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Religious Spots in Mangalore

Mangalore is an important city in the district of Dakshina Kannada. The city is at a distance of 342 km from Bangalore and has Western Ghats which are situated in the eastern part and the Arabian Sea on its western region. Mangalore plays an important role in the export business of coffee and cashew. One of the unique elements of Mangalore culture is that different religious communities like Hindus, Christians and minor communities like Jain’s and Muslims stay in complete harmony with each other.

The Hindu communities apart from the regular Hindu sects have other communities like The Havyakas, the Saraswat Brahmins, the Shivalli Brahamins and the Brahmins belonging to Kota community. The Havyakas are one of the popular religious sects in the city of Mangalore and have contributed greatly in the economy and social growth of Mangalore city.

Due to the settlements of Portuguese community before independence, Christianity is the next important religion. Muslims in Mangalore are a minority community but there is a large population of Beary sects here. This community follows the teachings of Moplahs. This vibrant communities staying in Mangalore have their individual places of worship and this make Mangalore a great place for religious tourism. Below we have described a few religious spots in Mangalore belonging to different communities.

Temples in Mangalore

Temple at Sharavu Mahaganapathi

This temple is located around one km from the Mangalore Railway Station and is situated in the main part of the city. The temple at Sharavu Mahaganapathi was built in ancient times over 800 years old. The temple is open to its pilgrims from the time 6AM to 8PM. There is a legend behind the formation of the temple. As the legend unfolds the then king of Tuluva region killed a cow and committed a sin.

In order to remove the sin he had created he established a Shiva linga and this came to be known as Sharabeshwara. Worshipers at Sharavu Mahaganapathi believe that the sacred image of Sri Dhashabhuja Mahaganapathy appeared on the walls of the temple. The temple has a tank which is known as “Sharatheertha”. Important festivals celebrated in this temple are Rathostava, Vinayaka Chaturthi and Deeposthava. The religious dance of Yakshagana is also performed here on these festivals.

Sri Venkata Ramana Temple

The temple of Sri Venkata Ramana is located in the heart of Mangalore city, in the area which is known as the Car Street. This temple is indicated to a Lord Venkata Ramana, one of the reincarnations of Lord Vishnu. The temple was built around the period of 17th century and there are beautiful bronze statues of Lord Vittala and Gopalkrishna there which have been built by a noble family from Mangalore.

The main deities worshiped in this temple are Goddess Sridevi, Bhoomidevi, Shree Gopalakrishna and Lord Vithala. During Mangalore Car Festival there is great celebration in the temple for nearly a week. The temple is open during these hours which are in the morning from 6:00 AM to 12:30PM and in the evening from 6:00 PM to 8:00PM.

Gokarnanatheswara Temple

This temple is located at 2 ½ km from Mangalore Railway station and is one of the most visited city in Mangalore. The main deity of this temple is Gokarnanatheswara. This temple was established by Narayana Guru a popular social reformer from Kerala. The Gokarnanatheswara temple at Kudroli was built in 1912 by a devotee named Koragappa. In 1991 the temple was renovated using the Chola gopuram style.

There is also a special Shiva Linga which was brought into the temple especially by Naryanana Guru and it is said that the found the Shiva linga under water. The other deities worshipped are Annapoorneshwari and Lord Ganesha and Bhairava. The festival of Navarathri is one of its main festivals and on the 9th day there is a grand procession undertaken to celebrate the Dusshera festival. The gates of the temple are open in the morning at these timings 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the morning and 4:00PM to 8:30 PM in the evening.

Famous Temple in Mangalore
The Gokarnanatheswara temple at Kudroli built in 1912

Mangaladevi Temple

In Mangalore area of Bolar, the famous temple of Mangalore is located and the city of Mangalore is set to derive its name from this auspicious temple. The main Goddess of the temple is Mangaladevi and legend has it that the temple was built in 9th century in memory of Mangale, the Princess of Malabar. It is believed that when unmarried girls perform a special ritual pooja here their wish is unfulfilled and they find the man of their dreams.

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Kudupu

This is one of the popular Hindu temples in Mangalore and has great number of pilgrims visiting it throughout the year. This temple is situated in Mangalore area which is known as Mercara Hill Road. The main deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu with his mighty seven headed serpent. There is also a holy pond known as pond 'Bhadra Saraswathi Thirtha'. Other deities worshipping this temple are Goddess Sree Devi and Lord Subhramanya and Ganapathi.

