Karikallu (ಕರಿಕಲ್ಲು)
Jain Thirth

Entrance Gate of Padutirupathi Sri Venkataramana Temple


Karkala Town

Coordinates 13°12′00″N 74°58′59″E / 13.2°N 74.983°E / 13.2; 74.983
Country  India
Region Tulu Nadu
State Karnataka
Division Mysore Division
District(s) Udupi
Settled 1912
Headquarters Udupi
Nearest city Mangalore
Counciller Mr. Subeeth Kumar
Deputy Counciller Mrs. Nalini Achaar
Legislature (seats) Bicameral (156)
Parliamentary constituency Udupi Loksabha Constituency(15th)
Assembly constituency Karkala Vidhansabha Kshethra(122nd)
Zone Karkal
Ward 23
Municipality Karkal Town Municipal Council
25,118 (2001[update])
• 1,089.16 /km2 (2,821 /sq mi)
Sex ratio 1.11 /
Official languages Tulu, Kannada, Konkani
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
23.06 km2 (9 sq mi)
• 80 m (262 ft)
• From Mysore • 250 km (155 mi) (land)
• From Bangalore • 380 km (236 mi) (land)
Pincode • 574 104
Telephone • +91-(0)8258
• Vehicle • KA-20
The Famous Jain Centre
Website Karkala Municipal Office

Karkala(Tulu/Kannada/Konkani ಕಾರ್ಕಳ) is a town and also the headquarters of Karkala Taluk in Udupi district of Karnataka, India, and is located about 380 km from Bangalore. It lies near the Western Ghats. The first name of this town was Pandya Nagari(ಪಾಂಡ್ಯ ನಗರಿ) during the Jain regime but afterwards it was changed to Karikallu(ಕರಿಕಲ್ಲು) because of black stones. Over time, the name changed to Karkal(ಕಾರ್ಕಲ್) and then to Karkala. Karkala has a number of natural and historical landmarks including the Ramasamudra Lake.

History and origin

Karkala dates back to the beginning of the 10th century.


Black granite is abundant in the area, and is in wide use in the local architecture. The name of the town is derived from kari-kallu meaning black stone in Kannada. Tulus, Jains and Kannadigas call the town Karla. Muslims and Konkani Hindus call it Karkala and the Mangalorean Catholics call it Karkol. Its alternative name, Jain Thirtha, is the result of 300 years of Jain rule.It was called Karkal by the English ,later it was called Karkala in Kannada style as in case of all the places, names of which did not end with an vowel. Karkala town is on the top of a granite bed of 300 mt thickness

Ancient legends

The Alupas were the first to rule Karkala, followed by the Santaras who were the feudatories of Alupas for many years. Karkala or ancient Pandya Nagari attained political and cultural importance from the time of Kalasa-Karkala kingdom that was established by Bhairarasa Odeyas between 13th and 16th centuries. The Bhairarasas appear to be the descendants of the Santara chiefs who ruled the western ghats region around the 11th century A.D.

The royal family of Karkala shot to prominence right from the time of the Hoysalas. During the Vijayanagara period this family reached new heights of glory. Their kingdom extended over a wider area comprising Sringeri, Koppa, Balehonnur and Mudigere in Chikamagalur and most of the Karkala taluk. They were rich and maintained a large army. Despite engaging in wars, peace prevailed in the kingdom and this led to increased cultural activity and development.

The first important king was Veera Bhairava, who constructed basadis at Karkala and endowed land and money to numerous temples and basadis. Ramanatha and Veerapandya were his two sons. Ramanatha died during his father’s time. In his memory, a scenic lake called Ramasamudra was created, which still survives.

King Veera Pandya, at the insistence of his Guru Lalitakeerti, the pontiff of Karkala Jaina Math, installed a large statue of Bahubali on the rocky hill of Karkala. The date of the installation has been ascertained as February 13, 1432. This is the icon of the town. Veera Pandya also installed the Brahmadeva Pillar in front of the statue in 1436.

Abinava Pandya ascended the throne next and it was he who installed a carving of manastambha in front of the Neminatha Basadi in Hiriyangadi in 1457 A.D. Hiriyangadi is a hamlet of Karkala town. An intricately carved 54 foot high pillar stands in front of the Basadi. The Neminatha Basadi was renovated in 1946. An oriental school with free boarding and lodging facilities is being run here by the Bhujabali Brahmacharya Ashrama.

Abhinava Pandya’s successor was Pandya VI. He built the Kere Basadi, in the middle of a lake called Anekere in 1545 A.D. It is in this lake that the king’s elephants used to bathe. The Basadi and the lake still exist.

The next important king was Immadi Bhairava (Bhairava II). He constructed the Chaturmukha Basadi on top of a small rocky hill in 1586 A.D. The Basadi has four identical entrances from the four quarters leading to the Garbagriha and hence is popularly known as Chaturmukha Basadi. This is the most celebrated structural temple in Karkala[citation needed] and is referred to in inscriptions as Tribhuvana Tilaka Jina Chaityalaya and Ratnaraya Dhama. The Chaturmukha Basadi is built in the form of a square mandapa or hall with a lofty doorway and pillared portico on each of its four sides and a pillared verandah. The roof is flat and is made of massive granite slabs. It has lifesize statues of three theerthankaras on each side and small images of 24 theerthankaras. It took 30 years to build this temple. In all, there are 108 pillars inside and outside the temple.

