Kateel temple – A True feel of divinity

A glimpse of Maravanthe beach playing on the mind, the next plan was a quick drive to Mangalore and return back to Udupi.  It was 10:30am when we routed to Mangalore to visit Kateel temple. Since childhood, Mangalore is dear to my heart as I had heard a lot about it from my  Mangalore friends <3 Though it is a black box for me, I had good references to Mangalore culture.  Bhoota kola, Yakshagaana, Dollu kunitha being their iconic dance forms. Also, I cannot stop myself from praising the pathrode and neer dose. Obviously, for non-vegetarians, it is a paradise for seafood. We had an interesting discussion on the various angles of Mangalore among us.

Kateel Durgaparameshwari temple is an ancient temple and is the Goddess of Shakti worshipped largely by the coastal areas of Karnataka. As I had observed, most Mangaloreans would have a photo of Kateel devi in their home. So, this had made me curious to visit this temple whenever I would be in Mangalore. Many great personalities visit this temple every year and believe in Kateel devi strongly. It is one of the sacred temples of pilgrimage in India.

Temple side view – Unique architecture

Although I am quite good in deducing the meanings of Kannada words I hear, I was wondering what does Kateel mean?  A part of me always tries to find the meaning of the place and any history associated with it 😛 . The word Kateel is in Sanskrit -‘Kati’ means ‘centre’. Kateel is midway between Kanakagiri, the source of the river, and Pavanje, where the river joins the sea. ‘Ila’ means an area (land), thus the place is called ‘Kati + lla‘, Kateel.

Kateel temple entrance – bright red and gold colours

We routed to Kateel temple and reached there at 12 pm.  We parked the car in the parking lot behind the temple. As it was Sunday, many pilgrims were here already. This is an ancient temple which reflects the unique architecture native to coastal Karnataka. It is richly painted with bright red and golden colours. As soon as we entered the temple, there were two small bridges on either side of the entrance. I heard the roaring gush of water. I was wondering if the temple built on a river. Yes, The temple is situated on an islet formed naturally in the middle of the River Nandini. The river flows around the temple in full roar and is beautiful to watch. Wow! 🙂

The bridge and Nandini river flowing

We entered the temple and the whole premises was filled with the fragrance of various Yagna. Vedic mantra chantings from the priests, offering sacred woods to the Yagna Kunda, ghee and sandal powder perfume had spread the entire atmosphere. The temple bells created a great centre of energy. A feeling of bhakti ran through my spine 🙂 . The temple premises is just a breath away from divinity is what I felt!

Temple Sannidhi

We moved further for the darshan. The Durgaparameshwari deity is in the seated posture with four arms depicting Abhaya and Varadha mudras. She is in the form of the loving and caring mother. The idol is always decorated with jasmine flowers and is a treat to eyes 🙂 A bow to the goddess made us feel blessed. A light spirit of bhakti embraced us. Devoutness and divinity just sank within our souls.

This place has given me a new meaning of devotion. I wanted to know more about this place. As I researched I got to know a lot and a brief summary here.

Origin of the temple :

Goddess battled with Shumbha and Nishumba and killed them. But their minister Arunasura fled, built an army and started torturing people on Earth. Disturbed by this, Rishi Jabali requested Brahma to lend Kamadhenu to perform Yagnas and chantings in the Earth. Brahma offered Nandini, daughter of Kamadhenu for the need. But on the other hand, Nandini insulted the Rishi, and he cursed her back to flow as a river on Earth. Nandini appealed to Goddess Durga to relieve her from the curse. Goddess Durga agreed and said that she would appear as a linga in the Nandini river and purify her. (That’s the reason the temple is located on the banks of River Nandini).

On the other hand, to defeat the Arunasura, she appeared as Mohini, a dancer in his gardens (This is the reason, Yakshagaana is performed in Kateel kshetra) and impressed him. When he approached her, she hid behind a rock and burst out as a swarm of bees (This is the reason, she is also referred to as Bhramarambika) and attacked to kill him finally. After this, she appeared as linga and stayed in Kateel kshetra showering her blessings.

Now, I know how sacred is this temple and why people believe in this goddess of shakti. It’s a must visit the temple in Mangalore. After this visit, we started to drive to Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara temple, which is another famous temple in Mangalore.

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Visiting tips:

  • How far: The Kateel temple is located 20kms (30 mins) away from the centre of Mangalore and 350kms from Bangalore
  • How to reach: Mangalore is reachable by flights, train, buses and private vehicles. There are direct KSRTC buses from Bangalore running every day. Well connected by means of transportation.
  • Visiting timings: The Kateel temple timings are from 6 am to 10 pm.
  • Where to eat: The Temple provides free lunch and dinner to all the visiting pilgrims. The Timings are 12:30 PM to 3 PM and 8:30 PM to 10 PM.
  • Where to stay: Kateel temple trust has three lodges for devotees- Nandini lodge, Bhramari Lodge, and Durgaprasad Lodge.
  • Dress code: The temple doesn’t impose any dress code. Preferred to wear an ethnic dress while visiting any temple.
  • Festivals: Annual festival during Mesha sankramana and the nine days of Navarathri.
  • Please maintain silence and keep the premises clean.

Read other posts on :
1. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip Part-1]
2. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ]
3. Agumbe – Drive through Deadly Western ghats
4. Maravanthe beach – Bond of sea and river

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