Attractions in and around Moodabidri.
What else can you do when in Moodbidri?
Spirituality is ingrained in the soil of India with its innumerable temples and splendid religious destinations. However, the land has much more to offer to its admirers who come here to bask under the oriental sun. Certainly, India has been subject to misconceptions in the West, that of one of wanderers, black magic and nomads, that of being without a ‘history’ to match with that of the West; But little do many know that the country is also a land of architecture, medicine and mathematics. The wonders that the country hides in its lap, is nothing but a treasure trove that few have seen and realized.
Signifying all that we have spoken about in the above-mentioned sentences is Moodabidri, which is a town in Dakshina Kannada district. It owes its name to the rich harvest of bamboo in the region. The word is a combination of two Kannada words- Moodu (East) and Bidiru (Bamboo).
The cultural richness of the city lies in its innumerable Jain temples and sightseeing spots that speak of the heritage that it boasts of. Jainism is the primary sect in the region, which is evident from the fact that it is considered the “Jain kashi of the South”. 35 kilometers away from the district headquarters of Mangalore, the area boasts of innumerable tourist destinations, some of them being:
The thousand pillar temple or the Saavira Kadamba temple: It is a Jain temple which is noted for its thousand pillars. It is also known as the Chandranatha temple, which worships the Tirthankara Chandraprabha, whose 8-foot idol is worshipped in the shrine. The temple is also known for its splendid architecture, which is beautified by the carved pillars, designed in the Vijayanagara style. It must also be mentioned here that no two pillars are the same here, which further justifies the engineering abilities of the artisans. The temple complex has 7 mandapas. The top stories are carved in wood and the lowest one is made of stone. The idol is made of panchdhatu and is placed in the sanctum sanctorum or the garbha griha of the temple.
Guru Basadi: Built in 714 AD, it is one of the oldest Jain temples in the region. A 11-feet stone idol of Parshwanatha is installed in the sanctum of the temple. Interestingly, this is the place where the early Jain manuscripts of the 12th century or the Dhavala texts have been preserved. These are palm manuscripts that were brought in from the sharavanabelagola during the Mughal invasion. The Basadi is also known as the Siddhanta Basadi and the Hale Basadi.
Sri Somnatheshwara Cave temple: Also known as the Nellitheertha Cave Temple, it is dedicated to the Indian deity Shiva. Built in 1487 CE, the temple has a natural cave adjoining it, which is about 2000 meters long. The access is restricted and the tourists are encouraged to go to the inner precincts of the temple by crawling. Inside there is a shiva lingam and a lake.It is believed that sage Jabali was blessed by Goddess Durga Pameshwari in the cave with the power to kill Arunasura. She also foretold that the place would have temples that would worship the powers of Vishnu, Goddess Durga and Shiva. She also said that she would bless the region herself. Durga is worshipped in a place called Muchur, apart from a temple on the banks of river Nandini where she is said to have killed Aunasura taking the shape of a wasp.
Church of the Holy Cross: Moodabidri is indeed a place of many religions. This church for instance is witness to the demolition period in the era of Tipu Sultan, who had ordered the rampage of all the churches in the vicinity. The church, also known as the Bidrem Church survived the attack. Located in the Hosabettu town, the church dates back to 1798. It is also known as the Hosbet Church. It was renovated and built again in 1909 in Cruciform and Gothic style.
Some of the other examples of architectural resplendence in the area are Chola Shetty Basadi, Hosanadu Annapurneshwari Temple, Bykanatthikari Basadi, Badaga Basadi, Vikrama Shetty Basadi, Leppada Basadi and more.
Being a holy place of Jain pilgrimage, visiting Moodbidri not only uplifts your soul but also gets you a fresh breath of sanctity and purity. The places in and around Moodbidri are so enigmatic and captivating that one feels to stay here forever and anticipates that God must have resided here. Within an hour and so from Mangalore, Moodbidri has many surroundings places to visit as well that too within the radius of just 80-100 kms. Moodbidri and Karkala are two such fine destinations along with Hosanadu (Annapoorneshwari) that are popular choices.
Mangalore (or Mangaluru): Being a commercial center in state of Karnataka, it is a majestic city with plenty of scenic spots along the seashore and by the riverside. With an invoking reminiscence of charm and beauty that can be spotted in Moodbidri , Mangalore too is bequeathed with major tourist attractions. The Mangaladevi Temple, built by the Ballal family of Attavar in memory of a Princess of Kerala, is a majestic creation to witness. The Lokeshwara bronze statue of the Kadri of the Manjunatha Temple Stand has been one of the most visited tourist attractions with jaw dropping artistry of work.