This beautiful place also came under the rule Sultan Fateh Ali Tippu (Urdu: سلطان فتح علی خان ٹیپو ) (born November 1750, Devanahalli – 4 May 1799, Srirangapattana), also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Indian Kingdom of Mysore from 1782 (the time of his father’s death) until his own demise in 1799.In addition to his role as ruler, was a scholar, soldier, and poet. It was under him that some of the untold and disappearing landmarks of Karkal(ಕಾರ್ಕಲ್)was made, one of the most immanent of the time was Kotay kani (moat ) made in front of Karkal Kotay (castle) ,which was used during his war against the East India Company (also the East India Trading Company, English East India Company).In this war against EIC, few of Indian Kingdom of Mysore’s elite soldiers with huge contribution and service towards the land and kingdom where granted Title and Land in the township of Karkalla. One such title is Karkala Patayath (Tiger stripes of karkala/caretakers of karkala).Second such marvel of the same regime is to discover the usage of a Gavi (cave) route to travel to various surrounding location unseen through the mountains located near Shivati Keray(Lord Shivas lake).

There are 18 basadis of antiquity including Mahaveera Basadi, Chandranathaswamy Basadi, Adinathaswamy Basadi, Ananthanatha Basadi, Guru Basadi and Padmavathi Basadi. However, the rulers of Karkala were tolerant towards other religions and temples of other religions exist including the temples of Anantashayana and Venkataramana, Mahamaya Mukhyaprana and Adi Shakti. The St Lawrence Church was built in 1845 in a village called Nitte (Attur hamlet) where people of all religions congregate every year in January for the feast of St Lawrence.


Karkala is a town of historical importance and a pilgrim centre for Jains. The single stone 42-foot (13 m) statue Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali) is located about 1 km from the center of the town and is the second tallest in Karnataka . There are about 18 Jain basadis here. The Bahubali statue is the second tallest in the State. This statue of Lord Bahubali was installed at Karkala on February 13, 1432 on the instructions of the pontiff of Karkala, Lalitakeerti. There are several other temples, mosques and churches in and around Karkala. Several jain temples were constructed namely Chaturmukha Thirthankara Basadi, Hiriyangaddi Neminatha Basadi and Anekere Padmavathi Basadi. All of these sites mentioned are listed in Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India.

The other statues of Bahubali in the state are at Shravanabelagola installed by Chamundaraya, which is 57 feet tall, at Venur installed by Timmaraja, which is 35 feet (11 m) tall, and at Dharmasthala installed by D. Veerendra Heggade, which is 39 feet (12 m) tall.

Fairs and festivals


Every 12 years, hundreds of thousands of Jain devotees congregate to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a ceremony where the Gommateshwara statue is bathed and anointed with milk, water, and saffron paste and sprinkled with sandal wood powder, turmeric, and vermilion. The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in February 2006, and the next will be in 2018. An annual Rathotsava is held in February.

Main festivals celebrated

  • At Saint Lawrence Church, Attur: St. Lawrence feast (last Tuesday to Thursday of January)
  • At Padutirupathi Sri Venkataramana Temple, Carstreet: Lakshadeepotsava (festival of lights during November-December), Rathotsava or Chariot festival (April-May), Vishwaroopa Darshana (October-November)
  • At Sri Ananthapadmanaabh Temple, Ananthshayana Road: AnanthaChathurdashi (September), Deepotsava (November), Rathotsava (April)
  • At Sri HosaMaarigudi Temple, Bustand: Maari Puja (May third week)
  • At Sri Ucchhanggi Maariamma Temple, A S Road: Maari Utsava (last week of May)
  • At Sri MahaLingeshwara Temple, Pervaaje: Maha Shivarathri (February or March), Rathotsava (April)
  • At Sri UmaMaheshwara Temple, Shivathikere: Maha Shivarathri (February or March), Karthika Deepotsava (November)
  • At Sri Krishna Kshethra, Anekere: Krishna Janmaashtami (August)
  • At Sri Raghavendra Swamy Temple, Tellar: Guru Sree Raghavendra Swamy Aaradhana
  • At Jaamia Masjid, Salmaar: Jumma Masjid feast (ಉರೂಸ್ in Kannada during January)
  • At Sanoor Mosque: Sanoor Uroos
  • Shri Adishakti Mahalaxmi, Laxmipura, Hirgana, Karkala Taluk, Udupi Dist. Karnataka, Pin:574 127. (Established in 1891)

Other local festivities

In rural areas annual Jathra Mahotsava, Bootha Kola, Naga Darshana and Daiva Nemothsava are also celebrated. Festivals like Ram Navami, Buddha Poornima, Krishna Janmashtami, Raksha Bhandhan, Ganesh Chathurthi, Navarathri, Diwali, Christmas, Good Friday, Eid Milad, Moharam and Bakrid are celebrated throughout Karkala.


Karkala is a piligrimage location for Jains and it attracts tourists. Landmarks include Hindu temples, Jain basadis, mosques, churches and lakes.

