Kollur Mookambika Temple
About 135 Kms from Mangalore, Kollur has the famous Mookambika Temple at the foot of the Western Ghats. This attractive Mukambika temple with gold plated crest and copper roofs attracts thousands of devotees. This is an ancient known temple in Kundapur region of Karnataka state, visited by pilgrims from all over India.
Kolloor is believed to be one of the seven pilgrimages which were created by Parashurama. It is is situated at the banks of the never drying river Sauparnika. While the other pilgrimages created by Parashurama are devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Subramanya and Lord Ganesha, this is the only one devoted to goddess Parvathi. It is a belief that an eagle (Garuda) called Suparna performed penance on the banks of the river and attained salvation hence the name Sauparnika. It is a pleasant experience to take a dip in the holy river and then head for the darshan of the goddess at the kolloor Mookambika temple .
Now, there was an ogre who lived in the place, called Kamsasuran. He was performing penance for being invested with the boon of immortality. The celestials were afraid that if this boon was granted to him, he would become uncontrollable and his misdeeds could not be stopped by anyone. They then prayed to Devi that such a boon should not be granted to him. Devi, along with Veerabadra, Ganapathi and Lord Shiva, rendered him dumb so that the boon could not be asked for at all. Mooka is Sanskrit for a dumb person. It was thus that Kamsasuran became Mookasuran.
Devi then slayed Mookasura with her Chakra - the divine disc - on the midnight of Jyeshta Sukla Ashtami. Because she slayed Mookasura, she is known as Mookambika. Her divine energy then became one with the swayambu lingam worshipped by Kola Maharishi. The Lingam is the main deity in the temple, and is known as Jyothirlingam. This Joythirlingam is in front of the idol of Mookambika temple. A golden line divides the Lingam into two unequal parts. The golden line could be seen only when the light from the sun is reflected and pointed at the lingam.
The left portion, which is larger, represents the consorts of the Trinity, Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi, the creative energy. According to the tradition, Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their consorts Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi emerged out of it. Adi Sankara installed the image of Mookambika, made of metal, behind the Lingam. Devi is seen with three eyes and four arms, with the divine disc and conch in her hands. The roof of the temple is made of copper and is gold crested. Adi Sankara is said to have composed his Soundharya Lahari when he was here.
Decoration is the only rite that is performed to the idol of Mookambika temple. All the other rituals like abhisheka and aradana are performed only to the Lingam. The theertham for abisheka is brought from the Sauparnika river. Navarathri is celebrated in a very grand manner in Kollur. There are special decorations and puja on all the nine days. Besides this, the nine days in the month of Panguni are celebrated, with flag hoisting on Panguni Uthram.