The Goddess of Kudajaadri : Sri Mookambika

Sri Mookambika Ashtakam mp3

Bhasvadratanabharanavasanalaankrute Charuhastei: 
Shanka chakra varadamabhayam savahanti trinetri 
Hema prakeya pranatavarasandhatri padmasanaste 
Kaarunyabheste bhagavati Mahalakshmi maaraksha nityam:
Sahapatya sahasraramahapadma vihaarinyam 
Chaturbhujam trinayanam vidyuth kotisamaprabham 
Shanka chakravarabhitirbhibhrtimatisundarim 
Jvalanumkutatatatamkakaanchiharadi Ranjitam: 
Pitambarachara mumbam hemabham kamadam shivayam 
Srimanamhesha mahishi mahalakshmi mahambhaje:

:- Skanda Puraana


Sri Mookambika Devi temple, encircled by river Souparnika, is located on the scenic hills of Kudajaadri (Kollur) near Mangalore. Kollur is refered to in the Skanda Purana as Maharanyapura. It is said to have been home to several saints and yogis. Once, a great sage called Maharshi Kola, enchanted with nature’s beauty had decided to perform a penance on a rock near the Agnitheertham (tributary of Sowparnika)

Located in very picturesque surroundings amidst the wooded forests of the Western Ghats Distances 410 km NW of Bangalore, , Kollur is on the banks of the river Sauparnika (said to possess medicinal properties) at the foot of the hill of Kudajagiri or kudajaadri.( Umberlla mountain in Malayalam Kuda means umberlla & Giri or Adri means mountain)


The Temple of Goddess Sri Mookambika shrine at Kollur is one of the most revered pilgrimage centers in Karnataka and in Kerala
It is located at a distance of 147 km from Mangalore. The nearest railhead is Uduppi, and it is well connected with tourist centers such as Mangalore and Shimoga in Karnataka and Kannanur in Kerala.
About 135 Kms from Mangalore and 80 Kms from Udupi, in the valley of Kudajagiri peak of Western Ghats nestles a serene town Kollur.

Sri Kollur Mookambika Temple on the banks of the never drying river Sauparnika is one of the most famous Pilgrimage Shrine in South India.


This Mookambika temple with gold plated crest and copper roofs attracts every devotee withits Peacefull charms.

The temple is dedicated to Devi Mookambika and stands on a spur of the Kudajaadri or kudjagiriGiri peak.

The installation of the idol at Mookambika temple has a history as ancient as about 1200 years.

The Goddess Mookambika is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakthi. The Panchaloha image (five element mixed metal) of the Goddess on Shree Chakra is stated to have been consecrated byJagat Guru Sri Adi shankaracharya during his visit to this place. There is an exquisite sculpture of Panchamukha Ganesha.  Kollur is regarded as one of the Seven Muktislala pilgrimage sites in Karnataka which are (kollur), Udupi, Subrahmanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna.Kollur is known for its association with Sri Aadi Shankara. Mookambika is said to have appeared before Aadi Shankara here, and he is said to have installed her image at this shrine. There is a room near the sanctum – enshrining the Sankara Simhasanam which is regarded as the very spot where he meditated and had a vision of Mookambika. Mookambika is regarded as a manifestation of Shakti, Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi.

The Kudajagiri hill houses sites such as Ambavanam and Chitramoolam where Jagat Guru Shri Adi Shankara Acharya is believed to have meditated..during his Tapasya

Kollur or Kolapura is referred to in the Skanda Purana. It was originally known by the name Maharanyapura. It is said to have been home to several sages and yogis. A sage by name Kola was advised to worship Shakti at Kollur. A lingam appeared on its own accord then at Kollur, and Shiva requested Kola Rishi to worship it and that in due course Shakti would manifest herself as Maha Lakshmi there. The name Kolapura eventually changed to Kollur. 

