This is part II of my trip to temple towns of Dakshin Kannada.
Kollur is renowned for Shree Mookambika temple – an important seat of Shakthi worship. It is on the Banks of River Sauparnika surrounded by thick forest and has a natural formation resembling Sri Chakra. The main deity in the temple is Jyothirlinga (Lord Shiva). This is in front of the idol of Godess Mookambika. It is believed Adi Sankaracharya ( founder of shaivism sect in India) is said to have installed metal image of the Goddess. Adi Shankara is reported to have composed 'Soundarya Lahiri’ here. Soundarya lahiri is a composition of verses in praise of the beauty of the Goddess. We had a nice darshan . The crowd was limited and then walked down to the sauparnika river , waded in the water and left to Shringeri.
Shringeri: When we reached sringeri a little after mid morning we dropped our belongings in a huge community hall belonging to the math. From here, we proceeded to Horanadu.
Horanadu. We reached around 5 in the evening. It was the twilight time and slighty darker . Our bus reached a spot close to the river Bhadra. Now we had to cross the River Bhadra to reach the other side of the bank to trek to the temple. We had people of all ages in our team . We held the hands of one another formed a chain and crossed the river which was wider. It was a wonderful experience. Then we trekked up to reach the abode of Annapoorneshwari Temple located in the picturesque surroundings of the Western Ghats of Karnataka , 100 kms southwest of Chikmagalur, surrounded by dense forests and valleys. The deity is covered with gold. At that time there was no sanctum and there was just a thick rope separating you and the god.
Now the temple has been renovated and provisions are made for pilgrims to stay over night. After the darshan we went to Kalasa , a place very close to Horandu and had darshan of Lord Shiva (called Kalseshwara here) . From there to Sringeri where we had already dropped our baggage.
According to legend, Sringeri was discovered by Sri Sankaracharya. While Adi Shankaracharya was walking by the Tunga river, he saw a cobra with a raised hood, providing shadow from the scorching rays of the hot sun, to a frog about to spawn. Impressed with the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he selected this place and decided to stay here and teach his disciples and stayed here for twelve years. The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Sharada, The goddess of learning & wisdom. This was also installed by Adi shankara.
Managed to reach the sringeri temple just before the evening closing time. The beauty of the flower bedecked Goddess mesmerized us. I have no words in my vocabulary to describe The beauty and calmness of the deity. I could feel the presence of peace in my mind at the mere sight of the goddess. Again the temple was not crowded and we could connect with the goddess well.
The temple complex also is home to vedic schools, temples of Vidya shankara, Hayagriva and it is also one of the four mutts established by Adi shankara.
At night we rested at the choultry. A huge hall where all the 45 of us were accommodated. The elders were tired and slept soundly. But we children(in 1993) started playing anthakshri and dumb charades. We were hushed by the elders periodically.
Next day morning we went again to the temple sat through the puja visited the small temple, vedic schools, the samadhis of the seers and by evening we started towards Bangalore.
All through the ghat section we were visually treated to the beauty of nature , The lofty hills where water cascaded down and fell on you in light showers when you were winding on the western ghats road, rivers like tunga, bhadra, sauparnika, nandini, dense forests , beautiful valleys etc topped with good food prepared by the travels crew.
An absolutely entertaining and divine journey to the temple towns of Dakshin Kannada came to an end on the morning of 16th Jan when we reached Bangalore.
Temple historyCourtesy : Karnataka Vision