Mangalore Dasara celebrations at Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple is one of the biggest festivities in coastal Karnataka. Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple was established as a small shrine by Sri Narayana Guru in 1912. Sri Narayana Guru, hailing from Kerala worked for the upliftment of backward communities.
Main Gopura of Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara TempleDasara celebrations here began 18 years ago in 1990, when the old small shrine was renovated into a large complex in Chola style architecture. In 1995, tableaux were introduced for the first time in the Dasara procession on the last day of celebrations. Mangalore dasara is called common man's dasara as it is not funded by the Government as in Mysore Dasara and people of the city participate actively. All roads in Mangalore lead to this temple during Dasara.
Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple decoratedThis year, Dasara/Navarathri celebrations were held from 30th September to 9th October, last day being Vijayadashami. I was in Mangalore during this time and got a chance to view the festivites after several years. The temple complex is largest in Mangalore city and wears a modern look. When I went to the temple in the evening of 8th October, the shrine was full with people and the temple fully decorated with electric lamps/bulbs wore festive look. Temple painted in gold color added to the visual treat. Main attraction during the festivities was the hall where the idols of Navadurgis are kept.
Idols of NavadurgisNine divine forms of Goddess Durga namely Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kalaratri, Mahagouri, and Siddidatri are called Navadurgis. Along with these, idols of Goddess Saraswathi and Lord Ganesha are also kept. This hall was decorated like a palace. Evening was the ideal time for people to visit the temple along with their families. Long queues to go to the temple hall was as expected. After seeing the idols people used to capture the photos with their mobiles, cameras. Volunteers had a tough time asking the people to move on once they had the darshana.
Goddess SaraswathiAnother attraction of the place was the temple pond where huge fountains are installed. At each of the four corners of the pond, statue of Lord Shiva is kept. Water sprinkling from Lord Shiva's head symbolises the holy river Ganga flowing out of Lord Shiva's locks and called Gangavatharana. Punyakoti Vana is a small park is inside the temple premises, attracting children.
Hanuman Mukha MantapaNewly inaugurated Hunuman Mukha Mantapa is another attraction at the temple. The 26 feet high structure, supported by 12 pillars has intricate carvings done in Chola Style. Also large Nandi statue facing the gopura of the temple, Geethopadesha statue catch the visitors attention. Next day was the last day of the celebrations i.e. Vijayadashami. Dasara procession was carried out with several tableaux displaying mythological themes taking part. Idols of Navadurgis, Goddess Saraswathi and Lord Ganapathi were then immersed in the temple pond after the procession across the city. About 3 lakh people said to have witnessed the Mangalore Dasara procession. Navarathri is the best time to visit the temple if you are in Mangalore. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in Mangalore.
Statue of Lord Nandi
Kudroli Temple premises