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Adyapadi, by the river Phalguni

Last updated: 08 February, 2010
Krishna Prasad

Perched between green hills on the one side and the beautiful Phalguni river on the other, Adyapadi’s famed temple can make for an interesting getaway.

SPIRITUAL HAUNT: Adyapadi’s Adinatheshwara temple is surrounding by green hills and the Phalguni river. Photo by the author

SPIRITUAL HAUNT Adyapadi’s Adinatheshwara temple is surrounding by green hills and the Phalguni river. Photo by the authorThe serene beauty of Adyapadi instantly appeals to one and all. As you enter the temple, a crystal clear pond welcomes you. The pond is called Mathsya Teertha. Water from the perennial stream flows steadily from the surrounding hills and fills the pond.
For the believers, the region is a veritable treat. Apart from its stunning natural beauty, the waters are also known to possess healing qualities. Then of course, is the sandal paste and holy water that asthma patients line up to partake of. Hundreds line up, yet, the popularity is not on the same scale as that of the fish medicine of Hyderabad’s Bathini family. 

The age old Adinatheshwara Temple of Adyapadi is situated around 12 kms from Mangalore. It has rich historical and spiritual background. The inner circle of the temple has a sanctum sanctorum and three smaller temples. Shiva is the presiding deity here. At the fourth corner of the temple here is a small statue of Adi Maye, the woman believed to be the first person to experience the presence of the Lord here. Only temple priests are allowed to use water from a pond adjacent to the statue of Adi Maye. By imposing the rule, the temple administration has ensured the purity of the well and water. 

Legend of Rishi Vana
Next to the sanctum sanctorum is a tiny piece of land with thick foliage and trees. This is called the Rishi Vana. Sage Kanva was believed to have performed penance here. This piece of land is considered to be divine and nobody is allowed to step into this area. A huge tree grown here forms the backdrop to the sanctum sanctorum.


This temple was originally situated on the northern side of the present location. This location is called the“moolasthana”. Due to the influence of Jains who dominated this area for many years, the deity Shiva earned the name Adinatheshwara. The moolasthana is situated on the top of a hill which is covered with lush green forest. Steps have been provided to reach the place.

Don’t miss this spot, for its calming influence on you. The chirping of birds, the place has anthills covered by natural rock shelter. A small dhyana (meditation) mantap has been built here recently. One can have breathtaking view of surrounding fields and Phalguni river flowing elegantly at a distance. The pollution-free atmosphere will energise you.  An interesting myth takes us through how the holy water and sandal paste offered as prasada acquired properties that cure asthma. The story goes like this:
During the reign of Chouta rulers, the Queen had asthma. In spite of all medical attention from the palace doctors and experts, there was no improvement in her. Dejected over her sickness, the queen prayed to Adinatheshwara. Pleased, the lord appeared in her dream and advised her to ask for holy water and prasada of the temple, following which she was cured. Pleased over the turn of events, she offered her necklace to the temple deity.

Every year, the temple festivities begin on the day of Mahashivarathri and continues for nine days. The penultimate day is the car festival which takes place with pomp and gaiety.

Travel tips
Mangalore is well connected to other parts of the state by air, rail and road. From Mangalore, one can reach Adyapadi by road. One has to travel along the airport road and take a right deviation at Kenjaru and then travel another three kilometres to reach the temple. Plenty of buses which ply to Bajpe and Kateel pass by Kenjaru, from where one can hire an auto to reach Adinatheshwara Temple. The well known Kateelu Durgaparameshwari temple is also nearby (around 20 kilometers).  

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