Kasaragod district is a place of communal harmony as there are many shrines of both Hindus and Muslims located here. Kasargod district has attained a major importance as a centre of Islam on the west coast. Majority of the people here are Muslims and there are some important mosques in this district. Malik Ibn Dinar mosque which is an ancient mosque founded by Malik Ibn Dinar is located here. Some of the major Hindu religious centers include temples such as Ananthapura Lake Temple, Madhur temple, Adoor temple, Mallikarjuna Temple etc. An important church located in Kasaragod district is the Our Lady of Dolours Church popularly called as Bela Church. Some of the main pilgrim centers in Kasaragod are given below
Temples in Kasaragod
Ananthapura Lake Temple
Ananthapura Lake Temple is located in Kasaragod district. This temple lies in the middle of a lake and is the only lake temple of Kerala. It is considered as the original centre of the Padmanabha Swami temple in Thiruvananthapuram. According to the legend, while Vilwamangalam Swami was praying, Lord Krishna in the form of a little boy disturbed him. The sage pushed the boy with his left hand and the boy disappeared through the cave nearby. He created a tunnel from one end of Kerala up to the Padmanabha Swami temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
Madhur Sreemad Ananteshwara Vinayaka Temple
This is an ancient temple built in the 10th century and is one among the 4 temples built by the Mypadi rulers of Kumbla in Kasaragod district. It is located in Madhur on the banks of the river Madhuvahini. Renovations for the temple were made in the 15th century and the architecture of the temple is very beautiful. The temple has an oval shaped and is 3 storied. The top 2 stories are covered with copper plates while the bottom floor is covered with tiles. This is a Siva temple but the importance is given to the deity Ganapathy. A special festival celebrated here in this temple is the Moodappam Seva which is the covering of the idol of Ganapathy with Appam. This festival is conducted once in many years and it was done lastly in the year 1992. The important days in this temple are Ganesh Chathurthy and Madhur Bedi. During rainy season, the water from the river overflows and covers the temple premise.
Sree Mahalingeshwara Temple
This is a temple of 13th century which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It lies on the banks of the river Payaswini in Adoor village at a distance of 45 kms from Kasargod and is popularly called as Adoor temple. The legend says that it was founded by Arjuna and it was at this place that the battle between Lord Siva and Arjuna took place. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is rare and is in the form of a three stepped Gaja Prishta. The paintings of Lord Ganapathy and Sastha done on the walls of the temple are very attractive. The roofs of the temple are also beautifully carved. The annual festival is held in the Malayalam months Kumbham and Meenam. Art forms such as Kathakali are performed during the festival. Another main festival celebrated here is the Makara Samkramam and during this time people take holy dip in the Payaswini River and are called as Kumbhabhishekam.
This is a 17th century Siva temple located in Kasaragod town. It is an important temple in this district and is believed that the idol in this temple was adorned by Arjuna. The life of Lord Krishna is depicted in the pillars of the temple. The annual festival of this temple is held in the Malayalam month Meenam and lasts for 5 days. The main ritual performed during the festival is the Yakshagana.
Trikkannad Thrayambakeswara Temple
Thrikkanad Siva temple is located near Pallikere beach. The Sivalinga here is believed to be installed by the sage Parasurama. This temple is famous for performing the ritual balitharppana which is conducted on the Karkkidakavavu day. Pandyan Kallu is a huge rock that lies in the sea at a distance of 2kms from the temple. The sanctum sanctorum is rectangle in shape and the roof is conical covered with copper sheets. The annual festival of this temple is held in the Malayalam month Kumbham and lasts for a week. The main offerings in this temple are Dhara and payasam. The temple ritual Theyyam is performed here.
