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Seven Pilgrimage Centers (Mukti Stalas)
Temples of Karnataka

The seven muktistalas of Karnataka are Udupi, Kollur, Subrahmanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna. All of these shrines are also known as Parasurama Kshetras, created on the land reclaimed from the sea by Parasurama.  Kollur is held in reverence by pilgrims from Karnataka and Kerala alike. All of these shrines are cradled in the picturesque Western Ghats in the coastal region of Karnataka, and are well connected with Mangalore, the nearest airport.

Kollur enshrines the celebrated Mookambika temple, and is known for its close association with the celebrated spiritual leader Aadi Sankaracharya.

Udupi enshrines an enchanting image of Bala Krishna (Gopala), and is the seat of Madhvacharya - the founder of the Dvaita school of philosophy.

Gokarna: is one of the celebrated Shiva temples in Karnataka, enshrining the Atma Lingam. Gokarna has been revered by the tamil hymns of the Nayanmar saints of the 1st millennium CE.

Subrahmanya: This ancient pilgrimage enshrining Subrahmanya on the Kumara Parvata is located at a distance of 103 km from Mangalore, and 97 km from Hassan.

Kumbasi: This ancient pilgrimage center enshrines Ganesha in a standing posture. The temple tank has a small shrine in the center, one side of which is the Surya Pushkarini and the other is Chandra Pushkarini. Images of Hari, Hara and the Kamandala of Gowtama Muni are enshrined here.

Legend has it that  Gowtama Rishi who was engaged in meditation here, harrassed by a demon by name Kumbha. The Pandavas who were engaged in a pilgrimage of this area, are believed to have rescued him. Bhima is believed to have slain the demon with a sword provided by Ganesha. Five temples related to the pilgrimage of the Pandavas, are found in the neighboring coastal state of Kerala.

Kodeshwara: This pilgrimage center enshrines Kotilingeshwara, in a shallow Peetham. This temple also has shrines to Ganesha, Ardhanareeswara and Parvati. Legend has it that Shiva was worshipped here as Kotilingeshwara by Bhrama.

The annual festival is celebrated in the month of Vrischika (Scorpio), during the full moon. The full moon in the month of Vrischika is the commemoration of Shiva's appearance as a huge cosmic column of light in front of Bhrama and Vishnu who worshipped him (as in Tiruvannamalai). Kodeshwara is located at a distance of 5 km from Kumbasi. The theertham here is Koti Theertham.

Sankaranarayana: Two Lingams are enshrined in the sanctum of the Sankaranarayana temple here, which also has shrines to Subramnaya, Panchamukha Anjaneya and Venugopala. Sankaranarayana is located on the banks of the Varahi river.A perennial spring oozes out of the sanctum. 

Legend has it that a sage by name Kroda  performed penances to have a darshan of Hari and Hara in the form of the Harihara swaroopam Sankaranarayana. Sankaranarayana is located at a distance of 25 km from Kodeshwara. The sacred theerthams here are the Koti theertham, the Agni Theertham and the Bhargava Theertham.

See Also:

The Pancha Pandavas and Kerala
Lingodbhava - Origin of Linga worship