Durga Parameshwari temple, Mundkur, Karnataka

Durga Parameshwari temple, Mundkur, Udipi Dist. cmysore-portal.kar.nic.in

Durga  Parameshwari temple, Mundkur, Karnataka mangalorehistory.blogspot.com

The Durga  Parameshwari temple, which is more than 1300 years old is in Mundkur village, Karkala Taluk, Udupi district Karnataka, India. Durga Parameshwari is the mother goddess in Hinduism and has different names Parvati, Ambika, etc. She is being mainly worshiped by womenfolks across India. Her common name is Aadi Parasakthi. In the rural areas in South India, in particular Tamil Nadu, she is known as Mari Amman. 

According to Skanda Purana  Goddess Durga Parameshwari slay th a fearful Asura - demon Mundaka here;  hence the place was known as Mundakooru, which later became Mundkur. On the the request of Suratha Raja, sage (Rishi) Bhargava Rishi  installed the idol  facing west  as per temple Agama Sastras and the  Mahishamardini idol  of Mundkur dates back to  the 8th century, perhaps,  it is the oldest  among those in the  nearby villages, according to researchers.

During the reign of Jain ruler  Veeravarma, who happened to be  a greedy ruler, he had the idol in this temple reinstalled facing east. He did so with a view to looting  the treasures commonly kept beneath the idol. He earned the ire of the local Hindu community.  Kanthabaare and Boodabare, great warriros of of South Kanara District (according to Paad-dana - Ancient Tulu Folk Songs), born in Ulepaady village were ardent devotees of Mundkur Durga and were instrumental in defeating the Jain ruler. Later the administration was handed over to the Brahmin community living there. Earlier from the information available in ancient records -  Shaka varsha 1337, King Narasimha Banga Raja (Bangas) transferred the administration of  Mundkur Magane to Chouta rulers (Chowta : a common surname of the Bunt people of Karnataka and Kerala). .

When the  major renovation  of the temple was done  in 2005 to 2006, the original door frames in the western part of the wall of the Sanctum Sanctorium was found. The frames were in good state. Name of the  Kere/ Pushkarni is  Sri Bhargava Theertha and  the Sthala Viruksha is Ashwatha Vriksha.. 

Here the main  idol of Goddess Sri Durgaparameshwari, taking the   form of Mahishamardini, is  in the Garbagrha and she appears fearful by  virtue of the fact  that she had annihilated the Asura - demon who gave lots of trouble to the people there. Otherwise she is a benign goddess. Here she  is holding the  slain demon Mahisha upside down and  has her Thrishul (trident) driven through his body. Devotees coming here worship other deities  namely Dhoomavathi, Raktheshwari, Vyaghra Chamundi (Pilichandi), Vaarahi (Panjurli) and Rakshopi Devatha.  Rakshopi Devatha is supposedly  the Protector  evil Spirits). People afflicted with mental disorders are taken before the deity for payer and blessings.  The other deities are  Sri MahaGanapathi, Navagraha and  Naaga( images of serpents). 

The Chota ruler  donated lots of lands, etc to the temple and the queen donated valuable gem-studded jewelry to the deity. The jewels  adorn the deity even today on festive occasions. 

Mundkur Durga is Kuladevi for the Brahmin community of Bhargava Gothra and  most of the devotees from  Brahmins of Goa consider Mundkur  Durga their  family deity.  Further, it is mandatory that the  Brahmin priests for this temple  must belong to  Bharadwaja Gothra. The administration of the temple was under  eight families belonging to that particular Gothra. This tradition has been followed for centuries.. 

An interesting fact is no Jain family is living here because of the misrule of early Jain rulers of this region and the cruel rule of  Veeravarma who wanted to loot the treasures in the Srikovil. In the surrounding places one can see the ruins of Jain Basadi and palace, Kalkuda and Jattinga Daivaas (Worshiped by the then Jains).