Kadri Manjunath Temple, New Mangalore, India | CruiseBe
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Kadri Manjunath Temple

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Kadri Manjunatha Temple is located in Mangalore in the state of Karnataka, India, was originally made by Vajrayana Buddhist but later on due to fall of Buddhism converted for the deity Manjunatha by Hindus.


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 idol of Lord Manjunathaswamy of the temple is called as oldest of the South Indian Temples. 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 along 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 history. Buddhism was practised here till the 10th century AD. But after the fall of Buddhism the devotion of Manjusri and Avalokiteśvara continued in this region. The Nath cult was embraced towards Buddhism and continued there Tantric Shiva tradition as well. As a result many Buddhist temples came in 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.

King Kundavarma of Alupa dynasty has left an inscription on the base on 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. Shiv linga and Bodhisattva were worshipped together for centuries at this place until this was converted completely to Saivite temple. Knadarika Vihara provides firm inscriptional evidence for this transformation. After the 11th century Brahimins took forcible possession.

In front of the temple, at an 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 Budha in the temple.


Now, the chief deity of this temple is Manjunatha. There is a shiv ling on him. The statue of Lokeshwara in the seated positionwith three faces and six arms is tipped to be the best bronze statue in India. It is about 1.5 meter tall.

Gomukha and water tanks

There is a natural spring at an elevated location at the back of the temple. It is called Gomukha. The water from this spring is let into 9 ponds of different sizes adjacent to it. People visiting the temple wash themselves in these ponds before entering the main temple.

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