The popular festival in this temple at Kudupu of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is Shasthti which is celebrated in the month of December. The festival of Nagapanchami is also celebrated here with great pomp and splendor. The door of the temple is open from 6:30 AM in the morning to 7:30 PM in the evening.

Polali Raja Rajeswari Temple

This is a must visit temple for Hindus in the district of Dakshina Kannada. It is a very old temple and is believed to be more than 2000 years old. In ancient times the deity was called Porala Devi and a river known as Phalguni meandered around the area. The icon of this temple is made of clay and around 10 feet tall, which makes it one of the tallest in Karnataka.

The other deities worshipped here are Lord Ganesha and Shree Subrahmanya. The main festival of the temple is celebrated during the month of February and March every year for seven long days. There is a famous event known as Polali Chendu which is actually a football match of five day long. Pilgrims can visit this temple from the period between 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

A famous religious place of Hindu
Polali Raja Rajeswari Temple in Mangalore was built 2000 years ago

Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple

This temple is located in the banks of Nandini River and in the Permude area. It is one of the popular temples of the region and Goddess Durga is the main deity here. Goddess Durga is seen here in a seated form with her four arms. This area is known as Kateel as it is situated in the middle of Katee River. Different goddesses and gods are worshiped here which are Mahaaganapati, Nagas, Ayyappan and Rakteswari. The dance of Yakshagana portrays the act where Goddess Durga Parameshwari dances and also tells the stories of her various miracles to her worshippers. The main festival is celebrated here in the month of April and for over 8 days. Other festivals celebrated here are Kartika Masa and Navaratri.

Bappanadu Durga Parameshwari Temple

The temple is situated in the banks of Shambavi River in the village named Bappanadu. Here Goddess Durga is worshipped in Linga form and the temple was built around the 14th century. The main festival of the Temple of Bappanadu Durga Parameshwari is celebrated in the month of April every year.

Sri Venkata Ramana Temple in Mulki

This temple is located in the area in Mulki and was built in t12th century. The main deity of this temple was Lord Venkateswara a reincarnation of the Hindu main god Lord Vishnu. Mulki is near the Shambavi River and on National Highway 17. Other gods worshipped in the temple are Lord Vitalla and Narasimha.  One of the famous events help in the temple is the Kambala Buffalo race and the car festival held in the month of December. It is considered that the statue of Lord Narasimha was installed during these festival days many years ago. 

Manjunatha Temple

This temple is located on the banks of a river named Netharavathi. There is another name for the region known which Sri Kshetra is. The Manjunatha temple is dedicated to Manjunatha a incarnation of Lord Shiva. There is a Shiva linga here which is said to have been brought from the Kadri temple. Its current name of Dharmasthala was given by Vadirraja Swami from Udupi. The main festival is Lakshadeepotsava which is celebrated in the month of November and December. The administration of the temple is involved with many social causes like educating the poor. The temple is open from 6:30 AM in the morning to 2:00 PM in the afternoon and 7:00 PM in the morning to 8:30 PM in the late evening.

Jain Temple of Saavira Kambada Basadi of Moodabidri

There is a popular Jain temple situated in Moodabidri. This Jain temple is said to have thousand pillars and depicts Vijayanagar architectural elements.  Chandranatha is the main deity here and the statue is made of five or “Panch” metals. When visiting the temple you would notice exquisite wooden carvings on the pillars, depicting the life of Theertankara and Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. This temple is considered to be one of the important centers of Jain worship and is also known as Jain Kashi.

This Jain temple is situated thirty seven km from Mangalore and located on No-13 national Highway. The best way to reach here is to take a personal taxi or auto rickshaw. Other Jain shrines in the area are Mahadeva Shetty Basadi, Vikram Shetty Basadi, and Koti Shetty Basadi. In total there are 18 shrines and each bear the name of the builder i.e Basadi.

Jain Temple in Mangalore

Churches in Mangalore

Milagres Church

This is one of the most popular churches in Mangalore and is also known as the Church dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles. Bishop Thomas de Castro built this church in 1680 and the architecture of the church is very beautiful. There are beautiful French paintings of St Monica and St Augustine near the altar area. The main altar of Church at Milagres contains the statue of Our Lady and the marble altar is a gift from its devotee named Nicholas Britto.