  • Churches: Attur Church of St. Lawrence, Gandhi Maidhan Christ King Church
  • Mosques: Jumma Masjid at Salmaar
  • Lakes: Anekere Lake, Ramasamudra pond, Matadha Kere
  • Jain Basadis: Hiriyangadi Basadi, Chathurmukha Basadi, Padmavathi Kere Basadi
  • Vishnu Temples: Padutirupathi Sree Venkataramana Temple, Ananthashayana Sree Ananthapadmanabh Temple, Anekere Sree Krishna Kshethra, Tellar Sree DevakiKrishna Ravalnaath Temple, Ananthashayana Sree Vishveshwara Venugopal Temple, Kabettu Sree Venugopal Temple
  • Shiva Temples: Pervaje Sree MahaLingeshwara Temple, Shivathikere Sree UmaMaheshwara Temple, Sree Veerabhadra Temple,
  • Durga Temples: Sree AdiShakthi Veerbhadhra Temple, Sree HosaMaarigudi Maruthi Temple, Sree Ucchanggi Maariamma Temple, Sree Padmavathi Temple, Neklaaje Sree Kaalikamba Temple
  • Ganesh Temples: Vinayakbettu Sree Siddhivinayaka Temple, Banddimuta Sree MoodaGanapathi Temple
  • Guru Temples: Tellar Sree Raghavendra Swamy Temple
  • Hanuman Temples: Sree VeeraMaruthi Temple, Sree MukhyaPrana Temple
  • Joamlu teertha and koodlu teertha -mini waterfalls near Hebri,sun-set view at Agumbe ghat road and Hanuman gundi near Kudremukha

Padutirupathi Karkala – The Tirupati of the West attracting devotees

Sanctum Sanctorum(Garbha Griha),Padutirupathi Karkala

ಪಡುತಿರುಪತಿ ಶ್ರೀ ವೆಂಕಟರಮಣ ದೇವಾಲಯ, ಕಾರ್ಕಳ: This temple is built in a traditional style. Every year, a devotees pay a visit to Lord Venkatramana temple in Karkala. It is about 50 km from Mangalore and stands in the centre of the city. The Venkatramana temple of Karkala attracts visitors from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District. Popularly known as ‘Padutirupathi‘; West means Padu in Kannada and spelt as ಪಡುತಿರುಪತಿ, Lord Venkatramana temple is considered as the main piligrimage of Goud Saraswat Brahmins (GSB) of India, even though other community people visit this temple on a daily basis to seek a glimpse of the deities. Legend has it that a family of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins (namely Soire Prabhu and Soma Sharma) brought Lord Venkatramana’s idols along with them while migrating from Goa. As they decided to settle down in Karkala, the family built a temple for the Lords and started worshipping them here during 1450 A.D. The exact installation date is still unknown. As and when the temple and its portico was being constructed; other families like Kudvas, Kamaths, Nayaks and others migrated here from Goa (due to tortures from Portuguese invaders) and settled down to help Soma Sharma and Prabhu family with their own agricultural business in developing the temple. The main and presiding deity over here is Lord Sreenivasa which was believed to be brought from Tirumala – Tirupati and daily deity Lord Lakshmi Venkatesha.

Lord Sreenivasa and Lord LakshmiVenkatesha

When a group of dacoits attacked this temple during 1500 A.D, the priests saved the main idols and other valuables by throwing them down a well in Mulki. As things cooled down, they could retrieve the belongings of the temple except for the main deity. However, a person in Mulki found the statue in the well, which was taken as an indication that the Lord wanted to stay there, instead of in Karkala. When Karkala people came to know about this they rushed to Mulki and asked for the idol; but by that time Mulki people had already installed the idol in Sree Veer Vittal Temlpe (around 1520 A.D). It is said that the Lord appeared in people’s dreams and asked them to leave his statue with residents of Mulki. He seemed to have reassured them that a hermit would present them his statue in which he resides. The people of Karkala returned back and as told by the Lord himself, a hermit of Tirumala, who was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkatramana from Tirupati, came to Karkala and presented the Lord’s statue with the condition that the proceeds of the temple be given to Tirupathi. Heeding to the condition, people of Karkala undertake a pilgrimage to Tirupati each year to present the temple’s proceeds. The installation of new idol of Lord Sreenivasa was done on 25 April, 1537 and the renovation of the temple took place in the year 1700.