Karkala: Situated 18 km away from Moodabidri, this place is renowned for Anatha shayana temple, Chaturmukha basadi, Venkateshwara temple. The place gets even more fame as a grandiose tourist spot with the statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwara), which is a 45-feet tall statue and estimated to weigh 80 tons.
Kateelu: Famous for Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple, this must-visit location is just 17 km away from Moodabidri. The place has a beautiful holy temple that is situated on an Island in the middle of the sacred river, Nandini. With the panoramic views and fascinating greenery, this place is sure to elevate your moods and rejuvenate your soul in a whole new way.
Kudremukh National Park: At a distance of 39 km away from Moodbidri, Kudremukh National Park is a sprawling 600 sq km great destination amidst the lush green environs of the Western Ghats. It comes under the Global Tiger Conservation priority, and has been extensively rewarding in terms of the Scenery. Situated at an elevation of 1700 feet with being a popular trekking destination as well.
Udupi: Being famed as the ancient Temple City, Udupi is located at a distance of 57 km from Moodabidri. The name of the place is originated from the significant Udupi Krishna Mutt (a holy temple of Sri Krishna). The location is majestic in its stature of possessing the unique Jaladhivasa Ganapathi Temple which goes back to 700-odd years. Apart from the Temples, Suparsha Cave, the Malpe Beach, Trasi Maravanthe Beach, and Mattu Beach are also a few of the prominent attractions.
Dharmasthala: Representing the religious tolerance at its best, Dharmasthala is situated on the banks of the Nethravathi River in the Belthangadi taluk of the Dakshina Kannada district and known for being an ancient temple town. The main deity in this temple is the Jain Theerthankara and shares the consecrated grounds with Lord Manjunatha (Lord Shiva).
Kadri Manjunatheshwara Temple: Situated on the hills of Kadri, Mangalore and only 35 kms away from Moodabidri, Manjunatheshwara Temple is a spectacle of wonder. Originating during the 10th or 11th century and rebuilding as a stone structure during the 14th century, it is one of the oldest South Indian Temples. The mythological story behind this temple goes as Parashurama killed the cruel kshatriyas and donated the lands to Kashyapa.
Sasihithlu Beach: Being one of the remote places, Sasihithlu retains its charm as a tourist destination so far and is only 35 km away from Moodabidri. The site is in the languid confluence of the two rivers with the Sea. The enthralling and enchanting beauty of the place have captivated quite a significant amount of tourists who have visited the place. The Sasihithlu village connects to the main land through the kutcha road passing amidst an acacia grove.
Malpe Beach: If you are in mood of watching the warm sea and soaking sun, this destination, with a distance of 61 km from Moodabidri and 6 kilometers to the west of Udupi, is the perfect choice for you. Malpe Beach is known to be a natural port and acts as a significant fishing harbor on the Karnataka coast. The Mogaveera community dominates the place. Thulu, Kannada, and Konkani are few of the commonly spoken languages here and gained fame as being the first Indian beach with 24/7 WiFi.
Ullal Beach: 42 kms away from Moodabidri, and located in the Mangalore Taluk Municipality in Dakshina Kannada district, Ullal Beach is a pristine gateway destination for all sea lovers. It lies near the two southern states of Karnataka and Kerala and comprises of two revenue divisions- Ullal and Permannur. If you are planning to head from Mangalore, it is only 10 km from the District headquarter – Mangalore.
Mangala Devi Temple: The Mangala Devi Kannagi temple is 36 km from Moodabidri and falls on the conjecturing borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is said that Cheran Chenguttuvan, the king of ancient Tamilakam, performed regular pujas and had erected the temple around 2000 years back. With its location being at an altitude of about 1337m above the sea level, the temple enhances its beauty with surrounding lush greenery. The temple opens only during the auspicious Chitra Pournami festival.
Padubidri: Situated on the Udupi to Mangalore route, passing through the National Highway 17 (now NH 66), Padubidri is 31 kms away from Moodabidri and is a delightful small town in the coastal district of Udupi in Karnataka state. The primary spoken language here is Thulu and famed for the unique ritual Dakkebali, held in odd series of years within a gap of two years.
St. Aloysius Chapel: Built by the Jesuit Missionaries in 1880, St. Aloysius chapel is a rich heritage of Italian artistry and is 35 kms away from Moodabidri. The astonishing interiors of the church gleams with paintings of the Italian Jesuit Antonio Moscheni in the year 1899. The church is also symbolic to the contribution of Italian Jesuits who played a vital role in the development of the Mangalorean Catholic community in terms of education, health, and social welfare.