The Bhadrakali Temple dedicated to Goddess Uma is among the most important religious sites in Gokarna. The legend goes that after Lord Vishnu tricked Ravana into swapping Uma for Mandodari as his wife, the Lord had asked the goddess to stay at that very place. Subsequently, she came to be worshipped as Bhadrakali.
As per legend, Ravana performed tapasya at Mount Kailash to please Lord Shiva and sang Shiva Tandava Stotram in his melodious voice. On getting pleased, Lord Shiva asked Ravana to ask for anything from Him and his wish will be fulfilled. Ravana asked for the Atmalinga and a wife for himself who will be more beautiful than Uma, the wife of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva accepted the wish of Ravana and fulfilled both his wishes. While returning home, Ravana met Lord Vishnu disguised as a Brahmin. Lord Vishnu asked Ravana about the lovely woman he was carrying on his shoulder. Ravana explained everything to the Brahmin and brought her down off his shoulders so that Brahmin could take a look at her face.
Lord Vishnu with His tricks made Uma look exhausted and aged. Disgusted by her looks, Ravana abandoned Uma there and went back to Kailash to complain to Lord Shiva. Uma, on the other hand, was asked by Lord Vishnu to reside in Gokarna itself. At present, She is worshipped as the Mother Goddess Bhadrakali in Gokarna.
Bhadrakali Temple is situated at a distance of 1 km from Gokarna, which was built to honour Goddess Uma.
From Mangaluru International Airport , Bhadrakali Temple is 234 KM. It is 21 KM from Ankola Railway Station and 1.4 KM from Gokarna Bus Stand.
Buses are available to Gokarna from Bangalore, Mangalore and other major towns and cities in Karnataka.
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