Long ago when a demon called Kaumasura obtained a boon from Lord Shiva was reigning pompously, Kudajagiri became the hiding place for all the gods and divine beings who became helpless against his harassment. While the Saptarishis were engaged in prayers and poojas to bring about the end of demon kaumasura, Guru Shukracharya enlightens him about his impending death at the hands of a woman. Learning this, kaumasura performs an austere penance t please Lord Shiva. When Lord pleased with his prayers, appears before him and asks him to name the boon that he wishes,

Further, the ravages of the demon bothered the ascetics of Kollur. Upon being requested by Kola and other sages of Kollur,Vagdevi, the Goddess of speech senses that this could lead to a greater devastation and makes him speechless. Shakti cursed the demon to become mooka or dumb. The dumb Kaumasura then becomes unable to verbalise his wishes and then onwards he is called Mookasura.

Undaunted, the demon continued his atrocities, and an enraged Devi vanquished him. Upon vanquishing Mookasura, Devi is believed to have merged into this self manifested Lingam in this temple. 24 km from Kollur is Maarana Ghat where it is believed that the demon Mookasura was destroyed. In the temple at Maarana Ghat, there is a Sri Chakra symbolizing Devi. 

  Soon after, on the request of Kola Rishi, the goddess creates a mystical power by bringing together the individual powers of all the gods who had assembled. This Divine Power wages war on Mookasura and brings about his destruction, thereby granting him salvation. The place where devi killed Mookasura is known as “Marana Katte”. Since that day, the Goddess has resided at this holy place Kollur by the name Mookambika, fulfilling the wishes of all her devotees. Here resides Sreedevi in the Padmasana posture, of a serene countenance, and with three eyes, bearing always a shankha, a chakra and with a pleasant appearance as the embodiment of mantra to bless the devotees.

Significance of Swayambhulinga:
Swayambhulinga manifested itself when Parameshwara drew the Srichakra with his toe and Kola Maharshi performed a long lasting penance in its vicinity, as a result of which power of meditation spread far and wide on the earth. Udhbhava linga is the tangible form of Sri Chakra Bindu that is said to have the proximity of all gods. It has a very high significance since Shri Mookambika Devi has merged with this Linga and fulfills the desires of devotees. A golden line has formed in the swayambhu Linga and it is wider on the left side as also taller. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi, Parvathi and Saraswathi have all merged in the left side and the Lord Parameshwara, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma resides in the right side of the Linga.

That is why the temple Goddess is worshipped as Sri Saraswathi in the morning ,as Sri lakshmi at noon and Sri durga in the evening.

Besides the golden line, it is also said there is an image (carving) of Shiva injured by Arjuna’s blow during the clash of Kiratharjuna, on the right side of the Linga. Towards the left, we may find the image (carving) of Gopada (foot of the Holy cow) at the Shakthi Peeta. Adi Shankara (Vedic scholar and saint) has perceived and realized Goddess Mookambika as residing thus. Adi Shankaracharya appeared here leading Shri Saraswathi with a view to finding a place for enshrining her. He stopped at this temple, fixed Shrichakram and on it installed the idol of Mookambika which is the central idol behind the lingam. On the either side of this are idols of Kali or Parvathi and Saraswathi.

The Legend
JagatGuru Sri Adi shankara Acharaya & the Devi Sri Mookambika

The story thus goes in very intresting way
One Auspicious day Adi Sankara reached Kollur. The Kudajagiri was the place Sankara chose to offer penance to Mookambika, which was a dense forest at that time. Devi was pleased by the prayers of Sankara and asked him of his needs. Sankara had an intention to bring Devi from Kollur to Kerala. Devi told sankara that she will follow him where ever he goes but he should never look back once he started the journey. Sankara got thrilled after hearing this, soon started his travel and could distinctly hear the sound of chilambu(ornament worn on the lower leg by women – usually dancers) which was the only indication that Devi was following him. When he reached near the present day temple premises, he couldn’t hear the sound anymore and turned around. According to the treaty, Devi stopped there and Sri Adi Shankara although disappointed, soon installed a panchaloha idol upon sree chakra and enshrined Devi near the age-old Jyotir Linga.

