The city of Karkala is vibrant, dynamic, peaceful and religious and historic pilgrim centre and is revered by Jains and Hindus. It is located in the sereneUdipi district of Karnataka. This town made a mark for Jain Basadis and the magnanimous statue of Bahubali which stands tall in the centre of the city. Another wonderful site is the Chaturmukh Basti. Karkala is bustling and bubbly town with visitors getting to view blatantly the sculptors putting their imagination incarvings and etching idols and statues.
In ancient times, Karkala was known as Pandyanagari or city of Pandya and was ruled in early 14th century by a chief named Veer Pandya of Bhairarasa family. The rulers respected all religions inspite of being typical Jains. The Goud Saraswats who were fleeing owing to harassment by Portugese sought refuge inKarkala and a large temple of Venkataramana was built in 1537. Other temple attractions include Anantha Padmanabha, Chaturmukha Basadi and Neminath Basadiat Hiriangadi. Every temple is possessing a history of its own and is known for its architectural splendour. The visitors flock to the temple of Venkataramanain large numbers during the festival of lights to view the glittering lights.
CONNECTIVITY TO KARKALA:
BY TRAIN:Indrali station in Udupi is the nearest railhead to Karkala. Prepaid taxi services can be obtained from railway station to Karkala. This station is connected toMangalore Junction.
BY AIR:The nearest domestic airport is Mangalore which is 70 km away and the nearest International airport is Bangalore which is 370 km away.
BY ROAD:Public transport buses from Bangalore and Mangalore pass through Karkali which is connected to major cities in Karnataka.
ATTRACTIONS IN KARKALI:
-BAHUBALI MONOLITH: A giant statue of Bahubali about 42 feet in height is the statue of the son of first Tirthankara and was built around 1432 AD. This is a gigantic male figure in a naked posture approached by a number of rock cut steps. Bahubali was a prince who badly defeated his brother in a war to win the kingdom and renounced worldly pleasures of life and spent 12 years in meditation. Even climbers gre all around him. The statue wasbuilt by Veerapandya Bhairava Raja in his honour. In a festival named as Maha Masthakaabhisheka, sacred bathing of the statue with saffron paste, milkand water is held in 12 years. During this period, thousands of devotees flock to the temple.
-CHANDRAMUKHA BASADI: is one of the astounding Jain monuments with a total of 108 pillars sanctified by Vir Pandya deva in 1432. It has a four faced hall, supercilious doorway and a pillared entrance on all sides. Garbhagriha encloses the image of Yakshi Padmavati and 24th Tirthankara apart from thestanding statues of Suryata, Ara and Mali.
-HIRIANGADI: located in close proximity to Karkala is famous for its Neminath Basadi complex having the fabulous 60 feet tall Manasthambha. The complex also houses the Bhujabali Brahmacharya Ashram, Padmavathi basadis and shrines for the Adinath Swamy, Lord Mahavir, Chandranath Swamy, Ananthanath and many more spiritual gurus. The hilly part of Sahyadri Mountains presents a delectable sight. The area depicts the rich cultural heritageand religious fervour of Karkala.
-ATUR: is a village famous for a church situated in it. It is located on the outskirts of Karkala. The shrine of St. Lawrence was established in 1759 ADwith a rich historical background. It is a perfect combination of religious piety and scenic beauty.
-VENUR: is a small town near to Karkala located on banks of river Gurupur. A colossus of Bahubali which is 35 feet in height constructed under the rule of King Thimmanna Ajila, was built in 1604 AD and is considered a major attraction here.
-MOODBIDRI: is a town of great religious and cultural significance. It is located near to Karkala and is known as Jaina Kashi of South India. One of the masterpieces of architecture include a thousand-pillared Tribhuvana Tilaka Choodamani Basadi. The architectural style is an amalgamation of various eras. Jain devotees come here to worship the Jain Basadis dedicated to the 18 Teerthankaras.