Mangalore has a host of temples with the main one being the Mangala Devi temple (Mangalore gets its name from Goddess Mangala Devi).
The temples of Mangalore are historic as they are maginificent. Some temples date back over 1000 years. You can also however visit a modern temple such as the Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple with its exquisite gold-covered sculptures of Gods and Godesses and huge structures from Hindu scriptures.
Popular temples in Mangalore include:
Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara Temple
The Gokarnatheshwara Temple at Kudroli in Mangalore is the only temple in Karnataka set up by Shri Narayana Guru, the great philosopher, saint and social reformer from Kerala. This temple is situated at Kudroli, which is about 3 Km away from the main city area of Hampankatta.
The original temple structure was in Kerala style, which was replaced, by Chola style during recent renovation in 1991. The main deity of the temple is Lord Sri Gokarnatha (another form of Lord Shiva). Navarathri Utsava (Dasara festival) is very famous and is one of the main tourist events in this temple.
A grand procession of Goddess Durga takes place during this festival, which attracts many tourists and devotees from distance corners of the state and is very popular like Mysore Dasara.
Car Street Temple
The Venkataramana Temple at Car Street, Mangalore is believed to have been founded during 17th century A.D. (1735). It is also said that Sri Mahla Pai from a noble family of Mangalore belonging to Gowd Saraswatha Brahmin Community of Kaushika lineage erected bronze idols of Lord Sri Veera Vittala and Lord Sri Gopalakrishna.
Inside the main sanctum of the temple, there established idols of deities of Goddess Sri Devi and Goddess Bhoodevi along with main deity Lord Sri Veera Venkatesha, Garuda Vahana, Shri Gopalakrishna and Shri Veera Vittala.
The Kadri Manjunatha Temple & Kadri Park
Kadri Manjunatha Temple is an ancient temple of 1068 A.D origin. The specialty of the temple is that spring water flows out as a stream through an outlet known as Gomukha below the seat of idol of Lord Ganesh.
This water is conveyed to the 9 Tanks by the side of the temple. The tanks are situated at a higher level and Manjunatha Temple at a lower level approximately 100 ft.
Next to the Mutt is a cave called Pancha Pandava's Cave. Over the Kadri Hill, Kadri Park is situated over the Kadri Hills are and contains a small zoo and a deer enclosure. There’s a children’s park with a Toy Train.
Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathy Temple
Situated on the heart of the city Hampankatta, it is one of the famous ancient temples of South Kanara District. The origin and importance of the temple is narrated in Skanda Purana. Sharabeshwara and Mahaganapathy are the principal deities in the temple.
The chief God Sharabheshwara situated in front of the temple but the popular Mahaganapathy attracts devotees is situated to the south of the temple.
Vinayaka Chathurti (during sometime in August-September) is most important festival for Mahaganapathy. But the Utsava (festival) starting from Chandramana Ugadi (Kannada New Year starting in March/April) continues for 9 days and is the main annual festival for Sharabheshwara.
Mahatobhara Shree Mangala Devi Temple
This temple is situated around 3 Km Southwest of Mangalore City, The name Mangalore is derived from Goddess Mangala Devi, the main deity of the temple.
The temple built in memory of the princess of Malabar, Mangala in the 10th century. The Goddess Mangala is worshiped as Shakti. Navarathri festival is celebrated during Sept-Oct. Mangalore is also known as Mangalapuram.
Polali Rajajeshwari temple
About 34 Km from Mangalore an ancient Temple dedicated to the Goddess Rajarajeshwari is situated, with an image of 12 ft height, worshiped with the idols of Badrakali, Shanmuga & Ganapathi, on either side.
Every year a Temple Chariot (Car) Festival lasting for a month is held and it is called as Polali Chendu. During this period a football tournament is held as an important event of the festival.