Vishwaroopa Darshana at Padutirupathi Karkala

Since the rites and rituals at the Karkala temple are similar to that of Tirupati, it is regarded as Tirupati in the West (while the original shrine is located in the east). So, it’s called Padu (or West) Tirupathi. Karnataka Government and Indian Government has declared this temple as Tirupathi of Karnataka and is one of the many temples authorised to collect money for Tirumala Temple. Any kind of pooja performed by a devotee over here is taken as rendering a generous service (work as per his /her own wish) at the feet of the Lord but not as a seva (paid work). A ritual called Vanabhojan (yatra to Tirupathi) is conducted each year in November-December; when the presiding deity Lord Sreenivasa along with Lord Lakshmi Venkatesha is taken to Sri Bhuvanendra College area near Lake Ramasamudra and is kept facing Tirupathi. This is done as the deity can’t be taken to Tirupati itself, to comply with the hermit’s condition. The deities are bathed with Panchaamrutha (consisting of Milk, Curds, Ghee, Honey and Sugar) and Tender Coconut water (commonly known as Panchaamrutham Abhishekam). It is said that if people do this yatra it is as doing a yatra to Tirupathi. Presenting the offerings to Tirupati at Karkala itself had been an old custom. In the past, these proceeds were also given to Tirupati once in 12 years. Although this is no longer in practice, it is said that people still present their offerings to Tirupati here. Also an annual 6-days chariot festival is celebrated in honour of Tirupathi Lord Sreenivasa Swamy during April-May. The rites and rituals performed during this festival is also the same as in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD). The special days celebrated in this temple are Nag Panchami, Sri Krishna Janmaashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Anant Chaturdashi, Deepawali (Vishwaroopa Darshana-means lighting of 50,000 earthen lamps @ 3 A.M during October or November month), Ratha Saptami, Ram Navami and Buddha Poornima.Nag Panchami is celebrated with the pouring of Panchaamrutha abhisheka on the stone idol of snakes in the temple premises. During Janmashtami utsav deity is worshipped as Sri Gopalkrishna and served various items of food. On Ganesh Chathurthi huge silver idol of Lord Ganesha is kept in the temple for 5 days. For Anantha Chathurdashi golden kalasha is taken out to Ramasamdura lake where it is dipped in and holy water is brought back in it while returning to the temple. During Diwali 5 days celebration is being done with the main celebration as Vishwaroopa Darshan done after the 5th day. On Ratha Sapthami day utsav deity is taken out on silver chariot (where in Tirupathi Sreenivas Swamy is taken on SuryaPrabha Vahana). Ram Navami involves mass feeding and chariot utsav. Lastly Buddha Purnima in temple has utsav deity taken to Ramasamdura Lake in the morning, evening mass feeding for community people (last one in the year) and in the night half-chariot procession (Bandi utsav); where this utsav has its peculiarity as, a silver palanquin along with utsav deity is kept on Bandi with two wooden dolls holding it on their shoulders. This temple has over 150 Utsavas (Lord taken out to the town and returning back to temple) in a year excluding Amavasyas and Ekaadashis and over 70 mass feedings for the GSB community people. Special mass feedings for other community people are arranged during Shravana(August-September) month and Deepotsava festival. Everyday temple has bhajan recitals by Sri Venkataramana Bhajan group; where over 30 people including children sing recitals of Almighty in Hindi, Konkani, Kannada and Marathi. The temple arranged a 4 month long day-night Sri Raam Naam Sankirthan in the year 1958,1984 and recently in 2006 on July 6. Sahasra Kumbhaabhishekha (1008 Abhishekham) was held in this temple in the year 1963 March. Raam Dhandu (a trip to Tirumala Tirupathi to offer the offerings given by people) was held regularly in the range of 10 years 3 times, first one in the year 1854 until the year of 1970.

Sree Veera Maruthi,Karkala

In front of Lord Venkatramana’s shrine lies Sri VeerMaruthi temple, whose statue towers over 15 feet and the temple was originally built in 1539. Its renovation was done in 1972. It’s said that this statue was found under the grounds of Anekere (near Karkala), when it was dug. This statue of Lord Hanuman has a different type of architecture;left hand on his hip, right hand on top facing sky, legs in walking style, eyes starred in angry form and hair on his head waving in the air. Tippu Sultan was among the ardent devotees of this Hanuman; the silver ornament he had offered to the Lord is still seen around his neck. Once in a year in December month a 24hrs day long Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram recital is sung by localites of this area. Every Monday, Saturday and on Ekadashi day Ram Naam Sankirthans are sung by devotees for nearly 3 hours.

Several legends illustrate Lord Venkatramana’s perceived power to grant wishes. One of them happened in 1912, when the British government at Madras decided to make Moodbidri instead of Karkala the taluk headquarters, which disappointed people here. They prayed to the deity. When a British officer was on his way to Karkala for re-inspection of the place, as he crossed Moodbidri, all of a sudden his horse collapsed and died on the spot. Somehow he managed to reach Karkala. On reaching there, he paid a visit to Lord Venkatramana’s temple. After the visit, the British officer dropped the idea of making Moodbidri the taluk headquarters and decided on Karkala. Right outside the sanctum-sanctorum (garba-griha) of the temple, there are four massive stone pillars decorated with exquisite carvings carved out by Sri Shilpi Renjal Gopal Shenoy. The pillars have amazing carvings of birds, plants, insects and other different varieties of fine sculptures.

The temple has a large pond in front of it which is called as Sri Pushkarni (built in 1860) and next to this pond is a small temple of Sri Kalabhairava, a servant of Lord Almighty. Once a year during Kalabhairavaashtami, abhishekha is performed for the idol of Lord Kalabhairava.On the way to the Pushkarni there is a Mutt(Monastery)which is known Kashi Mutt.The Swamijis of GSB Community stay here during their visit .The daily poojas in the mutt is done by a popular priest Sri.Gokki and is managed by Dr.K.Ramachandra.Joishy who is a well known cardiologist of the town.

