Village where calm reigns

The district of Udupi, with its vibrancy and irresistible character, is high on every tourist’s list. Pristine beaches, picturesque mountain ranges, plenty of educational institutions, ethnic cuisine and, most of all, temples of renown. In fact, the very name Udupi is synonymous with Krishna Temple and a host of other famous temples like the Anantheshwara, Chandramoulishwara and Durgaparameshwari temples at Ambalpady, Anegudde Temple, Hattiangady Temple, Sri Anjaneya Temple at Saligrama, Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur, and Sri Venkataramana Temple and Jain basadis at Karkala, among others.

This is not all. There are many lesser known but equally important temples like the Vishwanatha Temple at Yellur and the Durga Parameshwari Temple at Nandikur, each with their own unique features and fascinating legends.

Town of rivers
Nandikur, formerly known as Nadiyur for the numerous rivers surrounding the place, is also fondly known as Siddhi Kshetra among devotees whose wishes have been fulfilled after a visit to the temple. However, Nandikur has been in the news for quite some time now, but for all the wrong reasons. It is in relation to the setting up of a thermal power station that the locals are up against. Controversies apart, this picturesque hamlet, sitting cosily amidst verdant forests and hills, is home to a 1,200-year-old Durga Parameshwari Temple.

This temple, which was renovated about three years ago, has undergone a sea change in terms of its interiors and facilities for devotees. The effect a visit to this temple has on pilgrims is almost incomparable. No jostling, no mad rush and no mindless chatter. The temple is spacious, calm and quiet, allowing devotees to commune with the divine in peace.

Legends aplenty
This magnificent temple, away from the town of Nandikur with a population of about 5,000-6,000 people, has an interesting tale to relate. Ask any resident of Nandikur about the history of the temple and he is more than happy to share it, emphasising the fact that the Goddess chose namma Nandikur herself.
According to legends, an ardent Keralite devotee of Goddess Durga Parameshwari once performed great penance in Kollur to appease the Goddess and take her to his native place. Greatly pleased by the power of his penance, the Goddess agreed to go with him to Kerala. So, the elated devotee led the way while the jingle of Goddess’ anklets followed him.

Once the devotee reached Nandikur, the Goddess stopped, telling him that she would proceed towards Kerala only after making the tiny town of Nandikur her abode. Accordingly, she installed one of her innumerable forms in Nandikur and followed her devotee to Talappady along the Karnataka-Kerala border.
To this day, the residents of Nandikur can’t stop raving about the love the Goddess showered on their small town by making it one of her choicest abodes. No wonder, they begin and end their day in the name of the Goddess.

The temple, with its large courtyard and the equally huge exterior, is a pleasure to visit. The annual fair of the temple is held in March every year when festivities go on for about 13 days. Scores of people from the neighbouring districts and towns too visit the temple during the fair to seek the Goddess’ blessings.
Post the rupee-two-crore renovation project, the temple stands as a beautiful structure while the gopura, suthu powli, thirtha mantapa and the garbha griha shine in all their glory, as also the Chandra Mandala chariot that was dedicated to the Goddess on the same occasion.

However, a must-see in the temple is the 10 kg gold dhwajastambha that is simply superb, speaking for the reverence of the devotees to the Goddess. As the main priest of the temple put it, “People who get their wishes fulfilled after a visit to the temple donate liberally for the upkeep of the temple and we don’t disappoint them. We manage the money efficiently and use it for the improvement of the temple.”
The temple where calmness reigns, its quaint surroundings, and its rich cultural, historical and mythical past make the visit to Nandikur a memorable experience.

How to reach
Nandikur is at a distance of 30 km from Udupi and 5 km from Padubidri, on the Kudremukh Road.
There are regular bus services only up to the town of Nandikur from Udupi.
The temple, which is at a distance of 2 km from the Nandikur town, has to be reached by a private vehicle.

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