Karinjeshwara- a witness to four 'Yugas'

There are numerous evidences in the premises of the temple  narrating copious stories to the visitors about the life of the temple as it is believed that the temple premises has been the testimony for all the four ‘Yugas’ mentioned in Hindu mythology.

The documents reveal that the place was called as ‘Roudra Giri’ during ‘Krutha Yuga’, ‘Gajendra Giri’ in ‘Thretha Yuga’, ‘Bhima Shaila’ in ‘Dwapara Yuga’ and ‘Karinja’ in ‘Kali Yuga’. Deemed as the temple located at greatest height among all the other temples of Dakshina Kannada, the shrine is situated on a monolith spreading over 25 acres. The temple is surrounded by picturesque green Kodyamale Reserved Forest adding to the serenity of the place.

Shiva-Parvathi temple

There are two temples carved on the huge Karinja rock. The first temple found on the way up the hill is Parvathi temple. Further up hill, at the end of the 260 neatly carved flight of steps is Shiva temple, where Lord Shiva is offered prayers thrice a day.
Mahashivarathri is celebrated here with all grandeur and the annual fair of the temple too is celebrated on the same day. On the third day of the week long annual fair, Lord Shiva is brought down to Parvathi temple and it is the only day in a year when Shiva and Parvathi idols are placed together.

Three ponds

There mentions in various episodes of Mahabharatha about the three temple ponds namely ‘Gadha Theertha’, ‘Angushta Theertha’ and ‘Janu Theertha’ found in the temple premises. ‘Gadha Theertha’ located in the foothills is in the shape of a Gadha (mace). It is said that ‘Gadha Theertha’ was formed when Bhima threw his mace on the floor and ‘Angushta Theertha’ was created by Bhima’s thumb. Another pond ‘Janu Theertha’, which is said to have originated when Bhima knelt down on the floor, serves the water requirements of the temple through out the year as this pond never dries up. A lake in the temple premises- ‘Handi Kere’ too has a mythological story attached to it. Handi Kere is supposedly formed when great archer Arjuna arrowed down a pig. The arrow marks are still visible on the rocky hill.

Daily feeding for apes

One of the temple’s specialities lies in the age old practice followed by the temple authorities of feeding monkeys on daily basis. Everyday ‘Naivedhyam’ cooked of three ‘Seru’ (700 gram) rice is fed to the monkeys immediately after ‘Mahapuja’ in the afternoon. One can see monkeys waiting near Shiva temple to relish on the hot rice at sharp 12 noon. Devotees offering bananas and coconuts to these monkeys is a common sight at Karinja temple. With all its historical significance and beauty of nature, Karinja is one of the sought after pilgrim centres.

How to reach

Karinjeshwara temple is located near Vagga, a town found on Mangalore-Belthangady route. Vagga is 38 kms away from Mangalore. One has to take a deviation at Vagga and travel 2 kms further to reach Karinja. Auto rickshaw facility is available from Vagga to reach Karinja.

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