Karkala Venkataramana Temple has three sects of priests from Vasishta Gotra namely Joishys, Puraniks and Tanthris having an origin from 14th century. Joishys and Puraniks are the primary priests who look after the betterment of deities & Temple and Tanthris are secondary priests who take up important services of temple. Presently Ramkrishna Joishy, Arun Puranik and Ramanath Tanthri are holding up the temple poojas yearly twice. Daily poojas are being done by their sons and grandsons (around 200 in total). The temple management has 14 member board committee;out of which 6 are permanent and the rest keep changing in accordance with election every 3 years. This committee administers the temples finances, management and events by holding monthly meetings in the temple premises. Each committee is headed by a president.Karkala Venkatramana Temple is known for various festivals as well as community feeding which is known as SAMARADHANA in Konkani language. A detailed book is published every year by well known social worker and employee of Corporation Bank SRI.K.GOPAL PAI. The said book contains the details of various festive occasions of the PADUTHIRUPATI Temple. Every year a calender of the lord VENKATESHWARA is also released on bewhalf of Late SRI. K.R.NAYAK by his family members.

The Lord Venkatramana Temple Trust owns and manages 7 educational institutions, apart from conducting cultural and traditional activities. Also it has taken up mid-meal scheme for Mentally Disabled children in Chethana Special School. The temple owns a Goshaala (Cow Shed) of about 12 breeds near temple lake very next to Srinivasa Kala Mandir. Temple authorities also own Kala Mandirs for get together and functions.Heethaishee a small organisation which arranges marriage and ceremonies for Goud Saraswat Brahmin people. GSB Welfare Trust is yet another organisation which organises functions and gives grants for poor people in GSB community once a year during Ugadi (New Year according to Hindu Calendar). The temple has recently taken up many development works in and around the premises & in educational institutions.[1]

Attur Church

A shrine to St. Lawrence lies around 15 minutes outside Karkala at Attur in the vicinity of Parpale hills. The first church was established around 1759,[citation needed] about 7 kilometers from the present church. It was destroyed by Tippu Sultan and the Christians were held captive in Shrirangapatna from 1784-1799.[citation needed] A new church with a thatched roof was constructed in 1801 about 4 kilometers from the present location under the leadership of a Goan priest.

In 1839, the church was replaced by a third building. A Goan priest chose its location by carrying a 1 foot high statue of St. Lawrence to Attur. Devotees of St. Lawrence believe that the saint guided the priest by fixing the statue to the ground and subsequently releasing it at the location of the church.[citation needed] The statue has become an object of devotion and the church attracts pilgrims. The building was located at the rear of the present church and was facing west. A small flower garden now stands at its location.

The present, north-facing church was built in 1900 to accommodate the growing congregation. It was blessed and inaugurated on 22 January 1901. A small shrine was built adjacent to the sacristy in 1975 to accommodate the statue. A hundred foot high tower representing religious art of various regions was built in 1997, to symbolize acceptance of other faiths. In 1998 the Pushkarini (Miracle Pond) was renovated in modern Indian Architectural style with facilities for pilgrims to descend into the pond. Twin gates were added in front of the church in 1999 in line with the Tower. In 2000, a new church was erected in front of the 1900 church to accommodate the Annual Feast. It was inaugurated and blessed on 21 January 2001. The 1900 church remains in use.

Chathurmukha Basadi

Chaturmukha Basadi is a Jain temple, situated on a rocky hill at Karkala in Udupi District of Karnataka. Consecrated by Vir Pandya deva, the king of Bairarava family in 1432, the basadi was completed in 1586. It is built in the form of a square mandapa or hall, with a lofty doorway and pillared portico on each of its four sides. Since four identical doorways in four directions lead to the Garbhagriha, it is called Chaturmukha Basadi. The roof is flat and is made of huge granite slabs. In the Garbhagriha, one can see the standing statues of Ara, Malli, and Suyrata. Besides these, the images of the 24th Tirthankar and Yakshi Padmavati can also be found. There are a total of 108 pillars inside and outside the temple. This is the most celebrated temple in Karkala[citation needed] and is referred to in the inscriptions as Tribhuvana Tilaka Jina Chaityalaya and Ratnaraya Dhama.

Ananthashayana Temple

Lord Ananthashayana

This was previously a Jain Basadi proposed by one of the Jain king during the year 1567. Once during this time, Sringeri Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharathi Swamiji came to Karkala and the Jain King gave him a warm welcome to his Basadi. But Swamiji said “We will stay only if there is a temple with a Lord Almighty in it”. So the king gave his Basadi to Sringeri Swamiji with installing a stone sculptured Idol of Lord Vishnu in the sleeping form. This Lord Vishnu was found in a lake near Nellikar village. The large idol is sculpted out of a single black stone with Lord Brahma on the lotus (coming out of Lord Vishnu’s navel), and his wives Sridevi and Bhudevi at his feet. There are sculptures in every corner of this temple. Also this is a protected site under Archaeological Survey of India.

Neklaje Sri kalikamba Temple, Karkala

Sri Kalikamba Temple in Neklaje is an important shrine of the historical Karkala town. The Kalikamba Temple, believed to be a construction of eleventh or twelfth century, was built by a renowned sculptor Arkasali Bhujangacharya. Situated at the west of the famous Gomatabetta (Sri Bahubali Hill), the Temple attracts a number of devotees thanks to its calm and quiet atmosphere.