St. Aloyois Chapel

This chapel is located in the college ground of Aloyois which is a central area in Mangalore. The paintings of Antony Moshani an artist from Italy cover the walls of this chapel and give it a unique beauty of its own. The church was built in the last years of the 19th century by Father Joseph Willy. Sistine Chapel in Rome is sometimes compared with the Chapel at St. Aloyois. For art lovers this chapel depicts two types of paintings which are oil painting on canvas and fresco on plaster. The ceiling of the Chapel at St. Aloyois has beautiful paintings which depict St Peter, Saints Paul, Simon and Jude to name a few of them. The central portion of the painting showcases the life and times of St Aloysius Gonzaga. The Chapel is dedicated to this saint. Visitors can visit the chapel from the time 8:30 AM in the morning to 10:00 AM and in the evening from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

Rosario Cathedral

The cathedral at Rosario was built by the Portuguese in 1568. In 1910 due to various reasons the church was re built and is near the popular Hindu temple of Mangaladevi. The design of the church was based on Roman style of architecture and resembles St Peters Basilica of Rome. The dome is very beautiful and the Rosario Cathedral as has a big bell tower. One of the main religious festivals is the feast celebrating the Our Lady Rosary. This feast is held on 7th October each with pomp and splendor.

Church in Mangalore
Rosario Cathedral Church depicts the Portuguese influence in Mangalore

Church of St Lawrence at Attur

This church is a popular church and was built during 1845. The Church of St Lawrence at Attur is located in the outskirts of Karkala town and has great lush greenery surrounding it. One of the unique elements of the church is that apart from its Christian worshipers, worshipers from other faiths also visit and pray for their well being and wishes to be fulfilled. The main festival of the Church of St Lawrence at Attur is celebrated in the month of January and thousands of devotees visit the church during this period. The church is open from 6:30 AM in the morning to 8:30 PM in the evening.  There are special masses held on Saturdays and Sundays in this chapel.

Mosques in Mangalore

Ullal Dargah

The Ullal Daragah is located in the central area of Mangalore city and is popular for its Uroos fair. Pilgrims from all faith visit this dargah and this dargah commemorates Saint Sayyid Mohammed Shareeful Madani. There is an interesting legend regarding Ullal Dargah where the story goes that, four hundred years ago Saint Sayyid reached Ullal floating on a piece of cloth. He settled in the area and showered his love among the poor people staying n the area. After his demise the dargah was built in Ullal.

Kudroli Mosque

This is a religious and an important tourist spot in Mangalore.  The old mosque was destroyed and the current mosque is a new one. Apart from a religious spot, the Kudroli Mosque is also a great seat for learning. The administrators of this mosque also undertake various social activities. The new construction of the mosque was built on 2007.

Masjid in Mangalore
Kudroli Mosque was built in 2007

Jode Mosque

There were two mosques built simultaneously during the period 150 years ago. One was named “Jode Mosque” and the second mosque was known as “Jode Palli”. But both these mosques were looked after two communities which were known as jamaths.

Jumma Masjid in Mangalore

The other name for this mosque is Masjid Zeenath Baksh. The mosque was built around 7th century by an Arab trader. It is a popular place of worship among Muslims in Mangalore.

Jami Mosque of Zeenath in Bunder

The Jami Mosque is recommended for a visit in many international travel guides. The mosque was built by Arab or Portuguese missionaries. Around 18th century, this mosque was renovated by Tipu Sultan. While visiting the Jami mosque you would see intricate wood carvings around the mosque. A structure named “Jamath Khana” was added about hundred years ago.

As a vacationer after visiting these religious spots in Mangalore, also keep minimum two more days to visit tourist spots like Pilikula, the beautiful serene island of St Mary’s, the popular Bejai museum and enjoy the water sports at Sultan Battery. While staying in Mangalore taste the local cuisine of Mangalore which is rich is spices and sea food. Most visitors enjoy Udipi breakfast and the Mangalore Fish Curry. The minimum number of days for your vacation in Mangalore should be around seven days and you would then enjoy its various aspects both urban and rural life. But one visit to its religious spot is not enough, as most tourist come back many times more, as their wishes get fulfilled and they come back to thank their favorite devotee.

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