Kollur

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Kolluru is a tiny hamlet situated about 37 kilometres (23 mi) from Kundapur Town, about 133 kilometres (83 mi) away from Mangalore City in Karnataka state in the southern part of India. This village lies at the foot of the Western Ghats and is famous for the Mookambika temple, a Hindu pilgrim center.

Kollur also called Kollapura, about 42 km north-east of Kundapur town and one of the important places of pilgrimage in Karnataka State has a temple dedicated to Mookambika.

The goddess is called Mookambika as she is said to have slain the demon Mookasura. The goddess is described as in the form of a jyotirlinga incorporating both Shiva and Shakti. The panchaloha image of the goddess on Shri Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Shri Adi Shankaracharya. The Divine Mother is said to be a manifestation of trigunas or triple forms. The shikhara of the temple which is well gilded with gold is said to have been donated by Sankanna Savantha. Around the chief shrine of Mookambika, there are many other shrines.

The idol of Chandramaulishvara is said to have been installed by Shri Adi Shankara. The temple has been renovated by Keladi rulers. The temple of Mookambika and other shrines attract a large number of pilgrims from other states too.

Myths and legends

Kollur is an important seat of Shakti worship. The temple is rich in puranic lore.

Legend goes that a Maharishi (monk) Kola was enchanted with nature’s beauty and decided to perform a penance on a rock near the Agnitheertham. Lord Shiva, delighted with Kola, appeared before him and blessed him. The Maharishi wished for the welfare of mankind and nothing else. The Lord, happy with Kola, granted him his wish. He assured that a swayambu (autogenetic) Linga would appear for his daily worship. However, Kola wanted to worship Devi also. So, a swarna rekha (gold line) appeared on the Lingam, signifying Shakti. Thus, Shiva and Shakti are worshipped together in the Lingam. Besides this, a unique feature is that the other Gods and Goddess of the Hindu pantheon also believed to reside in aroopa (non-form) in the Linga. It is thus believed to be an abode of the entire celestial congregation.

It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and installed the deity here. The legend goes that Adi Shankara meditated at Kodachadri hills and Devi incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to install the Devi idol in a place in Kerala to worship where he wanted. Devi agreed but put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back till he reaches his destination. But to test Shankara, Devi deliberately stopped the voice of her anklets when they reached Kollur whereupon Shankara turned and looked back because of doubt. Devi then asked Shankara to install her vigraha, just as he sees her, at that very location in Kollur.

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