Kateel Durgaparameshwari temple is located at about 30 kms from Mangalore. It is unique in the sense that the shrine is on an islet on the riverbed, in the middle of River Nandini. It is connected to the mainland by a small walkway bridge. There is adequate parking at the main entrance to the temple which was constructed in 2020.
There are two beautiful arches decorated with statuettes and designs at the entrance to the bridge of Kateel Durgaparameshwari temple. A large statue of the river goddess Nandini Devi stands next to the doorway, holding a pot of water. Inside the complex, there is a large mantapa, an antarala and the garbhagriha. The garbhagriha is built in Kerala style, with sloping roofs. Six layers of series of small oil-wick lamps are placed on the walls. A beautiful gold plated idol of Goddess Durga in a standing posture is placed in the main garbhagriha. The deity is adorned with gold and diamond garlands, and a crown.
Kateel Durgaparameshwari temple is also known for the Sri Kateel Yakshagana mela, a Yakshagana troupe associated with it. The troupe’s performances are so popular that it is booked for another 10 years. The devotees arrange performances if their desires are attained, as an act of gratitude and completing a vow.
Legend behind Kateel Durgaparameshwari temple
Arunasura had acquired a boon from Brahma, which made him free from fear of death by Trinity, Devas, men or women or by any two legged or four legged animals & creatures. Goddess Saraswathi also blessed him with Gayathri Mantra (Holy chants). All these made him the most powerful. He defeated the Devatas and conquered Heaven.
Disheartened by disastrous defeat, the Devatas, along with Trinity pleaded Adhishakti for the rescue.
Goddess said that unless and until Arunasura is prevented from reciting Gayathri Mantra, she too would not be able to destroy him. She suggested them to send Brihaspathi (Guru of Devatas) to distract Arunasura from his meditation of Gayathri. Brihaspathi approached Arunasura, flattered him, poisoned his ears and succeeded in diverting him from his meditation.
Now Arunasura vainly felt that he was more than God himself. He not only ordered his subjects to worship him but also troubled the sages and spoiled their Yajnas. As promised to the Devas, Goddess took the shape of Mohini, a charming woman and began to wander in the garden of Arunasura. Arunasura decided to marry her and approached her. When she turned deaf ears to his request & teased him, he became furious. When he tried to take her by force, she disappeared inside a rock.
Arunasura broke the rock with his sword. Suddenly, a swarm of bees emerged from the rock and stung him. Devi had taken the form of a big, furious bee that is ‘Bhramara’ and stung him repeatedly till his last breath. Now the Devas and the sages led by Jabali performed “Abhishekham” (holy bath) to Devi with tender coconut brought from the Kalpavriksha of Devaloka, and prayed her to bless the world with ‘Soumya Roopa’ (tender posture). According to this request, Devi emerged in the form of ‘Linga’ (symbolic holy rock) in the middle of the river Nandini and is known as Shree Durga Parameshwari.
Temple website: http://www.kateeldevi.in/
Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/
A beautiful Tulu speech by Dr Ganesh Amin Sankamar on the glory of “Kateeldha Appe” is on Youtube here.
Another temple of special importance in this region is Nellitheertha Cave temple neaby.