conducted each year in November-Decemeber, when the deity is taken to Bhuvanendra College area near Lake Ramasamudra and is kept facing Tirupathi.This is done as the deity can't be taken to Tirupati itself, to comply with the hermit's condition. The deities are bathed with Panchaamrutha and tender coconut water(commonly known as Panchaamrutham Abhishekam)over here.Presenting the offerings to Tirupati at Karkala itself had been an old custom. In the past, these proceeds were also given to Tirupati once in 12 years. Although this is no longer in practice, it is said that people still present their offerings to Tirupati here. Also an annual 6-days chariot festival is celebrated in honour of Tirupathi Lord Sreenivasa Swamy during April-May.The rites and rituals performed during this festival is also the same as in Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam.The other feasts celebrated in this temple are Nagapanchami,Sri Krishna Janmaashtami,Ananthavratha,Ganesh Chathurthi,Deepavali(Vishwaroopa Darshana-means lighting of 50,000 diyaas in darkness during October-November month),Ratha Sapthami and Vaishaka Pournami(Buddha Poornima).This temple has over 150 Utsavas(Lord taken out to the town and returning back to temple) in a year excluding Amavasyas and Ekaadashis and over 70 mass feeding for the GSB community people. Special mass feedings for other community people are arranged during Shravana(August-September) month and Deepotsava festival.Everyday temple has bhajan recitals by Sri Venkataramana Bhajana Mandali;where over 30 people including children sing recitals of Almighty in Hindi, Konkani, Kannada and Marathi.
In front of Lord Venkatramana's shrine lies Sri Hanuman temple, whose statue towers over 15 feet and is about 410 years old. It's said that this statue was found under the grounds of Anekere (near Karkala), when it was dug. Tippu Sultan was among the ardent devotees of this Hanuman; the silver ornament he had offered to the Lord is still seen around his neck. Once in a year in December month a 24hrs day long Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram recital is sung by localites of this area.Every Monday, Saturday and on Ekadashi day Ram Naam Sankirthans are sung by devotees for nearly 3 hours.
Several legends illustrate Lord Venkatramana's power to grant wishes. One of them happened in 1912, when the British government at Madras decided to make Moodbidri instead of Karkala the taluk head quarters, which disappointed people here. They prayed to the deity. When a British officer was on his way to Karkala for re-inspection of the place, as he crossed Moodbidri, all of a sudden his horse collapsed and died on the spot. Somehow he managed to reach Karkala. On reaching there, he paid a visit to Lord Venkatramana's temple. After the visit, the British officer dropped the idea of making Moodbidri the taluk headquarters and decided on Karkala. Such are the miracles of the Lord. Right outside the sanctum-sanctorum (garba-griha) of the temple, there are four massive stone pillars decorated with exquisite carvings carved out by Sri Shilpi Renjal Gopal Shenoy.The pillars have amazing carvings of birds,plants,insects and other different varieties of fine sculptures.
The temple has a huge pond infront of it which is called as Sri Pushkarni and next to this pond there is a small temple of Sri Kalabhairava,a servent in the feet of Lord Almighty. Once a year during Kalabhairavaashtami abhishekha is performed for the idol of Kalabhairava.
The Lord Venkatramana Temple Trust owns and manages 7 educational institutions, apart from conducting cultural and traditional activities.Also it has taken up mid-meal scheme for Mentally Disabled children in Chethana Special School.The temple owns a Goshaala(Cow Shed) of about 12 breeds near temple lake very next to Srinivasa Kala Mandir.Temple authorities also own Kala Mandirs for get together an functions. Heetaishee a small organisation which arranges marriage for Goud Saraswat Brahmin people.GSB Welfare Trust is yet another organisation which organises functions and gives grants for poor people in GSB community once a year during Yugaadhi(New Year according to Hindu Calender).
ATTUR CHURCH -A Place of Miracle
ST. LAWRENCE, ATTUR - KARKALA On the outskirts of the Karkala city, stands the shrine of St. Lawrence at Attur.The St. Lawrence Church has remarkably rich history. We learn that the Attur- Karkala parish seems to have been in existence even before 1759 A.D.
History tells us that the Christians of this place too were among those who suffered captivity of Tippu Sultan from 1784-1799 A.D The parish church in those days was situated at a place about 7 kilometers away from the present church. Tippu destroyed it and took the Christians to Shrirangapatna as captives. Those Christians who returned after freedom from captivity built a church with thatched roof on the way to Nakre in the year 1801 A.D. under the leadership of a Goan priest. In the year 1839 it was replaced by another building. It was about 4 kilometers away from the previous one. This new building happened to be on the backside of the present church and was facing west. A small flower garden is standing in that place now. There is an interesting story of the shrine of St Lawrence church worth mentioning here.
