Located at the hill top of Kadri hills Shri Manjunaththeswara temple is one of the ancient sights around Karnataka. Historically this sight was an important centre for the Buddhists who resided in this hill top in as early as 12th and 13th century in the form of Natha Pantha cult. Natha pantha is a modified religious practice that was derived from the Mahayana branch of Buddhism. The Buddhist monks who traveled from northern part of India settled at the Kadri hills and built their viharas which helped them to develop the influence of Buddhism in the region. With these viharas and relevant inscriptions the area was known to be a major centre of Buddhism. Along with some inscriptions of the area also trace the root of Hinduism in the area. While the early part of the inscription is damaged some of its readable parts declare that the hilly area of Kadri was under a Hindu ruler whose name is not known but he declared himself as the follower of Lord Manjunaththeswara- an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Since then Kadri hill is occupied by two cults. While the Buddhist monks continued to reside in the area they came to be known as Jogis and their ashrams as Jogimutt, the other cult which continued to reside was the Hindu group of people who were the followers of Lord Manjunaththeswara. This gave a lot of importance to the area which is marked as one of the ancient sited around Karnataka.
Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple was built in 12th century dedicated to the ancient shrine of Lord Manjunatheswara. This was reconstructed with granite stone in 14th and 15th century. It contains the idol of Lord Manjunatheswara is made up of Panch Dhatu or five metals. The idol of Lord Manjunatheswara is worshiped by all local people. Even the Jogis of Jogimutt also worship the deity as it is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple is surrounded with ancient pre historic caves which are often known s Pandava caves. These are often used by the Jogis for meditation. The temple also includes the small temples of Bhootnath, Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath which are mainly worshipped by the Jogis. Because of its age and location this has been one of the major sights for excavation under Archeological Survey of India. This temple along with its historical background also includes a number of legends which are mentioned in the Puranas. According to Puranas Kadrika is a part of Shiddhashrama.
This temple has been mentioned in the earliest literature of Hindu religion. It is believed that Sage Parashuram was asked to meditate on this hill by Lord Shiva which makes it one of the most sacred places for meditation. Presently Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple stands as one of the well known pilgrimages of the Hindus who visit the area through buses and other roadways. The site is 4 kms away from Mangalore which is well connected with buses and rickshaws.
Thus as one of the ancient sites of Karnataka it attracts a large number of tourists who visit the area with a lot of reverence.
(Last Updated on : 11-03-2015)
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