Alevoor Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple

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The frontal view of the Temple

The Kodi-Mara of the Temple

One of the peculiarities of worship in South Kanara is the adoration of Durga in the Linga form. Almost all ancient Shakthi centres have Shakthi-Lingas as the moola-sthana deity.

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The identification of the form of Durga in such instances is generally made on the basis of the iconographic features of the chara-devata (For example, if the chara-devata represents Mahishamardhini, the main deity should be considered as the Mahishamardhini form of Durga. If the chara-devata is that of Lakshmi, the main deity should be identified as the Lakshmi form of Durga).

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Deity and Linga of Sri Durgaparameshwari

It is interesting to take note of the iconography of the chara-devata of the Alevoor Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple. It is a bronze, 9” high and is medieval in time-scale. But its significance is great. It is a four-armed sculpture, holding chakra and shankha in the two upper hands. In the lower left is the pana-patra (drinking bowl) and the lower right is in chin-mudra. This happens to be a composite sculpture having in it the significance of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswathi and it is almost certain that the Sakthi-linga of this temple has the union of these three forms.

The antiquity of this temple is attested to by a lithic record which says that one Kokkarne Abbe caused for the grant of gift to this deity. The record belongs to circa 10th C. And it may be surmised that the temple existed atleast a century earlier. Perhaps, this is the second earliest datable record making mention of Durga in the Udupi District.

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The Tiger (vaahan of the Goddess) in the form of a rock

There is also a huge rock behind the shrine which is said to grow year by year. Once when it caused problems to the devotees to do the pradakshina, the temple’s trustees and staff decided to cut the rock, it is said that the rock started bleeding and the staff immediately stopped this work knowing there lied some kind of divine power in the rock. Through a Prashna, it was said that the rock was formed by the Tiger (the vaahan(vehicle) of Sri Durgaparameshwari). The tiger formed the shape of the rock and resided with the Goddess.

Bibliography:

History and culture of South India, by Dr.P.Gururaj Bhat

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