The church that was on the way to Nakre was too old to be used. So the devotees of St. Lawrence accompanied by a Goan priest went about in search of a suitable site carrying with them a one-foot wooden statue of St. Lawrence. They were praying to St. Lawrence to guide them in the choice of a place for raising a church in his honour. They crossed the Rama-Samudra of Karkala and coming down the woods of 'Parpale hills' they reached Attur. There was a spring flowing at the bottom of the hill. As they were tired and thirsty they placed the statue of Saint on the ground and after quenching their thirst took some rest. After some time they thought of resuming their journey, but to their great surprise they could not lift the statue it was firm and immovable like a tree. The priest then exclaimed. "Oh St. Lawrence, if you have chosen this site we will have the church built here". With these words he stooped down to lift the statue and it was easily detached from the ground. It was at this very spot, (behind the present church) that they erected the church in the year 1839, and soon it became a place for pilgrimage. Pilgrims from all sides came to this sacred place and innumerable were the favours granted by the saint. The miraculous statue became an object of popular devotion.
In the year 1895 the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Frank Pereira finding so many devotees of St. Lawrence flocking to this church and claiming to have received innumerable favours from the saint fostered the devotion further and organized Novenas and prayer services making them more and more attractive. In the year 1900 Rev. Fr. Frank Pereira had the church built facing the north. This church was blessed and inaugurated on 22.1.1901 by the Vicar General, Very Rev. Mgr. Frachett. Rev. Fr. Frank Pereira's successors too kept up the devotions, and throughout the year people from near and distant places were going to Attur on pilgrimage. St. Lawrence of Attur is known for his special power of intercession with God. Over the past years the patronage of St. Lawrence over Attur has been remarkable. Not only the residents of Karkala and the pilgrims flocking there in great numbers, but also devotees who invoke St. Lawrence of Attur without visiting the shrine have experienced his powerful intercession. The number of pilgrims to the place throughout the year and specially those during the feast days in the month of January is an evident proof that St. Lawrence does not dismay those who come to him in faith and devotion. The little shrine of St. Lawrence that is adjacent to the sacristy was built by Rev. Fr. Frederick P.S. Moniz in the year 1975 wherein the miraculous statue is preserved. In the year 1993 Ref. Fr. Joswey Fernandes came here as Parish Priest. In the year 1994 he started the work of broadening the narrow space between the church and the hill on the eastern side of the church. But during the monsoons a part of the hill slid and the cement sheet portico was destroyed. Also the ground on the eastern side of the church was filled with the mud of the hill. With the aid received from the government and the help of the public this mud was cleared and the school grounds were enlarged with this mud.
A hundred feet high tower representing religious art of various regions was built in 1997, to symbolize the Church's ingenuousness in accepting people of various faiths. In July 1997 due to the heavy rains the hill slid again and the portico of Aluminum sheets was completely destroyed. Nothing happened to the new faced, which indeed was be said to be a miracle of St.Lawrence. With the fallen mud of the hill, the deep ravine in front of the church on the left side was filled up and the school grounds further extended. Because of these the right side of the church became spacious. The people could now move about more conveniently and freely.
In 1998 the 'Miracle-Pond' (PUSHKARINI) was renovated in modern Indian Architectural style with facility for pilgrims to descend into the pond. In addition, the Twin gates in front of the church, built in 1999, in line with the Tower further enhance the beauty of the Holy Place.
In the year 2000 A.D., a church building is put up in front of the existing church joining the recently put up façade. This spacious church is specially meant to manage the Annual Feast crowed of people. The Masses during these days will be celebrated in this new church. The existing church is maintained untouched and will be used as before. The new church was inaugurated and blessed by Rt. Rev. Dr. Aloysius P. D'Souza, the Bishop of Mangalore on 21st January 2001.The whole year round the pilgrims come to visit the Shrine. People believe that St. Lawrence indeed is a powerful intercessor before God. Not only the people of Attur and the pilgrims that visit the Shrine, but also even those who without visiting the shrine, still pray for help from the Saint, have felt the helping hand of St. Lawrence. The great number of pilgrims that visit the shrine during the Feast and throughout the year is a testimony that the Saint does not refuse those who approach him with trust and confidence.