The idol of Goddess Kalikamba, appearing in sitting posture, holds sword, Chakra, fruits and Abhaya Mudra in its four arms. The Temple reached its flourishing state of prosperity and popularity especially after Balmanja Krishnayya Purohitha took over the charge as the managing trustee of the Temple. He initiated many developmental projects and kept the Temple on the course of improvement. Brahmakalashothsava was performed in 1981 after the Temple was completely renovated.

The outer yard consists of Anjaneya and Datthathreya shrines along with the shrines of Raktheshwari, Kalkuda and Panjurli Bhoothas (Daivas or evil spirits). Annual festival takes place for three days during Mesha Pournami every year. Navarathri (Ashwija Masa) and Pushpa Pooja (Shravana Masa) are also celebrated. Ekaha Bhajana (singing bhajans for the duration of one full day) is held on Karthika Bahula Ekadashi, followed by Deepothsava on the next day. Special poojas are offered on every Friday accompanied by the Bhajans of the devotees.


Karkal is located at 13°12′N 74°59′E / 13.2°N 74.98°E / 13.2; 74.98.[2] It has an average elevation of 81 metres (265 feet).Fully surrounded by black rocks and lush green forests. This tehsil is also located in Western Ghats with other places. The dark green area on the western side of India indicates the whole stretch of Western Ghats from Kerala to Maharashtra along the west coastline.There are so many coconut trees in the town that if you have a look at the town from top of Gomateshwara hill except the tops of a few tall buildings,you see only coconut trees.That is why solar water heater is a failure, for want of sunshine.As coconut leaves are burnt for heating water in bathrooms, the whole town is enveloped by thick smoke in the mornings.

Meteorological Details

 City Area                            23.06sq.km
 Number of Properties                 9526 habitats
 Length of Roads 	               77.5 km.
 Total Water Supply 	               2 MLD
 Type of Land 	                       Wet.
 Water Supply Source                  Mundli River.
 Summer Temperature 	               38 DegreeCelsius.
 Winter Temperature 	               24 DegreeCelsius.
 Annual Rain Fall 	               4372.7 MM.
 Agriculture Crops 	               Paddy, Coconut, Arecanut, Jackfruit.
 Latitude	                       13.2000
 Longitude	                       74.9833
 Altitude (feet)	               265
 Lat (DMS)	                       13°11'60 N
 Long (DMS)	                       74°58'60 E
 Altitude (meters)	               80
 Population (Approx for 7 km radius)   40000

Weather Details

Humidity       56.54587%    Cloud Cover         32%
Visibility     8 km          Max Temp.           34°C
Dewpoint       20°C         Min Temp.           23°C
Ceiling        2,316.5m     Departure           -1°C
Apparent Temp. 33°C         High Past           34°C
Wind Chill     30°C         Low Past            30°C
Wind Speed     8 km/h        Precipitation       0.0 mm
Wind Direction NW           Wind Gusts          12 km/h


As of 2001[update] India census,[3] Karkal town had a population of 25,118. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Karkal has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 79%. In Karkal, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age. According to recent statistics by town municipality, now currently 25,635 people reside in this town, while as per the recent statistics Karkala taluk has a population of 2.10 Lacs (previous 2001 census is 2,04,571).


The undivided Dakshina Kannada District has a diverse variety of cultures.

Language and people

Karkala is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual city that follows four religions namely Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Jainism. Local people normally speak four local languages -Tulu, Kannada,Malayalam and Konkani . Hindi, Urdu and English are also well understood. There are communities of Tuluvas (Bunts,Jains, Mogaveeras, Billavas, Dalits etc), Konkanis (GSB|Gaud Saraswat Brahmins, Rajapur Saraswats,Daivajnas Roman Catholics ,Vishwakarma) , Marathi(of 19th century) speaking Maharashtrian brahmins[chitpavans], Aryas[very small in number), Urdu ,Malayalam & Beary speaking Muslims and kannadigas(Kota Brahmins, Kshatriyas,hegdes and raneyarus in their distinct dialects).The Koragas who belong to scheduled tribe community speak supposedly the original Dravidian language as it sounds like a mixture of all south Indian languages.


Hulivesha (Tiger dance) is a unique form of folk dance in Dakshina Kannada. It is considered as the favored carrier of Goddess Sharada (the deity in whose honor Dussera is celebrated), and is performed during the Dussera celebration. It is also performed during other festivals like Krishna Janmasthami. Bhuta Kola or spirit worship is practised, usually at night. Kambala or buffalo racing is also conducted in paddy fields. Korikatta (Cockfighting) is another favourite sport for village people. Nagaradhane or snake worship is also practised according to the popular belief that the Naga Devatha go underground and guard the species above. Konkani speaking GSBs have their own tradition of celebrating Rathotsava and Deepotsava like the Kannada speaking Brahmins.

The Christians in Karkala celebrate a special feast called Saanth Maari also known as Attur Church festival for 3 days. Thousands of people from all over India attend.

The Muslims celebrate Uroos in the Masjids and Jains have their Jain Milans yearly.


All the media materials to Karkala are directely published and broadcasted from Mangalore and Udupi.

