|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Mangaluru|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Moodabidre|
Kateel or Kateelu (Tulu/Kannada: ಕಟೀಲು) is a temple town in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, India. It is about 29 kilometers away from Mangaluru and is considered one of the holiest temple towns in Hinduism. The main attraction of the town is the temple of Sri Durga Parameshwari.
The holy temple is situated on an islet in the middle of the sacred river Nandini amidst panoramic scenes and greenery. Thousands of devotees visit Kateel every day to seek blessings from goddess Durga Parameshwari.
Origins of Kateel
There is a story behind this spiritual place. A severe drought once hit this place and it did not rain for years. Even Brahmins were forced to eat meat and people were on the verge of giving up their principles. The great Sage Jabali was disturbed by this situation. Through his 'Jnana Drishti' (divine vision), Jabali realized the root cause of all this. He found that Arunasura, the 'rakshasa', who had escaped from death and fled when Goddess Durga killed Shumbhasura, had increased his life span by following the teachings of his Guru. He had forcefully stopped people from performing any yagas or yajnas as a revenge against the 'devas', and this has resulted in drought and scarcity for years.
Jabali wanted to put an end to human sufferings and decided to perform a yajna to please the devas. He requested Devendra to permit him to take Kamadhenu, the holy cow, for the yajna. Devendra asked Jabali to take Kamadhenu's daughter Nandini, instead. Nandini refused to accompany Jabali to Earth, since evil was predominant there. After a lot of arguments, Jabali, in his anger, cursed that she be born as a river on earth. Realizing her mistake, Nandini prayed for mercy. Relenting, Jabali advised her to pray to Goddess Durga to redeem her from the curse, Nandini appealed to Goddess Durga, who appeared to her and informed her that though Nandini would be born as a river in fulfillment of the curse, she, Durga herself, would be born as Nandini's daughter at the center of the river, and in the process, Nandini would attain purification. On Magha shudda Poornima, Nandini emerged as a river from Kanakagiri. Jabali performed his yajna. The devas were pleased and the earth was once again happy.
Elsewhere Arunasura acquired a boon from Brahma that he would not suffer death from any two legged or four legged being or from any weapon. Brahma also powered him with the Gayatri Mantra. After acquiring these powers, Arunasura defeated the devas and conquered heaven. The Devas prayed to Goddess Durga for help.
One day, Goddess Durga appeared in Arunasura's garden as a beautiful woman. Seeing the lady, Arunasura approached her. The beautiful lady reminded him that she had killed Shumbhasura, and from whom, Arunasura had escaped death. Arunasura became angry and tried to kill the woman with a sword. The Goddess suddenly turned into a stone. Arunasura slashed the stone with the sword, then a vast swarm of bees emerged from the stone and stung him.
The bees (dhumbi) stung him repeatedly till his last breath. Devas led by Jabali performed abhisheka with tender coconut water and requested the Bhramarambika (Queen of the bees) to bless the world. Goddess Durga then appeared in her 'Soumya Roopa' (calm form) in the middle of the river, where the present structure of the temple imparts its glory to the world. In Sanskrit( this is true for other Indian languages originated from it) language, 'Kati' means 'center' (midway between the 'Kanakagiri' the place where the river was born, and the end, Pavanje, where the river joins the sea) and 'Ila' means area (land). Thus the place is called 'Kati + lla' Kateel.
The temple's trust also encourages several forms of arts. Notable among them is the Yakshagana, dashavathara mela which was started as an offering to the goddess. Currently Kateel has six Melas performing Yakshagana. During dussera, navaratri and other annual celebrations several sacred rituals like, Chandika havana, thula bhaara, veda parayana, hari kathas etc. are performed.