Shrine by the Varahi beckons

Shrine by the Varahi beckons


Shrine by the Varahi beckons

Situated in the Kundapura taluk of Udupi district, Hattiangady attracts throngs of devotees and visitors to its famed Siddhi Vinayaka temple. The temple is said to have been built around the seventh or eighth century, and has a rare charm to it, writes Kushal V R.

Located en route to Kollur Mookambika temple on the Kundapura-Kollur road is the small non-descript village of Hattiangady.

Surrounded by River Varahi and beautiful mountains on either side, this village, previously known as Pattinagara, was once the capital and seat of power of the Alupa kings who ruled this region for about two centuries. Continuing to prosper after the Alupas under the Hoysala rule, this village eventually lost its significance and faded into history.

Situated in the Kundapura taluk of Udupi district, this village attracts throngs of devotees and visitors to its famed Siddhi Vinayaka temple.

Built during the 7th or 8th century on the banks of the Varahi, the Siddhi Vinayaka temple has earned the rare distinction of being the only temple in India having an idol of Lord Ganesha sporting a jata(hair) which is said to be left loose at the back of the head.

With a height of about three feet, this saligrama stone-based idol is said to be in the form of Bala Ganesha, according to some sources. The idol is also said to have a standing posture and continues to grow till date.

Renovated structure

While the temple premises itself looks very modern due to its renovation and addition of modern infrastructure, the original temple structure is very old and built in marble. The outer temple walls are adorned with beautifully carved idols of Lord Ganesha in various postures and forms which speak volumes of the craftsmanship of the sculptors.

The temple seems to be open throughout the day as when we reached the temple, it was noon and the alankara (decoration) and puja was still underway. Initially covered with a giant silver screen, the sanctum sanctorum was later revealed for the devotees to have a glimpse of the beautifully decorated Lord Ganesha.

After puja and darshan, arrangements have been made for the devotees to partake food on the temple premises itself. With its spacious dining hall and other well constructed amenities, the temple is capable of handling a large inflow of devotees.

The temple administration has ensured that the needs of the devotees are taken care of and have also provided for an excellent tourist guide map in the premises along with printed copies of the same guiding tourists to other places of interest located in the near distance of the temple.

Located slightly below the Vinayaka temple is another relatively old temple, the Lokanatheshwara temple, which houses the idol of Lord Shiva.

Being a peaceful place to pray, the kalyani (pond) located in front of the temple also adds to the ambience and tranquility of the place. In addition to these, one can also visit several temples like Maraladevi and Jain basadis like Chandranatha basadi situated close by. It is also said that one can get to find the remains of a palace at Aramane Adi close to the banks of Varahi.

Though slowly catching up with the modern temple trends, the Siddhi Vinayaka temple continues to hold its own in terms of charm and antiquity. If one ever gets an opportunity to visit the famous Kollur Mookambika temple, Hattiangady is a place one needs to make a point to visit on the way back.

How to get there

Hattiangady is about 15 km from Kundapura and is located close to the Kollur-Kundapura (Tallur-Kollur) road.

One can take a diversion at Tallur to reach Hattiangady. State tourism department boards are also present to indicate the same.

Local bus transport is convenient and one can ask for Tallur bus stop en route to Kollur before changing buses over to Hattiangady.

Buses are available directly to Hattiangady from Kundapura via Tallur though the frequency needs to be verified before travelling.