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Karkala is a town and the headquarters of Karkala Taluk in the Udupi district of Karnataka, India. Located about 380 km from Bangalore, it lies near the Western Ghats.
The first name of this town was Pandya Nagari (ಪಾಂಡ್ಯ ನಗರಿ), named during the Jain regime, but afterwards it was changed to Karikallu (ಕರಿಕಲ್ಲು) because of black stones. Over time, the name changed to Karkal (ಕಾರ್ಕಲ್) and then to Karkala (ಕಾರ್ಕಳ).
Karkala has a number of natural and historical landmarks, including the Ramasamudra Lake.
Every 12 years, hundreds of thousands of Jain devotees congregate to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a ceremony where the Gommateshwara statue is bathed and anointed with milk, water, and saffron paste and sprinkled with sandal wood powder, turmeric, and vermilion. The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in February 2002, and the next will be in 2014. An annual Rathotsava is held in February.
ಪಡುತಿರುಪತಿ ಶ್ರೀ ವೆಂಕಟರಮಣ ದೇವಾಲಯ, ಕಾರ್ಕಳ: This temple is built in a traditional style. Every year, a devotees pay a visit to Lord Venkatramana temple in Karkala. It is about 50 km from Mangalore and stands in the centre of the city. The Venkatramana temple of Karkala attracts visitors from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District. Popularly known as 'Padutirupathi'; West means Padu in Kannada and spelt as ಪಡುತಿರುಪತಿ, Lord Venkatramana temple is considered as the main piligrimage of Goud Saraswat Brahmins (GSB) of India, even though other community people visit this temple on a daily basis to seek a glimpse of the deities. Legend has it that a family of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins, namely Soire Prabhu and Soma Sharma, brought Lord Venkatramana's idols along with them while migrating from Goa. As they decided to settle down in Karkala, the family built a temple for the Lords and started worshipping them here during 1450 AD. Other families, such as Kudvas, Kamaths, Nayaks and others, migrated here from Goa due to tortures from Portuguese invaders and settled down to help Soma Sharma and Prabhu family with their own agricultural business in developing the temple. The main and presiding deity over here is Lord Sreenivasa, which was believed to be brought from Tirumala - Tirupati and daily deity Lord Lakshmi Venkatesha. It is also believed that one who cannot travel to Tirupathi can visit here and can fulfill their offerings here.
Attur Church A shrine to St. Lawrence lies around 15 minutes outside Karkala at Attur in the vicinity of Parpale hills. The first church was established around 1759, about 7 kilometers from the present church. It was destroyed by Tippu Sultan and the Christians were held captive in Shrirangapatna from 1784-1799. A new church with a thatched roof was constructed in 1801 about 4 kilometers from the present location under the leadership of a Goan priest.
Chathurmukha Basadi Chaturmukha Basadi is a symmetrical Jain temple, situated on a rocky hill at Karkala in Udupi District of Karnataka. Consecrated by Vir Pandya deva, the king of Bairarava family in 1432, the basadi was completed in 1586. It is built in the form of a square mandapa or hall, with a lofty doorway and pillared portico on each of its four sides. Since four identical doorways in four directions lead to the Garbhagriha, it is called Chaturmukha Basadi. The roof is flat and is made of huge granite slabs. In the Garbhagriha, one can see the standing statues of Ara, Malli, and Suyrata. Besides these, the images of the 24th Tirthankar and Yakshi Padmavati can also be found. There are a total of 108 pillars inside and outside the temple. This is the most celebrated temple in Karkala, and is referred to in the inscriptions as Tribhuvana Tilaka Jina Chaityalaya and Ratnaraya Dhama.
Ananthashayana Temple This was previously a Jain Basadi proposed by one of the Jain king during the year 1567. Once during this time, Sringeri Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharathi Swamiji came to Karkala and the Jain King gave him a warm welcome to his Basadi. However, Swamiji said, "We will stay only if there is a temple with a Lord Almighty in it". So the king gave his Basadi to Sringeri Swamiji with installing a stone sculptured Idol of Lord Vishnu in the sleeping form. This Lord Vishnu was found in a lake near Nellikar village. The large idol is sculpted out of a single black stone with Lord Brahma on the lotus (coming out of Lord Vishnu's navel), and his wives Sridevi and Bhudevi at his feet. There are sculptures in every corner of this temple. This is a protected site under Archaeological Survey of India.
Neklaje Sri kalikamba Temple, Karkala Sri Kalikamba Temple in Neklaje is an important shrine of Karkala. The Kalikamba Temple, believed to be a construction of eleventh or twelfth century, was built by a renowned sculptor, Arkasali Bhujangacharya. Situated at the west of the famous Gomatabetta (Sri Bahubali Hill), the temple attracts a number of devotees due to its calm and quiet atmosphere.
The idol of Goddess Kalikamba, appearing in sitting posture, holds sword, Chakra, fruits and Abhaya Mudra in its four arms. The Temple reached its flourishing state of prosperity and popularity especially after Balmanja Krishnayya Purohitha took over the charge as the managing trustee of the Temple. He initiated many developmental projects and kept the Temple on the course of improvement. Brahmakalashothsava was performed in 1981 after the Temple was completely renovated.
The outer yard consists of Anjaneya and Datthathreya shrines along with the shrines of Raktheshwari, Kalkuda and Panjurli Bhoothas (Daivas or evil spirits). Annual festival takes place for three days during Mesha Pournami every year. Navarathri (Ashwija Masa) and Pushpa Pooja (Shravana Masa) are also celebrated. Ekaha Bhajana (singing bhajans for the duration of one full day) is held on Karthika Bahula Ekadashi, followed by Deepothsava on the next day. Special poojas are offered on every Friday accompanied by the Bhajans of the devotees.
Note:This Content copied from wikipedia.