Kadri Manjunath Temple




Kadri Manjunatha Temple is in Mangalore in the state of Karnataka, India. 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 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. 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.

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. 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. After the 11th century Brahimins took forcible possession.

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.
Now, the chief deity of this temple is Manjunatha. There is a shiv ling on him. The statue of Lokeshwara in the seated position  with three faces and six arms is tipped to be the best bronze statue in India. It is about 1.5 meter tall.
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.
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 with hasiru hore kanikey (requirements of mass feedings) is pompously carried forward under the leadership of Dk Ashok Kumar and members of G.K House. Theertha snana is held at morning, followed by dwajasthambha arohana, lighting of kanchi sthambha, and bali uthsava on the same day.

Savari Bali :

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 :

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.

Rate and write a review