Kadri Manjunath Temple

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Coordinates: 12°53′8.8″N 74°51′20.1″E / 12.885778°N 74.855583°E / 12.885778; 74.855583 Kadri Manjunatha Temple is a historic temple in Mangalore in the state of Karnataka, India,

Kadri Manjunatha Temple
DistrictDakshina Kannada
LocaleKadri, Mangalore
SanctumManjunatha (Lord Shiva)


The temple of Manjunatheshwara on the hills of Kadri is a very beautiful and popular temple in Mangalore. It is said to be built during the 10th or 11th century. It was converted to a complete stone structure during the 14th century.

The bronze (panchlauha) idol of Lokeshwar (identified as Brahma), about 5 feet high, of the temple is called as oldest of the South Indian temples. It has an inscription dated 968 A.D. (or 1068 A.D.[1]), engraved on the pedestal. The inscription states that King Kundavarma of the Alupa Dynasty installed the Lokeshwara idol in Kadarika Vihara.[2] It mentions Mangalore as "Mangalapura". The image has three faces and six arms, and holds and hold flowers in two of the arms. The crown depicts a Dhyani Buddha. The image has an ornate prabhavali, and two attendants. It is very well preserved with enameled eyes. There exist two other undated bronze images of similar craftsmanship, one of them is identifiable as an Avalokiteshwar (called Narayana) and other as Buddha (called Vedavyasa).[3] Another stone inscription in Tulu,Kannada and Malayalam scripts of 12-13th century A.D., in temple's kitchen, states that the ruler and the local landlords contributed land for the temple. A 1730 AD text Kadli Manjunath Mahatmyam gives an account of the association with Natha Mantha.

It is believed that Parashurama who was living in Sahyadri, killed the kshathriyas who were cruel and donated the lands to Kashyapa. He prayed to Lord Shiva for a place to live. Lord Shiva assured Parashurama that if he performed a penance at Kadali kshethra, Lord Shiva would reincarnate as Manjunatha for the betterment of the world. As per Shiva's orders Parashurama threw his axe into the sea and created a place for his penance. Yielding to Parashurama's prayers Lord Shiva appeared to him as Manjunatha with Goddess Parvathi and stayed at Kadri for the betterment of the world. As per the orders of Manjunatha the sapthakoti manthras become the seven theerthas.

This temple has Hindu and Buddhist histories. Buddhism was practised here till the 10th century AD.[4] But after the decline of Buddhism, the devotion of Manjusri and Avalokiteśvara continued in this region. The Nath cult was embraced towards Buddhism and continued Tantric Shiva tradition as well. As a result, many Buddhist temples came into the Hindu vortex. According to M. Govinda Pai this temple was known as Kadri Manjunatha where is Manjunatha relates to Shiva and Kadri is derived from Kadri Vihara which was Buddhist monastery of Vajrayana cult.[5]

King Kundavarma of the Alupa dynasty left an inscription on the base of the Avalokiteśvara image stating he was devotee of Shiva. This image was not of Buddha, but of Bodhisattva, who was being worshiped as integrated form of Shiva. Further M. Govinda Pai has concluded this was center of Bodhisattva Manjusri's cult. And later on this Bodhisattavs were identified as Saivite deities.[5] Shiv linga and Bodhisattva were worshiped together for centuries at this place until it was converted completely to a Saivite temple. Knadarika Vihara provides firm inscriptional evidence for this transformation.[5] After the 11th century Brahimins took forcible possession.[6]

In front of the temple, at a height there are a number of water ponds. There's a garden surrounding the ponds. When one walks down from there in front of the temple is a huge lightpole. During karthika maasa, deepothsava is held here. There are statues of Machendranath, Gorakanath, Shringinath, Lokeshwara, Manjushri, and Buddha in the temple.


A view near Kadri Manjunath temple

Now, the chief deity of this temple is Manjunatha, which incorporates a Shiva linga. The statue of Lokeshwara in the seated position[citation needed] with three faces and six arms is tipped to be the best bronze statue in India.[7] It is about 1.5 meter tall.[8]

Gomukha and water tanks[edit]

There is a natural spring at an elevated location at the back of the temple. It is called Gomukha. It is believed that the water flows from Bhageerathi river, in Kashi and thereby it gets its name as Kashi Bhageerathi theertha. The water from this spring is let into nine ponds of different sizes adjacent to it. Visitors wash themselves in these ponds before entering the main temple.[citation needed]

Annual festival[edit]

Annual Jathra Mahothsava is held during the month of January. Nine days of festival starts on the day of makara sankranthi. Bhandara of Malaraya daiva is paraded from kadri kambala ganada kottige house ( G.K House kadri kambla, initiative led by DK Ashok) hasiru hore kanikey (requirements of mass feedings) is pompously carried forward.Theertha snana is held at morning, followed by dwajasthambha arohana, lighting of kanchi sthambha, and bali uthsava on the same day.

Savari Bali[edit]

Uthsava bali is held for four days, where lord Manjunatha consecutively visits four kattas in the four directions.

  1. Bikarnakatte savari
  2. Mallikatte savari
  3. Mundana katte savari
  4. Konchadi katte savari

On the seventh day of festival, after the savari's "Seventh Deepothsava" is held and "Maha Anna Samtharpaney" (mass feeding) is held.

Thousands of people assemble to get fed by the delicacies of prasadam offered.

Maha rathothsava[edit]

Following day of mass feeding, Maha manmaharathothsava, chariot uthsava is held. Devotees all over the world assemble to seek the blessings of lord Shree Manjunatha and to be a part of the grand ceremony.

BELLI RATHOTHSAVA or silver chariot uthsava is then followed.


Thulabhara seve, avabritha snana, Chandramandalothsava, and Dhwaja arohana is held.


Parva is held for Malaraya daiva,the right servant and Anappa daiva, the left servant of Manjunatha God. Procession of the bhandara from temple to kadri hills where nemothsava is held in the daivasthana for Malaraya and bhanta daiva .After the nemothsava the bhandara is brought back to G.K House kadri kambla, from where it was originally brought from.

Under the guidance of Sudhakar rao Pejawar and mallika kala vrinda, cultural programs are held daily during the annual festival.

Delicious meals or anna prasadham is fed to all the devotees during jathra mahothsava.

Maha pooja, Uthsava bali, Nithya bali, Bhootha bali is held daily.

See also[edit]

Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple
Sri Gopalakrishna Temple Kumble
Madhur Temple


  1. ^ Collected Papers on Buddhist Studies, Padmanabh S. Jaini, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2001 p. 148
  2. ^ Worship of Lord Brahma, Part 85, 2005
  3. ^ Monastic Wanderers: Nāth Yogī Ascetics in Modern South Asia, Veronique Bouillier, Routledge, 2017, ch. 4. The Kadli Math History
  4. ^ Nayak, Amrita (12 April 2005). "History set in bronze". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 9 March 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Jaini, ed. by Padmanabh S. (2001). Collected papers on Buddhist studies (1. ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 147–150. ISBN 8120817761.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Sadasivan, S.N. (2000). A social history of India. New Delhi: APH Pub. Corp. pp. 207–208. ISBN 817648170X.
  7. ^ "History set in bronze". Deccan Herald. 2005-04-12. Archived from the original on 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2006-03-25.
  8. ^ Edwards, Nick; David Abram; et al. (2003). The rough guide to South India (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 250. ISBN 1843531038.

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