Newspaper dailies

Among Kannada newspapers Udayavani, Vijaya Karnataka, Prajavani, Kannada Prabha and Varthabharathi are popular. Evening newspapers include Karavali Ale, Mangalooru Mitra, Sanjevani and Jayakirana. All are published at Mangalore. Major national English newspapers like The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Times of India and Indian Express also publish Mangalore editions.All the popular periodicals are available at the stands.

Entertainment Broadcasting

The state run, nationally broadcast Doordarshan provides both national and localised television coverage. Cable Television providers air cable channels of independently owned private networks. Direct To Home cables and TataSky Satellites have recently gained entrance.

Communication and radio

Almost all mobile and landline connections are available at Karkala including Airtel, Vodafone, Spice Telecom, Tata Indicom, BSNL,MTS and Reliance. Most of the FM channels and Akashwani broadcasts are gaining popularity and Internet connections ranging from dailup to broadband from Airtel and BSNL ISPs have been introduced recently.


Government offices in Karkala are the same as in other places with main Municipality at the Taluk centres and Grama Panchayats in villages. There is one municipality in town, taluk office (with all services) at Kukkundoor and 26 grama panchayats having 50 villages in Karkala Taluk ,after Moodabidre firka was merged with Mangalore taluk.

Civic Administrative Office

The Karkala Town Municipal Council (Karkala Purasabhe in Kannada; ಕಾರ್ಕಳ ಪುರಸಬೆ) is the municipal corporation in charge of the civic and infrastructural assets of the city. The council comprises 23 elected representatives, called “councillors”, one from each of the 23 wards (localities) of the city. Elections to the council are held once every five years, with results being decided by popular vote. One of the councillors from the majority party is selected as a Chief Officer. The municipal wards are:

  • Banglegudde-Kaje
  • Banglegudde-Paraneeru
  • Pervaje-Sadbhavana
  • Pervaje-Bandeematha
  • Salmara-Jarigudde
  • Shrinivasa nagara-Pervaje
  • Pervaje-Pattonjikatte
  • Market-Atri nagara
  • Bobbala-Vinayakabettu
  • Tellaru-Marinapura
  • Ananthashayana-College
  • Varnabettu-Gomatabettu
  • Danashale
  • Kalikamba
  • Danashale
  • Madhyapete
  • Gandhi maidana-Havaldarabettu
  • Gandhi maidana-Atturu
  • Kabettu-Hiriyangadi
  • Kuntalpady-Hiriyangadi
  • Taluk Off-Kabettu
  • Kabettu-Rotary Hospital
  • Kabettu-Cholpadi

The headquarters of municipality is located near Karkala Bus Station. Taluk Office area has a Mini Vidhana Soudha (Government Office).At present according to new delimitation of constituent assemblies, Karkala is 122nd Legislative Assembly Constituency in Karnataka with nearly 2 Lakh voters. Also Karkala comes under Udupi-Chikkamaglur LokaSabha Constituency.

Law and Order

Karkala has one Town Police station in the town area at Kabettu and check posts in all the grama panchayats under the Karnataka State Police Administration. Also a taluk magistrial court is present to handle all the civil and criminal cases happening in Karkala as a whole; monthly Lok Adalats are held in all village panchayats.

Electricity and water

Power Supply

Electricity in Karkala is regulated through the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) & distribution is through Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM). Like many cities in India, this town experiences 3 to 6 hours of scheduled and unscheduled power cuts the whole year to allow electricity providers to meet the consumption demands of households as well as small industries. The main power source for Karkala is MRS Shimoga Power Station. There is a 220KV receiving station at Parpale Gudde of Nitte&Sanoor villages, called Kemar Power Station.Most of the unforeseen break-downs are caused by coconut leaves falling from trees leaning over roads, during rainy season.

Water Connections

Potable water to the city is supplied by municipality. Almost all water is taken from the vented dam constructed across the Mundli river. Some houses have wells and borewells.

Health centres

There are several clinics in and around Karkala with well equipped hospitals namely City Hospital and Rotary Hospital. There are also government run primary health centres in each village panchayat.


Town Road

Karkala mainly has got good road connectivity as railways and airports are situated far away from this place. Also there were good tarmacked roads available in the town with good drainage system provided by Municipality.Now due to widening of the tarmac and encroachment by shops, most of the foot-path has vanished making it difficult for pedestrians and drainage system has become almost extinct

Roads connected

Karkala is connected to 3 major state roads and one major highway.

  • National Highway 13(Karkala-Mudabidri-Mangalore)
  • State Highway-66(Karkala-Nitte-Padubidri)which is also connected to National Highway 17 (India)
  • State Highway-37(Karkala-Bailur-Manipal-Udupi) and
  • State Highway-25A(Karkala-Hebri-Udupi).

Nearest air station and rail terminus

The town is far from air and rail terminals. The nearest services are located at Bajpe in Mangalore and Indrali in Udupi.

Long distance travel and Local Transport

Bus Station

The local and long distance transport includes the buses which ply regularly. Some of them are mini buses and some are air suspension buses.

The bus station of Bangalore and Mangalore runKSRTC buses regularly to all the important places of Karnataka via Karkala. Private buses from Karkala are also available to Bombay, Mysore and Bangalore.Local and Express buses to many places of Udupi and Mangalore district ply every 5–10 minutes.

