A two-day pocket-friendly trip to Mookambika, Udupi, Murudeshwar and Kudajadri

It would take close to three hours to reach Murudeshwar from Udupi by bus. Photo: Shutterstock/explorewithinfo

The popular Mookambika Temple doubles up as a tourist spot with great ease as hundreds of thousands of people, both devotees and travellers, visit this place of worship in Karnataka.

The temple, which is also visited by lakhs of people from Kerala, is a favoured holy place to initiate toddlers to the world of letters and stage one’s first art performance.

Considering the flow of visitors to the Mookambika Temple, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is running bus services from main cities in Kerala to Kollur, where the temple is located.

The railway station nearest to the Mookambika Temple is Byndoor Road. But if you want to visit all the places of interest in the region, it is better to kick off your tour from Udupi and Murudeshwar, and later travel to the Mookambika Temple. Chalk out your itinerary in such a way that you reach Udupi early in the morning.

Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. Photo: Shutterstock/AnilD

Udupi to Murudeshwar
After alighting at the Udupi railway station, hail an autorickshaw and head to the famous Sree Krishna Temple. First take a room on rent and freshen up before paying obeisance at the temple. Rooms are available for Rs 400 and upwards. After offering prayers at the temple, you can straight away go to Murudeshwar.

It would take close to three hours to reach Murudeshwar from Udupi by bus and make sure to reach Murudeshwar before 3pm. If you can’t get a direct bus, board a bus to Bhatkal and from there travel to Murudeshwar. You can also board a bus running service on the Udupi-Mangaluru-Goa route to reach Murudeshwar. The bus ticket fare is below Rs 100.

The beach near Udupi. Photo: Shutterstock/Svetlana Eremina

The Murudeshwar Temple opens its gates to welcome devotees at 3pm. You can keep your bags in the cloak room and offer prayers at the temple, which is not usually teeming with pilgrims. After visiting the Murudeshwar Temple, you can leave for the Mookambika Temple by bus via Byndoor.

Rooms are aplenty in Mookambika and you can take ample rest overnight in one of the hotels. Wake up early in the morning to have a ‘darshan’ of the goddess.

Spiritual ambience envelops temple
The Mookambika Temple is located at the center of the Kollur village. The devotees enter the east-facing temple through the eastern side of the holy place. A huge golden flagstaff and a ‘deepastambam’ (holy post holding many lamps), which is as big as the golden flagstaff, would greet you as you enter the temple.

Kollur Mookambika Temple. Photo: Shutterstock/CamBuff

The golden flagstaff has been built following the Kannada style of architecture and the ‘deepastambam’ has a Stamba Ganapathy on it. The sanctum sanctorum of Subramania Swamy along with the ‘nagas’ (serpent gods) is facing west in the south-eastern side of the temple.

The main deity of the temple is ‘Swayambhu linga’ with a golden line dividing it into two equal parts. It is believed that the divine forms of Mahakali, Mahalaksmi and Mahasaraswati are on the right side of the idol and the ‘Trimurtis’ on the left side.

The ‘panchaloha’ idol of goddess, which was consecrated by Adi Shankara, is placed behind ‘Swayambhu linga’. Besides the idol of goddess, the idols of five-faced Ganapathy, Subramanian, Hanuman, Maha Vishnu and Veerabhadran are also installed inside the sanctum sanctorum.

The temple is surrounded by mountains on four sides and cocooned inside a 12ft tall boundary wall known as ‘Aanapalla mathil’ (elephant belly wall). Two two-storey ‘gokuparams’ (ornate towers) literally stand tall on the eastern and western sides of the place of worship. A small shrine, which is near the lodging facilities for the temple priests on the south-eastern region, is dedicated to the Valampiri Ganapathy. It is believed that goddess Mookambika would come to Kerala if devotees from that state don’t offer prayers at the temple. But that day won’t come for sure.

After paying obeisance at the Mookambika Temple, one could head to the pristine Kudajadri. Though the jeep service from Mookambika to Kudajadri is available till 2.30pm, make sure to start the journey by 12 noon. The jeep will reach Kudajadri by evening and the fare per person nearly Rs 500. Kudajadri looks mesmerizing in the evening with the sunlight fading away and the floating mist taking center stage. The Shankaracharya’s ‘jnanapeeda’ and its surrounding vistas are ethereal. You can return to Mookambika by 7pm.

You can be part of the temple’s evening rituals like ‘seeveli’ (ceremonial parade around the temple) and enjoy the magic with lamps. You can leave Mookambika early in the morning after an overnight stay by boarding a bus to Byndoor and catching a train to Kerala from there.

Want to just visit Mookambika temple
If you want to just offer prayers at the Mookambika Temple, get down at the Byndoor railway station, which is 30km away from the revered place of worship. You can either hail a ‘share taxi’ or board a bus from Byndoor to reach the temple. The travel time from Byndoor to Mookambika is close to one hour.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.