The seven muktistalas of Karnataka are Udupi,
Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna. All
of these shrines are also known as Parasurama Kshetras, created on the land reclaimed from
the sea by Parasurama. Kollur is held in reverence by pilgrims from
Karnataka and Kerala alike. All of these shrines are cradled in the picturesque Western
Ghats in the coastal region of Karnataka, and are well connected with Mangalore, the
Kollur enshrines the
celebrated Mookambika temple, and is known for its close association with the celebrated
spiritual leader Aadi Sankaracharya.
Udupi enshrines an enchanting
image of Bala Krishna (Gopala), and is the seat of Madhvacharya - the founder of the
Dvaita school of philosophy.
Gokarna: is one
of the celebrated Shiva temples in Karnataka, enshrining the Atma Lingam. Gokarna has been
revered by the tamil hymns of the Nayanmar saints of the 1st millennium CE.
Subrahmanya: This ancient
pilgrimage enshrining Subrahmanya on the Kumara Parvata is located at a
distance of 103 km from Mangalore, and 97 km from Hassan.
Kumbasi: This ancient pilgrimage
center enshrines Ganesha in a standing posture. The temple tank has a small shrine in the
center, one side of which is the Surya Pushkarini and the other is Chandra Pushkarini.
Images of Hari, Hara and the Kamandala of Gowtama Muni are enshrined here.
Legend has it that Gowtama
Rishi who was engaged in meditation here, harrassed by a demon by name Kumbha. The
Pandavas who were engaged in a pilgrimage of this area, are believed to have rescued him.
Bhima is believed to have slain the demon with a sword provided by Ganesha.
Five temples related to the pilgrimage of the
Pandavas, are found in the neighboring coastal state of Kerala.
Kodeshwara: This pilgrimage center
enshrines Kotilingeshwara, in a shallow Peetham. This temple also has shrines to Ganesha,
Ardhanareeswara and Parvati. Legend has it that Shiva was worshipped here as
Kotilingeshwara by Bhrama.
The annual festival is celebrated in the month of
Vrischika (Scorpio), during the full moon. The full moon in the month of Vrischika is the
commemoration of Shiva's appearance as a huge cosmic
column of light in front of Bhrama and Vishnu who worshipped him (as in Tiruvannamalai). Kodeshwara is located at a distance of
5 km from Kumbasi. The theertham here is Koti Theertham.
Sankaranarayana: Two Lingams are
enshrined in the sanctum of the Sankaranarayana temple here, which also has shrines to
Subramnaya, Panchamukha Anjaneya and Venugopala. Sankaranarayana is located on the banks
of the Varahi river.A perennial spring oozes out of the sanctum.
Legend has it that a sage by name
Kroda performed penances to have a darshan of Hari and Hara in the form of the
Harihara swaroopam Sankaranarayana. Sankaranarayana is located at a distance of 25 km from
Kodeshwara. The sacred theerthams here are the Koti theertham, the Agni Theertham and the
The Pancha Pandavas and Kerala
Lingodbhava - Origin of Linga worship