Temple at Kudroli in Mangalore is the only temple in Karnataka
set up by Shree Narayana Guru, the great philosopher, saint
and social reformer from Kerala. Shree Narayana Guru had
visited Mangalore in 1912 and expressed his wish that the
Billavas should build a temple for themselves. It is located
on the Kulur ferry Road which is now knH Koragapapa, who
had invited the great social reformer, took the initiative
and responsibility of building this temple which now stands
out among the various temples of Dakshina Kannada for its
sheer grandeur and a look at it will remind you of the temple
towns of Tamilnadu. The land on which the temple is built
was earlier used by Tipu Sultan to graze his war horses.
Hence the name Kudre-vali, which over the years came to
be known as Kudroli.
Shree Narayana Guru first visited the place the land was
unused and untamed. Amidst the ruins of the old temples
of Dhoomavathi and Gautam there
stood a lone Tulsi plant which the Guru chose as a suitable
sight for the temple to be built. With his blessings the
Shiva Linga was established in 1912. To the left of the
Linga the idol of Annapoorneshwari was placed, to its left
the Bhiarva idol, behind which the idol of Ganesh was placed.
Shree Narayana Guru guided and provided various facilities
carry out daily pujas in the temple. It is said that Koragappa,
who took up responsibility of building the temples, was
cured of all his ailments. The renovation committee set
up to work on beautification of the temple was under Soma
Sunder, son of Sri Koragappa, who had built the original
renovation work transformed the temple to its present grandeur
and put it on the tourist map of Mangalore. The renovation
of the temple was estimated at around Rs 1 crore. A marble
statue of Shree Narayan Guru stands out as one enters the
temple. His devotees presented the temple with a crown studded
with precious gems. The temple was inaugurated by the then
Prime Minister late Sri. Rajiv Gandhi. The Kudroli temple
speaks volumes for the vibrancy of the Billava community.
Billavas, meaning bow man or hunter, are the largest community
in the district of Dakshina Kannada. Their chief occupation
being distillation, the Billavas today have expanded their
horizons into other areas of businesses and have made a
significant contribution towards the prosperity of the district.
Billava Community :
Poojary is one the surnames employed by the Billavas. The
surname Poojary is most befitting to this community, because
the entire bhuta worship appears to be dependent on them.
In any celebration of the bhuta (or daiva), the presence
of a Billava is essential. He plays the role of patri (one
who gets possessed by the bhuta). It may even be said that
a good part of the practice of daiva worship may be traced
to this community. It was the two Billavas, Koti Baidya
and Chennaya Baidya who, after their heroic end, were deified
and these have been enshrined throughout Tulu country in
the sthanas known as Baidarkala Garadi (shrine where Baidyas
are worshipped). The story of these heroes may be taken
to roughly five hundred years back, when reference to Ballalas
were made in the Addana.
The other deities worshipped here are Goddess Annapoorneshwari
(another name for Goddess Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva),
Lord Bhairava and Lord Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvathi.
Daily poojas are held with great respect , fervour and honor.
People in and around Mangalore visit the temple to seek
the blessings of Lord Shiva. During Navarathri the Shobhayathra
of the navadurgas is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur
and is a major attraction with lakhs of devotees thronging
the venue. I can go on and on about this temple…..but then…its
not like seeing it with your own eyes….so pack your bags
and come to mangalore!
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