The idol of Mookambika is in a seated posture, bearing the conch and the discus. Also enshrined near this image are those of Mahakali and Saraswathi. There are also shrines to Veerabhadra, Subramanya, Naga, Panjamugha Ganapathi(five-faced ganapathi) and Anjaneya. Veerabhadra is worshipped first by devotees before entering the shrine to Mookambika.


Sowparnika River:
The two rivers Agnithirtha & Sowparnika which flow in the sanctuary of mookambika descend from Kudajagiri hills. The wee spring of cool water situated in between the temples of Kalabhairava and Umamaheshwara is the source of river Sowparnika. Legend says that Suparna (Garuda) did a penance on the banks of this river praying to the Goddess for the abatement of his mother Vanitha’s sorrows. When the Goddess appeared before him, he prayed that the river be henceforth known after him, Suparna, and therefore came to be called as Sowparnika. At the location where he is said to have sat in penance, there is a small cave even today which is known as “Garuda’s Cave”. This holy river takes birth at the Kudajagiri and flows up to the edge of Anthargami (now oluru) region where two more streams called Bhrungisha and Pippalada join it. Then it flows westward, surrounding Kollur in the name of “Sampara”, and proceeds to join the sea near the temple of “Maharajaswamy” (Varahaswamy) at Maravanthe.
The Legend says that a small portion of the sanjeevani that Sri Hanuman swamy was carrying for the unconscious Lakshmana fell upon this hill, even now home to many healing herbs.
It is believed that river absorbs the elements of 64 different medicinal plants and roots as it flows, therefore it cures all the diseases of those who bathe in it. Hence a bath in this river assumes significance and is considered sacred.

The spot famous for the Sarvajna Peetha which is reached by a two km trek. On the way to Sarvanjna Peedam there is a very old Cave with a Lord Sri Ganesh idol popularly known as Guha Ganapathi.

A visit to the Mookambika Devi Temple is incomplete if you fail to have glimpse of Sarvajna Peetha at Kudajadri – the spot where Sri Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have meditated here after he was conferred the title of Sarvajna. The small structure – mandapam – is known as Sarvajna Mandapam.

The temple is located in a spacious courtyard, and is entered through the eastern gopuradwara. The western entrance is opened only on special occasions. It is believed that Adi Sankara entered the temple through the western entrance. 

Sanctum of Shri Mookambika:

As suggested by Rani Chennammaji, the feudal lord has covered the inside of the temple with stone. When we look at the temple structure, we find the sanctorum, then entrance hall and then the Lakshmi Mandapa. There are four pillars at Lakshmi Mandapa and on upper portion of each of these pillars, we find beautifully carved images of various gods. Prominently, they have sculpted the images of Ganesha, Subrahmanya, Naga, Mahishasura Mardini and the goddess in different postures as delineated in Shri Devi Mahathmyam.

Earlier, this made up the total temple structure and the outer prakara was not present. So Veera Sangayya also took up the prakara, as per the principles of temple architecture. We may also find beautiful images of Ganapathi atop the doors situated at the entrance to Garbhagriha, Lakshmi Mandapa and the Mukhya Dwara (main entrance). It is normal practice in any temple to depict the main deity over the entrance, and the fact that all three doors carry the carvings of Ganesha is considered to be of special significance. There are many inscriptions at Kudajagiri that relate the tale of time. The Prakaras, which underwent renovation from time to time, hold a mirror to the changing mores in architecture during bygone cultures. Specifically the Vaasthu of Garbhagriha structure is very ancient and extraordinary. The Garbhagriha is single yoni flag size (Eka yoni pramana dwaja aya). Pre entrance has a three flag proportion and is about 3½ feet wide and 12 feet long. Lakshmi Mandapa measures 134′. 11″. Then comes the prakara. Beyond that, is Navaranga Mandapa. Outside the temple is a large and beautiful Deepa Sthambha ( a pillar to hold lamps). This has 21 concentric circles in which the lamps can be lighted, and when viewed from Kudachadri, one would feel as though we were looking at the Divine Makara Jyothi at Lord Manikanta’s( Swamy ayyappa) of Sabarimala. This beautiful Deepa Sthambha rests on a Koorma Peeta (seat with tortoise head); on this tortoise is a huge elephant upon which Lord Ganapathi is astride, looking westward and facing Goddess Mookambika Devi.

