Horanadu is a beautiful and scenic village situated in the Western Ghats in the Mudigere Taluk of Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka. It is best known for its natural beauty and Annapoorneshwari temple and other lovely temples.
Annapoorneshwari Temple at Horanadu
Annapoorneshwari, also known as Adhishakthyathmaka Sri Annapoorneshwari Ammanavara Temple is located in Horanadu. The temple is surrounded by lush green forests, coffee and tea plantations, and valleys of Western Ghats, on the bank of River Bhadra. The family of Dharmakartharu priests started puja and other rituals 400 years ago and the same family is serving since then.
Legend of Annapoorneshwari
As per a legend, once Shiva and Parvati were playing a game of dice. There were some arguments and Shiva said that everything in this world is Maya or illusion, including food. Parvati disagreed with Shiva’s views and to prove herself, she disappeared. As a result, there was drought everywhere. Everybody including asuras prayed for food.
When Shiva saw so much suffering, he realized his mistake. He accepted that food is not Maya, instead, it is the basic need of all creatures. Goddess Parvati then appeared in Kashi and started distributing food. It is also said that Shiva disguised as a beggar, appeared in front of her and She served him with her ladle. Therefore, she is also referred to as Devi Annapoorneshwari, the provider of food.
Since then Annapoorna is the presiding goddess of Kashi. She is depicted with a pot in one hand and a ladle in another. Adi Shankaracharya wrote a lovely stotra called Annapoorna Stotra that should be chanted before eating.
According to another tale, Shiva beheaded Brahma. His skull got stuck in Shiva’s hand. He was cursed that till the skull is not full of food or grains, it will stick to his hands. Shiva went everywhere and asked for food but the skull was never full. So he finally came to this temple and Maa Annapoorneshwari filled the skull with grains and reversed the curse.
The temple is said to be constructed by Maharishi Agastya, centuries ago. The current temple has been restored in 1973 by the fifth Dharmakartharu as per Vaastu Shilpa and astrology. The Punarsthapana was done on the auspicious tithi of Akshaya Tritiya. Mahakumbhabhisheka was performed by Shri Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri Sharadapeetham.
The temple has a grand gopuram, richly decorated with sculptures of different Gods and Goddesses. A flight of steps leads to the entrance of the temple. The temple has a slanting roof with red tiles, commonly seen in the Malnad region. The mandapam for prasadam is on the left of the temple entrance. Near it, there are barricades provided for forming a queue to enter the temple.
The ceiling of the temple is richly adorned with various carvings. Two big brass statues of lions adorn the entrance. The Murty of Devi Annapoorneshwari is inside the Garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum, inside a courtyard. It is surrounded by a pillared verandah on the three sides. The four-armed Murti of the Devi is in a standing pose on a Peetha. It is made of gold and adorned with jewelry and silk clothes. The upper two hands hold the Shankha and Chakra while the lower hands are in Var Mudra and Abhay Mudra. The image of Sri Chakra and Devi Gayatri is sculpted on the lower hands. Diyas are lighted on both sides of the Murty. After doing pradakshina, one can exit through the right side of the Garbhagriha. While exiting, one can collect prasadam from the counters.
Pooja and Festivals at Annapoorneshwari Temple
Temple is open from 6:30 AM till 9:30 PM.
Maha Mangal Arati is performed at 9 AM, 6 PM, and 9 PM.
Naming ceremony and Aksharabhasyam ritual of the child is also performed in the temple. Different sevas are performed in the temple. The details and amount for each seva are displayed on the ticket counters.
Akshaya Tritiya is an important festival as that is considered the birthday of Devi Annapoorneshwari. Rathotsava is celebrated in the month of Feb-March for four-five days. Navratri is an important festival celebrated for nine days.
- It is about 300 km from Bangalore and 130 km from Mangalore
- Dress code to be strictly followed. No shorts are allowed inside the temple premises
- Food is served by the temple authorities thrice a day. Besides, there are hotels that provide veg food
- There are various homestays in and around Horanadu. The temple also provides a lodging facility
Other Attractions in and around Horanadu
Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple
A temple dedicated to Shri Hanuman is located near the parking.
Kyatanamakki Hill View Point
This place is about 8-10 km from Horanadu. The place gives a 360-degree view of the Western Ghats. It is an awesome place for nature lovers and photographers. The hilltop is full of grass interspersed with vegetation.
There is a small waterfall in the valley that can be viewed from the top. There are jeeps available from Horanadu. The approach road is in an extremely precarious condition, hence it is advisable to hire a jeep. Bikers can reach up to the hilltop but extreme caution has to be exercised. The best time to visit is during the monsoon till December, as it would be covered with greenery.
Kalaseshwara Temple at Kalasa
Kalaseshwara Temple or Shri Kalaseshwara Swami Temple is situated in the town of Kalasa in the Chikkamagaluru district. It is about 8 km from Horanadu. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. It is situated near the bank of River Bhadra. The temple is believed to be constructed by Maharishi Agastya. The Shiva linga which is worshipped here is said to be Swayambhu.
Legend of Kalaseshwara
The story goes that during Shiva and Parvati’s marriage in the Himalayas, the balance of Earth was disrupted. The northern plate was tilted due to the weight of all Gods and Goddesses who attended the marriage ceremony. Then Shiva ordered Maharishi Agastya to travel southwards so that the balance could be regained. He agreed and traveled south. When he reached Kalasa, the balance of the earth was restored. So, he was asked to stay here. He was blessed by Shiva that he would be able to witness the divine marriage from this place. Due to his devotion, a Shivalinga appeared out of his pot, hence the name Kalasheshwar.
The temple is can be reached by steps. On the left is a mandapam where celebrations during festivals take place. Near the entrance, there are two Ganesh Murtis. They are known as Aana Ganapati. One is said to be the male form another is the female form. Few more steps, lead to a verandah where the murti of Bhagirath praying to Ganga is installed. It is a double-storeyed structure having a slanting roof with red tiles, commonly seen in this region.
Towards the right side, is a door that leads to an open courtyard that houses the main temple. The main temple is an Ekakuta temple. The main sanctum sanctorum is inside another smaller courtyard. The linga is installed on a silver platform and covered with a silver face. One can do pradakshina in the open courtyard. There are two other temples on two corners dedicated to Vishweshswar and Subramanya.
Outside this temple is the temple of Goddess Parvati called Sarvangasundari. The image of the Devi is made of black stone. It is beautifully decorated with flowers, jewelry, and clothes. The outer walls of the temple are adorned with sculptures. A small temple dedicated to Kshetrapal is near the temple of the Goddess. There are offices and small shops selling puja articles.
Puja and festivals
Temple opens from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm. During important festivals, it is open throughout the day and night. Different sevas are performed for some token amount. Important festivals celebrated in the temple are:
- Girija Kalyana – The marriage of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated in the Kartika month
- Shivaratri is celebrated in Feb-Mar
- Rathotsava is celebrated in the month of Magha
- Laksha Deepotasava
Kalasa is also known for the Pancha Teertha or the five places with sacred water. They are Vashishtha Teertha, Naga Teertha, Koti Teertha, Rudra Teertha, and Amba Teertha.
This is another beautiful temple dedicated to Shri Vishnu. The temple is constructed similarly with a tile roof. The main shrine is in a courtyard with a verandah all along with the courtyard. It is situated on the way to Horanadu. There are many other temples and Jain Basadis.
Other places of attraction
It is a small village, about 10 km from Kalasa. It is the trekking point for Kudremukh hills. There are several homestays where one can stay. The place is so scenic that one can roam around and enjoy the beauty of this place. There are some Jain Basadis and a Ganapati temple on the Goomankhan Tea Estate.
Kudremukh National Park
Kudremukh National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is jeweled with natural beauty, high rising peaks studded with a plethora of flora and fauna to picturesque trekking routes overseeing verdant grasslands. Kudremukha translates to horse-face, referring to the highest mountain peak in the park which resembles the face of a horse from a particular side. It rises to a height of 1,894 meters and is the second-highest peak in Karnataka. The road to Sringeri, Karkala, and Mangalore goes through the park. This road is extremely picturesque with waterfalls and grasslands. One can also visit the ghost town of Kudremukh. If you are interested in trekking inside the park, you need to take a permit from the Reserve Forest Office in Kudremukh.
A taluk headquarters in the Udupi district. It is located on the bottom of the Western Ghats, about 80 km from Horanadu. Famous for the monolithic statue of Bahubali or Gomateshwara that is the second-largest statue after Shravanabelagola. The statue is 42 feet in height and was installed in the year 1432. Mahakumbhabhisheka of the statue takes place every 12 years. The last Abhishek was done in the year 2015. The statue is located on a hillock. One has to climb about 500 stone steps to reach the top.
Read More – Bahubalis of Karnataka
Besides this, there are many other Jain Basadi to visit. Prominent among them are Chaturmukha Basadi and Adinath Basadi. Chaturmukha Basadi is also located on a small hillock. There is a flight of steps to reach the top. The basadi is inside a big courtyard, adorned with 108 pillars made of granite. There are four entrances in the four directions leading to the garbhagriha. The garbhagriha has images of three Tirthankaras. Adinath Basadi is situated inside Anekere Lake. A connecting path connects the Basadi with the main road. There is a small park near the Basadi. The lake was built by King Pandyadeva in 1262 to supply drinking water to the town. Other prominent places are Attur Church, Ramasamudra Lake, Venkataramana Temple, Ananthashayana Temple, and Vennur.
A small village near Karkala, this place is best known for its Jain Basadis – Kere Basadi and Neminath Basadi. The Kere Basadi is situated in the middle of a lake, surrounded by lush green paddy fields and coconut plants and a hill on one side. It is also known as Parswanath Basadi as it is dedicated to Parshwanath. This Basadi has a four-faced symmetrical structure. It dates back to 850 years. An image of Devi Padmavathi is also installed inside the Basadi. It can be approached by a boat managed by the Basadi administration for a nominal fee.
Neminath Basadi is a 1200 years old Basadi dedicated to Neminath. It is also called Hire Basadi. It has two entrances. The main shrine is in the middle of a courtyard and made up of granite. There is a huge deepastambha near its entrance. A number of religious rituals are conducted here.
About 18 km from Karkala, it’s also called Jain Kashi due to the presence of a large number of Jain Basadis. Important among them are the Thousand Pillar Temple, Guru Basadi, and Ammanavara Basadi.
About 60 km from Karkala, it’s famous for the Sharda Peetham established by Shri Adi Shankara.
About 60 km from Karkala, it’s famous for an old Shiva temple worshipped as “Shri Manjunath”. Lakshadeepa is an important festival celebrated in the month of Nov-Dec.
Important points for the visitors:
- Dress code to be followed in all the religious places. Shorts are not allowed.
- Males have to enter the temples without a shirt.
- Parking is not allowed inside Kudremukh National Park except for some designated places. Littering is not allowed inside the Park.