Palakunnu Bhagavathi Temple
This is a Bhagavathi temple located in Thrikkanad near Kasaragod-Kanhangad highway. The main deity Bhagavathy is worshipped here in two forms namely Mootha Bhagavathi and Elaya Bhagavathi. The sub deities include Vishnumoorthi, Ghantakarnan, Gulikan and Dhandan Devan. The annual festival is Bharani Mahotsavam which is held in the months February / March. Some other festivals conducted are Maruputhari festival, Kalam Kanippu Mahotsavam, Poorolsavam etc. Poorakkali is performed as part of Poora Mahotsavam.
Mallam Durga Parameshwari Temple is located in Muliyar at a distance of 10 kms from Kasargod town. It is an ancient temple and the main deity of this temple is Goddess Durga Parameshwari. A unique practice done in this temple is performing Annadanam daily which is serving food to the devotees. The annual festival of this temple is held in the months February / March and lasts for 7 days. The other festivals celebrated here include Suklapksha Ekadasi in the Malayalam month Phalguna, Vasantholsavam on Poornima day and Vaisaka month and Navarthri.
Madiyan Kulom Temple
This temple is located in Ajanoor near Kanhangad. The deity here is Bhadrakali and the sub deities include Kshetrapalan, Bhagavathi and Bhairavan. In this temple, the morning and evening prayers are performed by the Maniyani caste while only the afternoon Poojas are performed by the Brahmin caste. The main festivals of this temple are held during the Malayalam months Edavam and Dhanu.
Perne Muchilottu Kavu
Perne Muchilottu Bhagavathy Kavu is an important Kavu out of the 28 Muchilottu Bhagavathy Kavu. Muchilottu Bhagavathy is a main deity of Northern Kerala. The Pooram festival is held in the Malayalam month Meenam and during this festival mass marriage is conducted.
Adukkathu Bhagavathi Temple
This temple which is located in Adukkathu has Goddess Bhagavathy as the main deity. The sub deity is Goddess Saraswathi. One of the main offerings done here is the raw buffalo silk. There is a pond nearby to the temple and there are a large number of turtles in it. The devotees can feed these turtles with rice which is provided from the temple. It is surprising to note that the turtles are not found there dead or alive when the pond dries up and that when the pond is again filled with water during monsoon the turtles re-appear. The annual festival of this temple is held in the Malayalam month Vrischikam.
This temple is situated in Manjeswaram. Here Lord Shiva, Narasimha and Subramanya are placed in a same sanctum sanctorum and are given equal status. The sub deities include Ganapathy, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Garudan and Nagas. Nagas here are more powerful and worshipping Naga is important in this temple. The main festivals celebrated here are Skandashashti and Nagapanchami.
Irival Mahavishnu Temple
This temple is located in Irival on the Kanghangad- Pinnathoor route. The main deity is Lord Vishnu and the sub-deities include Durga, Shasthavu, Thiruvayalappan and Rakshas. Daily three poojas are conducted here a day based on the tantric text known as Irival.
Sree Varadaraja Venkataramana Temple
The temple is situated in Srirampet and has Sri Varadaraja Venkatramana as the main deity. This temple lies on the banks of the river Payaswani. The sub deities include Hanuman, Ganapathi, Lakshmi and Garuda. The annual festival of this temple is Sankeerthana Sapthaha which is the non-stop chanting of Bhajans. This festival attracts a large crowd and is held in December that lasts for a week.
Neeleswaram Taliyil Sree Neelakandeswara Temple
This temple is located near Neeleswaram railway station. The main deity of this temple is Lord Siva and the sub deities are Lord Mahavishnu, Mahaganpathy and Shastha. It is believed that the idol of the deity was installed by the sage Neela thousands of years back. This temple resembles the Tali temple at Kozhikode. This temple is under the Malabar Devaswom Board. In this temple daily poojas are held 5 times and Sheeveli is also held thrice a day. The annual festival is held in the Malayalam month Kumbham. The important days of this temple are Mondays, Pradoshams, Ashtami, Navami and Dasami.