During Navarathri, and during the Rathotsava on Phalghuni Masa Krishna Paksha Ashtami day (the day after Holi), the age-old practice of starting the pooja by praying to Lord Ganesha present on the pillar is kept up even today. In the inner corridor, just beyond the Garbhagriha, as we move around the shrine in a pradakshina, we will find totally four different idols of Ganapathi being worshipped, beginning with the Dashabhuja Ganapathi. Of these, the Balamuri Ganapathi idol that is made of white marble is beautiful and high of significance. Then we have the image of serpent which has formed on the stone in the south-west corner. It is believed that, as we move in pradakshina, if we touch this serpent and offer our prayers, it results in several benefits, like warding of Sarpadosha, averting all doshas, and most importantly, acquiring good fortune.Then we see the Shankara Peeta, where Adi Shankara Bhagavathpada meditated, and by virtue of his ascetic powers, visualized the form of Devi in all totality and realized the Devi herself. As we move in a pradakshina at the outer enclosure, we first find Subrahmanya swamy, then Saraswathi and then Pranalingeshwara, Partheshwara, the deity of Mukhya Prana (with a bell on the tail) installed by Vadiraja, Vishnu Brindavana, a beautiful idol of Gopalakrishna within the Brindaana (Considered as upa-pradhana Devatha), the platform for Tulasi and then the temple of Veerabhadraswamy who is the presiding deity. Entrance to this shrine being made of wood, we may see an excellent image, of Nrutya Ganapathi, right at the centre of the arch. It is said that the deity of Mukhya Prana has been situated right opposite the Veerabhadraswamy shrine with a view to balance its frightful appearance.

Sree Mookambika Devi Ashtakam
Namasthe Jagadatri Sadbrahma Rupe
Namasthe Haropendra Datryadivandye
Namastheprasanneshtadhanaikadakshe
Namasthe Mahalakshmi Kolapuresi

Vidhikrithi Vasa Harirviswmethath
Sijathyathi Patheeyathath Prasidham
Kripalokana Devathe Shakthirupe
Namasthe Mahalkshmi Kolapuresi

Thuayamayayapyapthamethathsamastham
Dritham Leelaya Devi Kukshu Hi Viswam
Sthithambudhirupenasarvathrajanthou
Namasthemahalakshmi Kolapuresi

Yayabhakthavargahi Lakshyanthaetho
Thouyatraprakamkripapoornadrishtya
Athogeeyasedevilakshmeerithithuam
Namasthemahalakshmikolapuresi

Punarvakpaduthuadiheenahimooka
Naraistharnikamkhaluprarthaseeyath
Nijeshtayathethasyamookambikathuam
Namasthemahalakshmikolapuresi

Yaduaditharoopathparabrahmnastham
Samuthapunarviswaleelodyamstha
Thadahoorjanasthamhigowreemkumarim
Namasthemahalskshmikolapuresi

Hareesadidehothejomayapra
Sfurachakrarajyakyalingaswaroope
Mahayogikolarshi Hridpadmagehe
Namasthemahalakshmikolapuresi

Namasankachakrayabishtahasthe
Namasthambikegowripadmasanasthe
Namaswarnavarneprasannesaranye
Namasthemahalakshmikolapuresi

The temple has been patronised by ancient Hindu Kings and several parts in it are still believed to contain valuable treasures. and many jewels now adorning the idol are said to have been presented by them and by their overlords of Vijayanagara empire.

There are couple of places worth visiting in the vicinity of the temple. a famous waterfalls. The Kudajagiri or kudachaadri is a very beautifull mountain range and offers a breath taking view of Sea and attracts a large number of mountaineers and trekkers.A trek to the peak of the Kudajagiri  iand a hike to the Govinda Theertha waterfalls are noteworthy trips from Kollur.

Virtual Tour, a 360 degree view of the of Mookambika Devi Temple and Kudajadri Hills an excellent effort by Leen Thobias of P4Panorama.com.

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