(Last Updated on : 03/09/2010)
Spirituality, mythology and serenity are the best ways to describe Karkala in Karnataka. This is a small town in the south of Karnataka. This place again is a famous Jain religious center. What sets Karkala apart from other religious sites is its splendor. The town is surrounded by hills and lagoon and presents a charming backdrop to the Temple of Gandharva. The striking architecture of the place will definitely impress you. Karnataka is a land of stone structures. This temple too is made out of rock carving and it is thousand years old. The artistic brilliance of the age is well portrayed through such religious monuments. The town itself has been named after the black rocks. The term karikallu means black stones.
Karkala in Karnataka has been rated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is considered as one of the holiest Jain tirthas or pilgrimage center. Karnataka has four statues of Bhagwan Mahabali. One of these has been consecrated in Karkala. The colossal idol has been glorifying the region since 1432. This particular statue is 42 feet long was put up here on the advice of the priest. The Jain temple is situated on a hilltop with a stone staircase. The staircase has been carved out of the hill. The USP of the temple is its architectural design. With ornate porticos and unique staircase it is much sought after by travelers and devotees.
Karkala, Karnataka reflects the spirit of unity in diversity. The Hindu temple of Padutirupathi is as old as the Jain temple. The temple is built in traditional style and it is at a distance of 50 kilometers from the city of Mangalore. The principal deity of this temple is Lord Venkataramana. This place is considered very sacred by the devotees, as they believe that the Lord will grant all their wishes. This majestic building reflects the architecture that was prevalent in ancient South India. The rites and rituals followed at this temple are similar to those of the Tirupathi Temple. According to legends this temple is an extension of Tirupathi. Hence, once in every year the people of Karkala journey to Tirupathi to present the proceeds.
One will also come across the shrine of Hanuman that is 15 feet high. This carved figure of Maruthi is different from His other statues as here He is depicted in flying posture. Several folklores are popular about the Lord`s prowess to grant wishes. There is also the Attur church lying on the fringes of Karkala. The folk dances of Karkala are also interesting to watch out.