Interesting facts of Mekekattu Nandikeshwara wooden Temple

Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple  Giant warrior,
Mekekattu Nandikeshwara
Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple, also known as wooden temple,  is supposedly the only temple in South India, consisting mainly of big wooden statues with no regular prayer (pooja) protocol dedicated to the army of Lord Shiva. This famous  1000 year old temple has very simple, unassuming entrance in comparison to the impressive entrances with  huge stone towers of many Hindu temples.It is located
20 Km  from  Kundapura  town in  Udipi Taluk, Karnataka. The statues  don't  represent  any particular god or goddess in the Hindu Mytholgy and are just soldiers. Calling this place is a Hindu temple, in the strict sense,  is a misnomer, for there is no sanctum, no flag staff (Dwajasthambam), no proper Prakara foot path around the shrine. No Six kala pooja system and this temple does not come under the definition of a place of veneration as per Agama Sastra.

The following are the facts unique to  this wooden Hindu temple:

01. The entire idols are made of wood chosen from aged jack fruit tree wood or  Halasa tree or Palaa in Tamil.

02. All idols are tall, there are no miniature idols.These are not idols of deities in the Hindu Pantheon.

03. No regular anointing or abishekam of the statues in the temple as the images are made of wood.

04.There are no shrines for the idols, All wooden idols are grouped together and placed in a row in a huge hall with a tall tiled roof.  .
Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple
05. They are regularly being maintained by the temple authorities by way of repainting periodically etc.
Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple  Credit: Srinidhi Hande.
06. This unique temple is simply a dedication to Lord Shiva's army that was purported to have saved the ruler of Barkur, a remote place in Karnataka. When the local region was invaded by the enemy's army, on appeal to the almighty through a safe, Lord Shiva's celestial army came to this rescue.

07. The idols inside the temple represent Shiva's army, while those 
outside the temple are the enemy's army.

08. Among the idols, only  the tiger  wooden image  is taken out during Sankaranthi or Pongal  celebration in  January every year. Sankaranthi is a harvest festival that attracts lots of people to this temple.

09. The striking note-worthy  features  are the various headgears of the “invading” warrior statues.  The statues have various types of head dressing like Persian Hats, Sikh Turban, Maratha Hats and typical Muslim hats. The statues do sport old type hand guns, swords, dagger, etc.

Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple  Woman warrior. /
10. Yet another feature that may surprise the visitors is the presence of women warriors  and their active role in the army. It shows that the people in those days had trust in women's valor on the battle field.

11. All wooden statues wear battle dress as  if they were ready to take on the invading enemies. The unusual statues are a sikh with a sword and a warrior with a primitive gun as mentioned before.

12. There is a rare Statue of Goddess Durga on  a  five  Headed Nandi Parashumukha & Thrimukha Nandi.