Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara Temple, otherwise known as Sri Gokarnatha Kshetra, is in the Kudroli area of Mangalore city. It is dedicated to Gokarnanatha, a form of Lord Shiva. It was consecrated by Sri Narayana Guru – It is said that Narayana Guru had got the Shiva Lingam (main deity) specifically for this temple. How Narayana Guru got this Lingam and from where he got this Lingam is still a mystery. Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara Temple was built in 1912 by Adhyaksha HoigeBazar Koragappa, a well known businessman in Mangalore.
Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple is 5 kms from the centre of Mangalore city bus stand. The temple has Gopura decorated with murals of various gods and goddesses. Murals depict scenes from Hindu epics and legends.
Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple observes many festivals. Maha Shivaratri, Krishnashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Nagara Panchami, Deepavali, Navaratri, Sri Narayana Jayanthi are celebrated with traditional gaiety and splendor. It has worshipers from all over the world.
The birthday of Sri Narayana Guru is ceremoniously followed. Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara Kshethra also follow the ritual of feeding devotees who visit there daily.
Mangalore Dasara at Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple
The dasara festival is celebrated with grandeur. These celebrations popularly called Mangalore Dasara was started by B.R.Karkera. In addition to idols of Sharada Matha and Maha Ganapati, life-size idols of Navadurgas are installed in the Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple premises in an attractive way during Navaratri. All religious rites are observed for the entire period. Tableaux form a special part of the festivities and are taken around the main thoroughfares of Mangalore.
Adhi Shakthi Maatha, Sharada Maatha, Navadurgas such as Shaila Puthri Maatha, Brahmachaarini Maatha, Chandrakaantha Maatha, Kushmaandini Maatha, Skanda Maatha, Kathyaahini Maatha, Maha Kaali Maatha, Maha Gowri Maatha and Siddhi Dhaathri Maatha – all these idols are grandly worshiped for nine days of Navarathri. On the tenth day, these idols are taken in the grand procession of Mangalore Dasara throughout the city; the procession returns to Gokarnatha Kshethra on the next day morning, where all the above idols are immersed in the lake inside the Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple premises.
Devotees in Mangalore who visit Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara Temple during Dasara also visit Urwa Mariyamma Temple nearby (2 kms distance) to experience the festival to its fullest. Today, the Kshethra attracts devotees from all religions and communities. The Kshethra can be rightly called the melting pot of all religions.