Novena prayers: Every Thursday at 10 a.m. followed by Mass. (also on Sundays at 7.20 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. followed by Mass) Thanksgiving and intentions sent by the devotees are announced every Thursday and Sunday during the Novena and are prayed. Annual Feast: Every year normally in the last week of January. (Thursday of the week is to be within this month)
Rev. Fr. Joswey Fernandes was transferred to Niddodi on 10th June 2001 and Rev. Fr. Francis Cornelio took charge of the parish as new vicar. Rev. Fr. Denish Casthelino joined Fr. Cornelio to reside at Attur to assist the parish and also to monitor the activities for the development of Dalith Christians of the Diocese.
The erection of the ‘Mahadwara' at Doopadakatte was inaugurated on 27th January 2002 . The work of similar Mahadwara is in progress at Kabattu to be inaugurated on 27th April 2002 . The devotion to the historical Cross erected at Parpale Hill was renewed.
Tourist Places in Karkala
Karkala - A famous centre of Jainism, the world famous Bahubali stands erect on the Gomateshwara Betta. There are other temples like Anantashayana, Gopalakrishna, Veerabhadra, and Venkataramana.
1.Attur - The historical Attur church is famous here. There is a Vishnu temple and Mahaganpathi Temple too. 2.Bajagoli - In the month of February every year, a local sport called Luv-Kush Kambala (bullock Race) is held here. 3.Nandalike - The birthplace of poet Muddanna. His memorial is also built there. Mahalingeshwara temple is well known. 4.Vaaranga - This is an important Jain centre. The kere basadi is located in midst of a lake. There are many other basadis too. 5.Jomlutirtha - On the auspicious day of Ellu amavasya, hundreds and thousands of people come to have a dip in the waterfall here. 6.Kudlutirtha - This is an ideal place for a nature lovers. 7.Someshwara - The Someshwara sanctuary well known. Someshwara, a hamlet in Karkala taluk, is about 40 Kms, from Karkala on Mangalore- Karkala-Agumbe Road. It lies at the foot of the Western Ghats. 8.Hebri - The Famous Ananthapadmanabh Temple. 9.Agumbe - Approximately 32 kms from Tirthahalli is the captivating town of Agumbe, situated atop a ghat head. Receiving the highest rainfall in Karnataka, this suburb has many scenic delights to offer. The glorious sunset is the main attraction of this place. Other places of interest include the Gopalakrishna temple and the Observatory maintained by the Meteorological Survey of India.
Nearby Towns and Piligrimage centres
Hotels and Stay
- Nitte Sri Durgaparmeshwari Temple,Kemmanu.
- Belman Sri Durgaparmeshwari Temple.
- Sanoor Sri Ram Mandir.
- Kukkundoor Sri Durgaparmeshwari Temple.
- Miyar Sri Mahaganapapathi Temple.
- Bajagoli Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple.
- Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt.
- Dharmasthala Sri Manjunatheshwara Temple.
- Moodabidri Saavira Kambadha Basadi.
- Sringeri Sri Jagadguru Sharadha Peetham.
Sagar Restaurant (Tel: 08258-730602), located in Karkala's Gopal Tower serves South and North Indian and Chinese food. Amrita Restaurant (Tel: 732464) on Market Road has pure veg South Indian. Try the surnalli dosa.Suhag Lodging and boarding & Hotel Prakash near Ananthashayana temple are another two famous hotels.Non-vegetarian can be had at Madhura Restaurant (Tel: 735630), half a kilometre from Karkala's Bus Stand on the Mangalore Road. Try the Madhura Special thali and the ghee roast dosa.Local Hotels are also available.
||370 km from Bangalore.
Mangalore- 52 km. Mudabidri - 20km Udupi - 32km
|By Road: -
|By Rail: -
||Nearest railway station - Mangalore.
|By Air: -
||Nearest Airport - Mangalore & Bangalore.
Take NH48 to Mangalore via Kunigal, Yediyur, Hassan, Sakleshpur and Mani.
|When to go:-
||September to February would be ideal.
||KSTDC(bookings and info) Badami House, NR Square, Bangalore Tel: 080-2275869, Fax: 2352626 Email: email@example.com
|Where to stay :-
||Hotel King's Court A S Road, Karkala, Udupi - 574 104 Tel: 0820-2730827
Tariff Range: Rs. 125/- to Rs. 500/-
Hotel Ashraya NH 17, Brahmavara, Udupi - 576 213 Tel: 0820-2561184
Tariff Range: Rs. 100/- to Rs. 450/-
Hotel Bhavani Shyam Complex, M V Road,
Udupi - 576 101 Tel: 0820-2526980
Tariff Range: Rs. 140/- to Rs. 350/-