Commerce and Industries

Traditional and Modern Trading

In this semi-urban township business (all types of legalised business forms), hotels (small to large), shops have gained high yearly incomes. Also tuition classes run by different people have made peoples life little better. A family man also gains extra income through rents paid by Paying Guests. Almost all the trading units in Karkala have computerised and cash memo billings.


Small scale industries have come up giving jobs to poor people. SEZ’s are yet to come up. Some of the small scale industries in and around Karkala town limits are:

  • Sanoor Cashew Factory, Sanoor.
  • Kukkundoor Industrial Area, Ajekar.
  • Bola Cashew Factory, Manjarapalke.
  • Bharath Beedies Pvt Ltd, Karkala.
  • Lamina Industries Pvt Ltd, Nitte.
  • Gayathri Exports, Karkala and Vanjarkatte – Bola.
  • btkimpex and Swayamprabha cashews, karkala.
  • BRK cashew ,BAILUR


The pre-collegiate medium of instruction in schools is predominantly Kannada, while Hindi,Sanskrit and English are predominant languages in private schools. Additionally, other media of instruction exist in Karkala. The medium of instruction in educational institutions after matriculation in colleges is English. Schools and colleges in Karkala are either government-run or run by private trusts and individuals. The schools are affiliated to either the Karnataka State Board, or the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) boards. After completing 10 years of schooling in secondary education, students enroll in Pre-University colleges, specializing in one of the three streams – Arts, Commerce or Science. there have been a large number of professional institutions established in a variety of fields Like Engineering and Diploma.

Schools & Professional,Diploma and PU Colleges of Karkala

Govt High Schools & Junior Colleges

1. Bajagoli Junior college, Bajagoli - 574 112
2. Bailoor Junior College, Bailoor
3. Durga Tellar Govt High School, Durga - 574121
4. Hirgana Govt High School, Hirgana - 574127
5. Hebri Junior College, Hebri - 576112
6. Kanajaru Govt High School, Kanajaru - 574102
7. Karkala Junior College, Karkal - 574104
8. Kabettu Govt High School, Karkal - 574104
9. Kakkuje Govt Junior College, Kakkuje - 574108
10. Koodabettu Govt High School, Mala - 574123
11. Muniyalu Junior College, Muniyalu - 574103
12. Nakre Govt High School, Nakre - 576117
13. Palli Junior College, Palli - 574244
14. Pervaje Govt High School, Karkal - 574104
15. Renjala Govt High School, Renjala, Karkal - 574130
16. Sanooru Junior College, Sanooru - 574114
17. Sooda Govt High School, Sooda - 576127
18. Shirlalu Govt High School, Hadiyangadi - 574101
19. Shivapur Govt High School, Shivapur - 576112

Private High Schools & Junior Colleges

1. Ajekaru Jyothi High School, Ajekaru - 574101
2. Attur St Lawrence High School, Attur - 574120
3. Bhuvanendra High School, Karkal - 574104
4. Borkatte Gangamma High School, Borkatte - 574320
5. Christ King Eng Medium High School, Karkal - 574104
6. Christ King Pre-University College, Karkal - 574104
7. Govt High School, Kuchnur, Bolanje - 576112
8. Hiriyangadi S N V High School, Karkala - 574104
9. Jaycee High School, Karkal - 574104
10. K.M.E.S Eng Medium Higher Primary,High School, P.U. college, Kukkundoor-576117
11. Kukkundoor Sri Durga High School, Kukkundoor - 576117
12. Mahatma Gandhi Hostel High School, Karkal - 574104
13. Mudradi High School, Mudradi - 576145
14. Nitte N S A M Junior College, Nitte - 574110
15. Nitte N S A M Eng Medium High School, Nitte - 574110
16. Nitte N R A M Polytechnic, Nitte - 574110
17. S V T Women Junior College, Karkal - 574104


Yearly and monthly sports activities are held at two places in particular namely Gandhi Maidhan and Swaraj Maidhan. Cricket, Volleyball, and different types of matches are being played. Also State Government arranged tourneys are held. Some local organisations arrange tournaments either as Day Light or Night Light matches. Famous Player Ashwini Nachhappa had inaugurated recently a night played Volleyball match under flood lights. Schools and colleges also arrange their own sports functions in these two stadiums.Under-arm tennis ball cricket is very popular.The taluk level sports stadium constructed by GOK is in jeopardy as it is situated at an isolated place, about 3 km from bus-stand.

Cultural, Traditional and Co-Curicular Activities

All over the town there are halls in which one or the other activities are held for the betterment of the people. Some are held for one day, some for 3 days or 7 days and some for a month. Even during festive occasions some important get together are held in places like Sri Manjunath Pai Cultural Hall, Sri Sharada Kalyana Mantap, Sri Annapurneshwari Sabha Bhavan, Veeramaruthi Sabha Bhavan, Kalyan Mantap of S V Temple Padutirupathi, Sri Adhishakthi Veerbhadra Hall and Bahubali Pravachan Mandir. Saahitya Sammelan, Painting Exhibitions and School-College competitions are held at Seminar Hall of Hotel Prakash.

more- nammakarkala.co.cc

  1. Please add water falls, Picnic spots and places of Interest in Karkala

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: