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Sri Mookambika Temple, Kollur - History
 
 
 
History
 


          There has not been systematic study or research about the historical aspects of Mookambika temple and so no details are available in this regard. But there are a lot of records to prove the ancientness and historical importance of this temple. History of the temple begins with the arrival of sage Shankaracharya at this place in 8th century A.D. Historically it is believed that this place was inhabited by Shakthas called Kaulas and that was how this place came to be called as Kollur. Honneyakambali Kings of Hosangadi have been ruling Kollur and they were ardent devotees of Mookambika. Venkanna Savantha of this dynasty built the stone structure of the temple in 11th century A.D. Chieftains of Barkur were also devotees of Mookambika and they created a lot of endowments for the temple. During the reign of King Virupaksha of Vijayanagar, Pandarideva was his savantha at Barkur and at his time Mookambika temple became very famous. Mookambika was the patron goddess of Keladi Kings. A poet named Linganna Kavi had written a book titled 'Keladi Nrupa Vijaya' in 1750 A.D and this book contains a lot of references to Mookambika Temple. It is believed that the renowned palm sized emerald was gifted by queen Chennammaji of Keladi dynasty. Keladi Venkatappa Nayak ordained special poojas and festivals at the temple and directed that his subjects should regularly worship Mookambika. Keladi Veerabhadra Nayaka had named his wife as Kollurammaji. These kings donated vast tracts of land to the temple and made arrangements for various festivals at the temple. Saint Vadiraja of Udupi had visited Mookambika and written slokas in her praise. The Maharaja of Mysore and Travancore were devotees of Mookambika and they had presented valuable gold ornaments to her. Jayachamarajendra Vodeyar of Mysore and Chithira Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore had visited the temple. Tippu Sultan of Mysore had visited this temple and a special 'mangala arthi ( Deeparadhana)' was conducted at his behest. That pooja is being continued even today and it is called 'Salam Mangalarthi' which follows the main pooja during night session. There are enough evidences in the forests surrounding Kollur to indicate that once upon a time this was a well built up place.


          Mookambika Temple has a treasure of invaluable jewels and jewellery. These were offerings made by various kings to the mother Goddess. Some important items are mentioned here. Mask of Mookambika is made of 22 ct gold and weighs more than one kilogram. Sapphires are placed in the place of eyes. Precious rubies are placed in rows on the forehead. Diamonds, emeralds, and rubies are used to decorate the crown. Nose stud is made of pure diamond. It is decorated with jewellery made of precious stones. This mask is placed on the face of the idol during Alankara Pooja. Mask of Udbhava Linga is made of seamless pure gold sheet and weighs more than two kilograms. Sapphires are placed in the eyes. Three rows of sapphires and rubies are placed on the forehead. Sun and moon made out of precious stones are used as ear studs. This mask covers the Udbhava Linga during Alankara Pooja. A rare green stone of inestimable value gifted to the Goddess by Keladi kings some 600 years ago is another important item. This palm sized stone is fixed on a golden bracket studded with rubies. There is another item called Gajamuthu (pachyderm pearl) which is a stone very rarely found in the skull of elephants. Navarathna necklace presented by the King of Mysore, ruby necklace presented by the king of Travancore, a large sovereign necklace are other important items. Ex Chief Minister of Tamilnadu late Thiru M.G.Ramachandran had gifted a golden sword weighing 1.1 kilogram with a silver sheath to mother goddess. A technocrat of Tamil origin from Silicon Valley has gifted jewellery worth more than rupees thirty lakhs. Industrialist Vijay Mallya has provided golden casing to the flag mast. A golden chariot made out of 80 kilogram gold is another recent addition. Renowned music composer Ilayaraja has gifted diamond studded crown and palms worth more than rupees one crore. 'Salam Mangalarthi' which follows the main pooja during night session. There are enough evidences in the forests surrounding Kollur to indicate that once upon a time this was a well built up place.