Sirsi Marikamba Temple
Sri Marikamba Temple is situated in Sirsi of Uttara Kannada District. This temple belongs to Sri Marikamba Devi in the form of goddess Durga and this temple was built in 1688. Marikamba temple is also known as Doddamma Temple, with "Doddamma" denoting the "elder sister" of all Mariammas in Karnataka.
The Idol of the Goddess is about 11 ft high. The deity predominates the sanctum sanctorum with different kinds of weapons in her eight hands, and seated on a lion. It is an architectural beauty commanding veneration from the devotee more so when adorned with full ornaments leading one to purity, bliss, blessedness and peace. Goddess Marikamba is also known as Renuka or Yellamma.
The temple has a large courtyard in the middle. The temple has extremely striking murals in Kaavi art, an art form native to the Konkan region of coastal Karnataka. This stunning art that is extinct now, involves the creation of patterns done in red colour against a white background.
The Sirsi Marikamba Temple is one of the "Jagratha Shakti Peethas" in the State. Two legends are popularly associated with the temple. According to the first one, Basava, a youth belonging to the Asadi community, saw a dream in which the Goddess appeared and told him that she was in a tank called Devikere. Basava, who revealed the dream to his elders, went along with them to the tank where they found a wooden box with an idol in it. The box was taken in a procession and the idol was installed in a "Nagarabana".
The second legend says that a young woman from an upper caste married a man from a lower caste without knowing his origin. They were happily married and had two children. One day, she learnt about her husband's caste from her children. Infuriated, she killed him. Later, she repented for her act and performed Sati. The jatre is held in commemoration of the act. It starts with the marriage of Marikamba and ends in setting fire to the pandal to symbolise the Sati. Prior to Mahatma Gandhi's visit to Sirsi in 1934, buffaloes were being sacrificed at the temple. But the Mahatma prevailed upon the people to stop animal sacrifice, following which the practice was given up. The slaughter of sheep was stopped in 1962.
The annual chief festivals are Navaratri, Deepavali, Kartik Illumination and Jayanti.
The Marikamba Rathayatra (chariot procession) of the deity is held every alternate year in the month of February and taken through the town. It is one of the biggest temple fairs in the State attended by a very large number of devotees of all over the State and Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Goddess is taken out in a procession to the jatre pandal and placed on a "Gadduge". Various pujas are performed to mark the festivities.
There are many waterfalls, temples and historical places nearby Sirsi. This makes it a popular travel destination. Apart from Sri Marikamba Temple Sirsi has some other famous temples such as Sri Mahaganapathi Temple, Sri Vithoba Temple, Sri Veera Maruthi Temple.
Talguppa railway station is 55.6 kms.
Hubballi Airport is 113 kms.
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