Shri Gokarnanatha Temple in Karnataka
In the Karnataka state of India Shri Gokarnanatha Temple is a famous kshetra located at Kudroli which is about 3 Km in Mangalore city. Shri Gokarnanatha Temple enshrines an incarnation of Lord Shiva as Lord Gokarnanatheshwara. This Gokarnanatha Temple also enshrines Lord Ganesha, Goddess Annapoorneshwari, Lord Shaneshwara and Lord Subramanya along with an idol of Shri Brahmashree Narayana Guru who was the founder of the original temple in the temple complex.
Shri Gokarnanatha Temple original temple structure was in Kerala style, but when later when it was renovated the temple was constructed in Chola style in 1991.The Gokarnanatha Temple walls are beautifully carved and decorated with images of the Hindu Mythology with stucco work and towers colored in Gold. There is Gangavatharana fountain in this temple. The Gokarnanatha Temple has huge ornamented elephants and Nandi (bull) made out of mortar in the temple compound.
History of Shri Gokarnanatha Temple:
Shri Gokarnanatha Temple has a great history with its costruction related to Guru Sri Brahmashree Narayana. Sri Narayana was a social reformer and a saint, he brought a Shiva Linga and established in the temple in February 1912 and named this place as Sri Gokarnanatha Kshethra. Shri Narayana Guru believed and said that all God’s creation had the right to worship the Almighty and preached that people irrespective of the caste, creed or religion with different names.
Under the rule of Tipu Sultan it is believed that this place is used to crop land for the horses. And hence, the name ‘Kudre’ (horse) ‘vali’ which was transformed into kudroli over time.
The Gokarnanatha Temple is managed by Billawa Community.
Festivals celebrated at Shri Gokarnanatha Temple:
The Gokarnanatha Temple Kshethra observes famous festival like days Mahashivarathri and Maha Navarathri. As the temple place is famous as kshetra in Karnataka, Dasara festival is celebrated with ife size idols of Navadurgas, Sharada Matha and Maha Ganapathi are installed in the temple premises during Navarathri Utsav at Kudroli and perform religious riotous with in great devotion and then immerse the idols in the well-decorated temple ponds. The Navarathri Utsav celebrated in this Gokarnanatha Temple Kshethra is popularly called as Mangalore Dasara.
The Gokarnanatha Temple celebrates the birthday of Sri Narayana Guru, the founder of this Kshethra. The Kshethra also follows the ritual of feeding devotees who visit it on daily. Community Sri Satyanarayanas Pooja, Sri Shani Pooja, free mass marriages and distribution of scholarship to deserving students too is a tradition of this Kshethra.