Karkala [kaːrkəɭɐ] is a town and the headquarters of Karkala taluk in the Udupi district of Karnataka, India. Located about 60 km from Mangalore, it lies near the Western Ghats.
The town was called Pandya Nagari during the period of Jain rule, and later became known as Karikallu, then Karkal and then finally to Karkala.
Karkala has a number of natural and historical landmarks. It is located at the bottom of
Black granite is abundant in the area, and is in wide use in the local architecture. The name of the town is derived from
The Alupas were the first to rule Karkala. Their rule was followed by the Santaras, who were the feudatories of Alupas for many years. Karkala, or ancient Pandya Nagari, attained political and cultural importance from the time of the Kalasa-Karkala kingdom that was established by King Bhairava between
The royal family of Karkala rose to prominence right from the time of the Hoysalas. During the Vijayanagara period this family reached new heights of glory. Their kingdom extended over a wider area comprising Sringeri, Koppa, Balehonnur and Mudigere in Chikamagalur and most of the Karkala taluk. They were rich and maintained a large army. Despite engaging in wars, peace prevailed in the kingdom and this led to increased cultural activity and development.
The first important King was Veera Bhairava, who constructed basadis at Karkala and endowed land and money to numerous temples and basadis. Ramanatha and Veerapandya were his two sons. Ramanatha died during his father’s time. In his memory, a scenic lake called Ramasamudra was created, which still survives.
King Veera Pandya, at the insistence of his Guru Lalitakeerti, the pontiff of Karkala Jaina Math, installed a large statue of Bahubali on the rocky hill of Karkala. The date of the installation has been ascertained as 13 February 1432. Veera Pandya also installed the Brahmadeva Pillar in front of the statue in 1436.
Abinava Pandya ascended the throne next and it was he who installed a carving of manastambha in front of the Neminatha Basadis in Hiriyangadi in 1457 AD. An intricately carved 54-foot-high (16 m) pillar stands in front of the Basadis. The Neminatha Basadis was renovated in 1946. An oriental school with free boarding and lodging facilities is being run here by the Bhujabali Brahmacharya Ashrama.
Abhinava Pandya’s successor was Pandya VI. He built the Kere Basadis in the middle of a lake called Anekere in 1545 AD. It is in this lake that the king’s elephants used to bath. The Basadis and the lake still exist.
The next important king was Immadi Bhairava (Bhairava II). He constructed the [[Chaturmukha Basadis]] on top of a small rocky hill in 1586 AD. The Basadis has four identical entrances from the four quarters leading to the Garbagriha and hence is popularly known as Chaturmukha Basadis. It is referred to as Tribhuvana Tilaka Jina Chaityalaya and Ratnaraya
This place also came under the rule of Tippu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore. In addition to his role as ruler, he was a scholar, soldier, and poet. It was under him that some of the untold and disappearing landmarks of Karkala were made. One of the most imminent of the time was the Kotay kani moat made in front of the Karkal Kotay castle, which was used during his war against the East India Company. In this war against East India Company, few of Indian Kingdom of Mysore’s elite soldiers with huge contribution and service towards the land and kingdom were granted Title and Land in the township of Karkalla. One such title is Karkala Patayath(K.P). Second such marvel of the same regime is to discover the usage of a Gavi (or cave) route to travel to various surrounding location unseen through the mountains located near Shivati Kere (Lord Shivas lake).
There are 18 Basadisof antiquity, including Mahaveera Basadi, Chandranathaswamy Basadi, Adinathaswamy Basadi, Ananthanatha Basadi, Guru BasadiBasadi, and Padmavathi BasadiBasadi. However, the rulers of Karkala were tolerant towards other religions. Therefore, temples of other religions exist, including the temples of Anantashayana and Venkataramana, Mahamaya Mukhyaprana, and Adi Shakti. The St Lawrence Church was built in 1845 in a village called Nitte (Attur hamlet) where people of all religions congregate every year in January for the feast of St Lawrence.
The Alupas were the first to rule Karkala. Their rule was followed by the Santaras, who were the feudatories of Alupas for many years. Karkala, or ancient Pandya Nagari, attained political and cultural importance from the time of the Kalasa-Karkala kingdom that was established by Bhairavarasa Odeyas between 13th and 16th centuries. The Bhairavarasas appear to be the descendants of the Santara chiefs, who ruled the western ghats region around the 11th century AD.
The royal family of Karkala rose to prominence during the time of the Hoysalas. During the Vijayanagara period, they expanded their kingdom to cover Sringeri, Koppa, Balehonnur, and Mudigere in Chikamagalur and most of the Karkala taluk.
The king Veera Bhairava constructed Basadis at Karkala and endowed land and money on numerous temples and Basadis. Ramanatha and Veerapandya were his two sons. Ramanatha predeceased his father, and in his memory, a lake called Ramasamudra was created, which still survives. Later, King Veera Pandya installed a large statue of Bahubali on the rocky hill of Karkala. The date of the installation has been ascertained as 13 February 1432. Veera Pandya also installed the Brahmadeva Pillar in front of the statue in 1436. His successor, Abinava Pandya, installed an intricate 54-foot-high (16 m) carving of manastambha in front of the Neminatha Basadi in Hiriyangadi in 1457 AD. Later, Pandya VI built the Kere Basadi in the middle of a lake called Anekere in 1545 AD.
There are 18 Basadis of antiquity, including Mahaveera Basadi, Chandranathaswamy Basadi, Adinathaswamy Basadi, Ananthanatha Basadi, Guru Basadi, and Padmavathi Basadi. However, the rulers of Karkala were tolerant towards other religions. Therefore, temples of other religions exist, including the temples of Anantashayana and Venkataramana, Mahamaya Mukhyaprana, and Adi Shakti. The St Lawrence Church was built in 1845 in a village called Nitte (Attur hamlet) where people of all religions congregate every year in January for the feast of St Lawrence.
