Shirali

Shirali is located in South of Uttara Kannada district (North Kanara), in Karnataka and about 6 Kms from the beach temple town of Murudeshwar.

The Ganapati temple and the Chitrapur Saraswat Math are the main attractions here. 

How to reach Shirali

The nearest railway stations are Murudeshwar and Bhatkal (both about 6 km from Shirali to the north and south respectively).

Autorickshaws, buses and other modes of road transport are available to reach Shirali from either of the railway stations.

The trains running between Mangalore-Verna stops at Chitrapur station. The nearest airport is Mangalore (156 km) and the next closest is Dabolim, Goa (200 km).  

Shirali is on the National Highway No.17. A large number of Karnataka and Maharashtra State Transport buses pass through Shirali. Private transport buses using NH 17 also provide facility to reach Shirali.

From the main road (highway) of Shirali, Shri Chitrapur Math and the Maha Ganapathi Temple are about 2 km in the interior. Local auto-rickshaws are available to help reach these spots.

Tourist attractions in Shirali

Shirali is famous for its two temples - the Chitrapur Matt and the Maha Ganapathi Mahammaya Temple.

The Shirali Maha Ganapathi Mahamaya Temple

The temple is highly revered by clans like Bhats, Kamaths, Puraniks, Mallyas, Kudvas, and Nayaks of the Gowd Saraswat community. It is a five minute drive from Bhatkal. These families are referred to as the Kulavis of the temple.

Lord Ganesh at Shirali
Lord Ganapati at Shirali (Photo Credit: http://www.photobucket.com)

The deities were originally in Goa. On account of the hostile religious policies pursued by the Portuguese rulers around 1560 A.D., the devotees left Goa.

Later on they constructed a temple in Shirali, a few miles north of Bhatkal, where it stands to this day.

The deities are also called Pete Vinayaka and Shantadurga as they are located in a ‘pete', which means a town in Kannada. The temple has a unique darshan seva called, "mali".

The Rathotsav or the Car Festival is celebrated by the temple on Margashira Shudda Navami (in November or December) 

The Chitrapur Saraswat Mutt

 Chitrapur Mutt at Shirali
Chitrapur Mutt at Shirali (photo credit: Nkodikal)

The Chitrapur Saraswat Mutt is the holiest temple to the Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin community, and the Maha Ganapathi Mahammaya Temple is the Kuladev (family god) to the Kamaths, Bhats, Puraniks, Prabhus (Joshis), Mallyas, Kudvas and Nayak families from the Goud Saraswat Brahmin community.

Places near Shirali

Murdeshwar

Netrani Islands 

Bhatkal

Kumta

Gokarna

Dandeli

Karwar