Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple | Temples in Udupi | South India Tourism

Mekekattu Nandikeshwara

Mekekattu Nandikeshwara

Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple - The wooden Temple:-

Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple is absolutely and historical location, situated approximately 20 kilometers from Kundapura town, Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple lies in the limits of Udupi taluk, situated in a remote place near Saibra katte. The place is very close to Barkur in Shirya village. As per the legend, the temple is built by Parshurama just like other major temples of coastal Karnataka. This temple is considered to be at least 1000 years old. It’s said to attract large crowd during Sankaranti festival, especially during annual festival, Hasara and Sedi.

Temple Facts:- Outstanding attraction mekkekattu temple include a huge collection of colored , idol made of wood, many of that measured 10 ft. height. This ensures that no Abhisheka is performed in this temple. The wood will not with stand any of the offerings made during ritual. The statues are made of Halsa Mara (Jack Fruit tree) found in abundance on forest close by. The majority among the wooden statues are in warrior dress, making an feeling that this complete collection of wodden statues are created to recollect an event of battle that might have been taken place here during 1600-1700 A.D(No Historic proof for this battle is discovered so far, however might be connected to mogul or Bahamani invasion). The deities a are 10 ft. tall and colorfully painted. The deities last around 150-200 years after which they are remade. It was last remade in 1970, and it was repainted in 2007. The place in and around Barkur had 365 temple out of which only 05 are functional, the rest have been destroyed. A few even hold an imitation of the old handgun or sword, Carved like it is prepared for battle. Each and every wooden status given local legendary names.

Mythology- Folk lore

This place has two folklores associated with it the first story associated with sage Parshurama it is considered as a creations of sage Parshurama with the passage of time the area where the temple is situated has been called by different names. According to the legends, when drought hit this area sage Agastiya came here to perform Yajna to please the rain god. During the Yajna the Asurakumbha started bothering the sages. To rescue the sages Bheema killed the demon with the help of the sword gifted by lord Ganesha.

The other tale has told by the head priest of the temple is associated with the Allupas Dynasty. The Allupas (means: Kings) 450-1400 C.E were a minor dynasty who ruled parts of coastal Karnataka. Later with the dominance of Kadambas in Banawasi, they became feudatory to them. With the changing political scenario soon they became the feudatories to Chalukyas, Hoysalas and Vijaynagara Rayas. It’s believed that the temple was built by one of the kings of Allupas Dynasty. However the name of king is unknown. The king of Barkur was attacked by the neighbouring king and went to seek help from a sage in Jambur. The sage helped the king by requesting Lord Siva ( Who had agreed to grant the sage’s wish) to send his army. The mite army of lord shiva commanded by Nandi defeated the enemy and thus securing the kingdom. The king later built the temple for lord Shiva army for their help.

To reach Mekekattu Nandikeshwara Temple :

  • Kundapura - 8km
  • Saibrakatte -2kms

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