Durga Parameswari Temple at Kateel near Mangalore is a very beautiful temple built over the River Nandini. During the rainy season, the temple looks magnificent as Nandini flows below her with full gusto. Kateel Durga Parameswari Temple is also a patron of Yakshagan form of dance. The Kateel temple trust encourages this dance form and manages few troupes who perform every year.
Darshan at Keteel Durga Parameswari Temple is from 6am to 930pm every day. The day begins with Prathabisheka and Darshan at 6 am. The Maha Pooja in the afternoon happens between 1230 and 1pm, while at night it is scheduled between 730 and 8 pm.Special and Major sevas like, Ranga Pooja, Chandika Homa, Belli Rathothsava, and Durga Homa can be done by booking at the temple office.
Kateel is 30 Kms from Mangalore and can be reached by taking a turn on BC road towards Kaikamba. Train connection is either from the Konkan Railways, Kerala-Mangalore route or Bangalore-Hassan-Mangalore route. Mangalore is well connected by Air to most southern cities of India.
During the early part of Kalyuga, there was a drought in this part of the land. Sage Jabali was determined to put an end to the misery of the people. He found out that the demon king Arunasura was behind the drought. Arunasura had escaped from Goddess Durga and was creating havoc on Earth. Jabali did a Yagna and went to heavens to request the King of Gods for Kamadenu the celestial cow. He was offered Nandini, Kamadenu’s daughter instead. But the latter was insolent and refused to come with Jabali as she did not want to come to the land of sinners. Jabali in a fit of rage cursed her to flow as a river on Earth. Nandini is later rescued from her curse by Goddess Durga when she takes birth as her child Durga Parameswari.
The Devi has four arms and is in a seated posture. She is seen holding a conch a discus. Two hands are in the abhaya & varadha mudras. The other deities inside the temple complex are a swayambu rock Rakteswari, Mahaaganapati, Ayyappan, Kshetrabalas and Nagas. Prasadam comprises Kumkumam, Chandanam and flowers of the betelnut tree.
Lunch and Dinner are served free of cost to all devotees. Every day around 2000 people are fed while the number rises to 8000 on festival days. Devotees can also get accommodation in the temple guesthouse upon prior booking.
The Annual Festival of Kateel Durga Parameswari Temple is celebrated over 8 days in April. It commences on previous night of the Mesha Sankramana day. The welcome arch is beautifully decorated followed by several theme based performances. Agni Keli or Fire Play is a tradition being carried out at the temple for centuries where devotees throw burning palm fronds against each other to display their reverence to the deity. The rules are such that a person can attempt only 5 times. Water of Kumkumarchane is kept handy if someone suffers burns.
Lakshadeepotsav is the festival of lights celebrated on Kartika Bahula Panchami day when thousands of lamps are lit all over the temple complex.
Nagapnachami is another popular festival when Snake worship is performed on the day of Shravana Shuddha Panchami. Devotees make offerings to both abodes of Naga Devata in the Keteel Durga Parameswari temple.
Yakshagaana is a traditional theatre form combining dance, music, spoken word, costume-makeup, and stage technique with a distinct style and form. It is popular even today in the Coastal belt of Karnataka. Kateel temple trust patronizes few troupes of Yakshagaana performers. The troupes go on a tour of the countryside between November and May. They perform as many as 900 shows per season. The most amazing discovery I made was that shows have been booked for the next 17 years! “Advance Booking” gets a new meaning at Kateel.
For a Pilgrim's Diary on Guruvayur Temple of Kerala, visit here.