Sirsi Marikamba Temple
After spending relaxing time amid nature at Magod Falls we got into the car and headed towards our next destination Sirsi Marikamba temple. Even though we two had visited the temple earlier for my parents it was the first time visit. It was 3:30 pm already and Marikamba temple was 60 kms and 1hr 30 mins away.
While returning to Sirsi from Magod falls we tried a bit of a new route instead of going by the same route we came. There is a shortcut route that connects Magod falls – Yellapur road to Yellapura – Sirsi road. This road is marked as Uppaleshwara road on the map. From Magod falls to Yellapura road we took a right diversion at Kumbri and joined Uppaleshwara road. This road turned out to be a surprising one. Road condition went really bad after a few meters of driving from the Kumbri. But this offroad passes through the raw forest of Yellapura. If you love to drive on the rough road amid a lovely forest, this is a must-try route. After driving 7 kms on this road we joined Sirsi Yellapura main road near Uppaleshwara village. You can view the full experience of driving through this route by watching this video.
We reached Sirsi at 5 pm. Marikamba temple vehicle parking is a little far from the temple as the narrow road in front of the temple often gets busy with vehicles and crowds. If you are lucky you will get a spot in a very limited parking spot. As soon as you are in front of the temple, a wide portico wall with exceptionally beautiful Kavy art welcomes you with warmth. You walk past 2 elephant statues and you will be inside a large hall used for cultural events. Beyond the hall on the other side is the actual temple. The huge red-colored idol of Goddess Marikamba is a treat to watch.
Built-in 1688, The Marikamba Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Durga, also known by the names Renuka, Yellamma, and Doddamma. It is believed that the 7-foot-tall image of the goddess was discovered in a pond near Hangal. In 1611, Sadashiva Rao II, the King of Sonda, gave orders to install the wooden deity at this place.
After having darshana we went around the temple corridor. This temple interior and exteriors are uniquely decorated with beautiful and eye-catchy paintings of murals in Kaavi art: an art form that was popular in coastal Karnataka. The murals depict scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata cover all the walls of the temple.
The Gandhi connection
At one corner of the inner corridor there is a small room and inside the room there lied a buffalo with a silver-painted horn. Later we found the history behind it. Long ago before 1930, a tradition of sacrificing buffalos in large numbers was followed during the annual fest. Sacrifice was believed to appease the goddess. When Mahatma Gandhi visited Sirsi in 1934, during his campaign to abolish the untouchability of Dalits, he refused to visit the temple, as he strongly opposed the animal sacrifice. Following the protest by Gandhi, there was a social movement in the town not only to abolish animal sacrifice but also to allow Dalits entry into the temple.
The Sirsi Marikamba festival is held every alternate year in March. It is one of the most famous and biggest fairs in Karnataka and attracts thousands of devotees.
After taking few photos and shooting videos we left the place at 5:30 pm. There was one last destination left to check on our list and that was the Madhukeshwara temple of Banavasi. Without wasting any more time we rushed towards Banavasi.
Route we took.
Live the experience!!
Isn’t it best to watch a video to get the clear picture?