Jainism is widely practised in Karkala, and is a pilgrimage destination for Jains due to its historical importance in the Jain religion. The single stone 41.5 feet (13 m) statue Gommateshwara (Lord Bahubali) is located about 1 km from the center of the town and is the second tallest in Karnataka. There are about 18 Jain Basadis in Karkala, including the Chaturmukha Basadi, Hiriyangaddi Neminatha Basadi, and Anekere Padmavathi Basadi, all of which are listed in Archaeological Survey of India. This statue of Lord Bahubali was installed at Karkala on 13 February 1432 on the instructions of the pontiff of Karkala, Lalitakeerti. There are several other temples, mosques, and churches in and around Karkala. St. Lawrence minor basilica is situated on the outskirts of Karkala whereas Christ king church in the town.
There are good number of Gouda Saraswath Brahmins who are settled in this area and have been contributing a large way to the local economy in terms of trade, agriculture and industries.
The other statues of Bahubali in the state are at Shravanabelagola installed by Chavundaraya, which is 57 feet tall, at Venur installed by Timmaraja, which is 35 feet (11 m) tall, and at Dharmasthala installed by Dr. Veerendra Heggade, which is 39 feet (12 m) tall.
Every twelve years, hundreds of thousands of Jain devotees congregate to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a ceremony where the Gommateshwara statue is bathed and anointed with milk, water, and saffron paste and sprinkled with sandalwood powder, turmeric, and vermilion. The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in February 2002, and the next will be in January, 2015. An annual Rathotsava is held in February.
Mahamasthakabhisheka of Lord Bahubali
The Mahamastakabhisheka of Lord Bahubali at Karkala was held during 21–31 January 2015 under the auspices of the Sri Bahubali Swamy Mahamasthakabhisheka Samithi. The towering 41.5 ft. granite monolith of Bahubali – also known as Gommateshwara – is built on an elevated platform on top of a rocky hill, known locally as Gommata Betta. Gommateshwara is also known as Gommata and Gomateshwara. The colossus was consecrated on 13 February 1432 A.D. by Veera Pandya Bhairarasa Wodeyar, scion of the Bhairarasa Dynasty, feudatory of the Vijayanagara Rulers.
The Mahamastakabhisheka (ceremonial anointment) of the statue is done once every 12 years, a Jain religious rite that dates back to ancient times. The ceremonial anointing will be done customarily from the top of a specially constructed scaffolding, when water from 1008 kalashas (pots) will be poured over the Gommata, as a purification rite. The abhisheka (ceremonial bathing) then begins to the heralding of bugles and the beat of drums. Milk from kalashas and large containers is poured on Gommateshwara, followed by clouds of white rice powder. Next, the statue is anointed with coconut water and sugarcane juice. Liquid turmeric and red sandalwood paste then cover the Gommata in hues of amber and mahogany. Next comes the libation of ashtagandha – a combination of eight scented substances – followed lastly by a shower of flower petals. The splendid ceremony ends with the washing of the Gommata with the clear waters of the poorna kumbhas and the arathi of lit lamps. This unique event draws thousands of pilgrims from all over the country as well as across the world, who are enriched by the cultural experience.
Jainism was introduced in Karnataka by Lord Mahaveera in the 6th Century B.C during the course of his travels, when he converted Jivandhara, the king of the Hemangada Country into Jainism. Foretelling a major famine, Monk Bhadrabahu, a leading figure of the Jain religion in the kingdom of Magadha in the 3rd century B.C, led a major migration to Karnataka with Emperor Chandra Gupta Maurya and attained samadhi in the area now known as Shravanabelagola. By the 10th Century, Jainism had become a powerful force in the coastal regions of Karnataka and centres were established all along. With the ascendance of Hinduism, the influence of Jainism waned in the country, though Karnataka still has active Jain pilgrimage centres.
Mahamastakabhisheka, held once every 12 years and Attur Fest, held once a year are some festivals of Karkala which attract major crowd from all over the country.
Karkala is a pilgrimage location for Jains and it attracts tourists. There are several Hindu temples, Jain Basadis, mosques, churches, and lakes in Karkala.
Bus Stand, Karkala
Karkala has famous educational institutions like NITTE College, Shri Bhuvenendra College, Christ king Educational institutions, Jnanasuda Educational College.
Taluk Office, Karkala
Archaeological Survey Of India protected sites
The following historical structures are
Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Ananthashayana
Manasthamba, Hiriyangadi, Karkala
Padutirupathi is a temple dating back to the 14th century when the Jain Bhairarasa Odeyars ruled Karkala and the surrounding area. It still serves as a gathering place for the people of Karkala today.
St. Lawrence Shrine
St. Lawrence Shrine, or Attur church, was built in the 18th century by Christians who fled Tippu Sultan rule in India. It is a Catholic church dedicated to St.
Annual Car Festival at Karkala Venkatarama temple attracts Konkani devotees from around the world as this is considered as an auspicious festival amongst the GSB Community.
The Christians in Karkala celebrate a special feast known by various names, some of these names are Saanth Maari, Attur Parish Feast, (Atturu Jatray) and Attur Church festival. This festival is always scheduled to take place in the last week of the month of January and takes place for three days continuously usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Thousands of people from all over India attend.
The Muslims offer prayers five times a day at the Masjids and eid prayers at salmar Eidgah on Eid ul fitr and Eid ul adha occasions and Jains have their Jain Milans yearly.
State and national highways are the main mode of transportation in Karkala. The closest airports and railroads are in Bajpe in Mangalore and Indrali in Udupi,