Mundkur – Temples of Tulu Nadu

Along the river Shambhavi in Dakshina Kannada, an unbelievable number of ancient and beautiful temples exist. Most of these are thousands of years old and carry an amazing amount of historical significance. There are mainly a lot of Shiva and Durga temples along this line. Even after dedicating myself to just this stretch every time I visit Tulu Nadu, I have not yet managed to cover even half of them.

Sri Mundkur Durga Parameshwari Temple is another such wonderful temple. It is along the Shambhavi river coast and can be reached if one takes the Belmann-Moodabidri road from Udupi. Along with Inna-Muddanu, this temple also was established  by Sage Bharadwaja Bhargava. In fact, this temple along with Inna is the Kula Devata temple for many people in Tulu Nadu who have Bhargava  Gotra. On the day I visited this temple, a special alankara with Sandal paste was made to the main idol and Devi was looking resplendent in a golden hue.

Sri Durga Parameshwari
Sri Durga Parameshwari
Sri Ganapathi
Sri Ganapathi

The Ganapathi idol in the temple is fully covered with silver and looks very auspicious. This temple has a history of more than 1200 years old. The priest of the temple took me to the well used to draw water for the rituals. The rings of the well have not been changed over the years and stand as archaeological proof for the age of the temple. There are deep grooves on all the rings which stand as testimony to the fact that this temple has been in existence for thousands of years.

Very old well
Very old well
Theertha Mantapa
Theertha Mantapa

This temple, over the years, had been patronised by the rulers of Moodabidri. In fact, legend has it that the King and Queen of Moodabidri, when visiting the temple praying in front of the idol, the ear rings of the Queen dropped down. The Queen gave it as an offering to the idol. The ear rings are used to decorate the idol of Durga even today. Two wooden pillars were also carved on behalf of the King in memory of this event.

Wooden pillars
Wooden pillars
Garbha Gudi
Garbha Gudi

From one of the books available at the temple, I managed to obtain a photo of the idol without any decoration. It is an amazing carving!

dsc00812The annual festival in the temple starts from the 22nd day of Makara (Feb) and is held for 8 days. It is considered very auspicious to offer ‘Jaji’ and ‘Mallige’ flowers to Durga here. Hence, a lot of devotees visit this temple carrying these flowers.

Name: Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple

Location: Mundkur, Udupi District

Main deities: Durga, Ganapathi

Bhutas: Doomavathy, Varahi, Pili chamundi, Rakteshwari


Address: Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple, Mundkur, Karkala Taluk, Udupi district – 576121

Contact: by snail mail

How to get there: From Udupi, take the Karkala road via Padubidri. A few kilometres later, take the deviation to Belmann. Mundkur lies on this stretch.

Specialities: Mundkur is surrounded by the river Shambhavi on three sides (East, South and West). Around Mundkur, four Shiva temples are located – Posaral towards South-East, Inna-Muddanu towards North-East, Ulepadi towards South-West and Bola towards North-West.

More photos can be seen here.


7 thoughts on “Mundkur – Temples of Tulu Nadu

  1. Good website. Hope the Diety Sri Duga Parameshwari fulfill every ones Wishes. Let HER biessings be with us all.

    1. it is difficult to tell when temple is built. Temple might have been renovated 1000 yrs back, but can not decide when Devi appeared and killed mundasura. We have to refer puranaas.

  2. Dear Mr. Hari,
    Good coverage on Sri Kshetra Mundkur. Goddess Durga is woshipped as Kuladevi by the Bhargava Gotra Brahmins; Mane Devi by GSBs, Bunts, Kulals and Billavaas. The idol has been installed by “Sage Bhargava” and not Sage Bharadwaja. Originally Priests in Mundkur and Inna were from Bharadwaja Gotra. Now in Mundkur Bharadwaja Gotraja Brahmins are the priests. Mundkur is the central place for Inna, Mundkur and Mulladka villages. even in ancient records it is called as Mundkur Seeme and Mundkur Sri Durga is Seeme devaru for these three villages and oldest temple among the Saptha durga Kshetraas of undevided South Kanara. Inna temple came in to existance after yellur Sri Vishwanatha temple , has an history of around six hundred years which is the village temple of Inna in Muddannu. you can refer Mundkur in wikipedia for more details and related pictures.

    1. Namaskara Sri Acharya,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Indeed it was a mistake that I wrote Bharadwaja instead of Bhargava. Thanks also for the other details you have provided.

      Regards, Hari

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