This temple is located in Nileshwar with Goddess Durga as the main deity. An important feature of this temple is the Kurathi performance where cocks are sacrificed. Some cultural activities such as dance drama is performed by the devotees. The annual fair held here is the Kalasam and is held in the month of May. The temple ritual Theyyam is performed as part of the festival.
Sree Lakshmi Venkatesh Temple
This is a temple of the Gowda Saraswatha Brahmins of Kanhangad area. The temple was constructed by the people of this community alone. The main deity here is Sri Laxmi Venkatesha and was installed in 1865. The other Prathishtas here include Mahamaya, Garuda, Ganesha, Mahalakshmi, Hanuman, Rama with Sita and Lakshmana etc. The main festivals of this temple are Navarathri, Karthika Pournami and Bhajana Sapthaha.
Some other main temples in Kasaragod are
Sri Krishna Mandir, Panathur Temple, Sri Veera Vittala Temple, Cheruvathur Mahadeva Temple, Sri Karpooreswarar temple at Kanhangad, Kadinhathoor Sree Mahavishnu Temple, Athiyambur Sree Subrahmania Temple, Puthukkai Sree Muchilottu Bhagavathi Temple, Manniottu Devsthanam, Arayil Sree Bhagavathi Temple, Naaga Brahma temple at Vorkadi, Durga-Parameswari temple at Uppala, Sree Veera Anjaneya temple at Kumbla etc.
Churches in Kasaragod
Our Lady of Dolours Church popularly called as Bela Church is an ancient church and is under the Diocese of Mangalore. This is also the oldest church in Kasaragod district and is dedicated to Mother of Dolours. The church was built by the Konkani Christians at Kudrepady and was then later shifted to Bela. The old church at Bela was erected in 1880 and the new church was later built in 2001. The statue of the Mother of Sorrows at Bela church was first at Kudrepady church and from there it was taken to the Bela church. Initially the statue was not able to be removed from Kudrepady church and was removed only when prayers were offered to Mother Mary.
Some other churches in Kasaragod district are
Sacred Heart Church at Vorkady, Church at Manjeshwar, ChristuRaja Church at Kayyar, St. Veronica Church at Kumbla, Sacred Heart Church, Ukkinadukka, St.Johns Britanica Church at Narampadi, Rajapuram Church, Ranipuram Church, St. Antonys Church at Balal, Christu Raja Church Bheemanadi, St. Marys Church at Kadumeni, St.Geevarghese Church at Kanhiradukkam, St.Sebastian Church at Maloth, Marypuram St.Mary`s Church at Karivedakam, St.Thomas Church, Thomapuram, Cherupuzha at Vellarikundu
Mosques in Kasaragod
Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque
Malik Ibn Dinar mosque is located in Thalangara and is believed to be founded by Malik Ibn Dinar who was an Arab missionary. He is believed to have bought Islam in India. The mosque was erected in A D 642. This historical mosque is one of the main attractions of this district and is considered as a sacred place of worship by the muslims of this region. The tomb of one of the descendants of Malik Ibn Dinar named Malik Ibn Mohammed is in this mosque. A festival is conducted here annually in memory of the arrival of Malik Ibn Dinar. Another festival is held once in 3 years, which is conducted in memory of the death anniversary of Malik Ibn Dinar and is called Uroos.
Nellikunnu mosque is located near Kasaragod town and this mosque is very famous for the Uroos. The tomb of Thangal Uppappa is in this mosque and the Uroos is also held in his name. Thousands of devotees from all over visit this mosque during the festival. In November the Nercha celebration is conducted and is held for a week. A grand feast is conducted on the final day of the Uroos.
Some other famous mosques in Kasaragod district are
Alami Palli at Kanhangad, Arangadi Juma Masjid at Kanhangad, Theruvath Mosque, Padannakkad Mosque, Bavakkaran Mosque, Kunnil Badar Juma Masjid, Thekkil Juma Masjid, Chembirika Juma Masjid, Gazali Masjid etc.