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Mangaladevi Temple Mangalore

The Mangaladevi Temple is a Hindu temple at Bolara in Mangalore, situated about three km southwest of the city centre.

The name Mangalore is usually derived from the name Maṅgaḷadevi "the goddess Mangaḷa", the main deity of the temple. The name Mangalore is the anglicised version of Kannada: Mangaluru. Mangalore is surrounded by many forts and it has also been suggested it was named for these forts, which are called mangaḷ. People of Kerala call the city Maṅgalapuram "city of Maṅgaḷa", a Sanskrit translation.

The temple dates back to the ninth century when Kundavarman, the most famous king of the Ahepa dynasty, was ruling Tulu Nadu. During this period, there were two holy saints of the Nath cult, Machhendranath and Gorakhnath, who came from Nepal. They reached Mangalore, crossing the river Nethravathi. The place where they crossed the river came to be known as Gorakdandi. They chose a place near the banks of the Netravathi which was once the centre of activities of the sage Kapila. He had his hermitage there and it was a great center of education.

Hearing about the arrival of the two saints, the king came to meet them. Introducing himself as the king of Tulu Nadu, he paid his respects and offered them patronage. Pleased with the humility and virtues of the king, they informed him that his kingdom needed to be sanctified. They requested him to grant them land so that they could build a hermitage and make it a centre for their religious activities under his protection and patronage.

This ancient history surprised the king. He then came to know that his land was dedicated to Mother Mangaladevi. It was from these saints he came to know that once upon a time there existed a temple in his land dedicated to her. From their own mother he heard the story of Vihasini and Andasura, Parashurama and the temple built by them. The two saints took the king to the sites where all these historical events had taken place. They asked the king to dig the place and relieve the lingam and the dharapatra symbolising Mangaladevi and install them in a shrine along with Nagaraja for providing protection.

Kundavarman carried out the advice of the two sages. A grand shrine to Mangaladevi was built on the hallowed place. The two sages themselves guided and supervised the execution of the work. The temple attained special significance as Mangaladevi granted special favours, especially to maidens, who worshipped the goddess by observing Mangaladharavrata and got their wish of a suitable husband fulfilled.

Even today the two temples of Mangaladevi and Kadri, Mangalore have maintained their connection. The hermits of Kadri Yogirajmutt visit Mangaladevi temple on the first days of Kadri temple festival and offer prayer and silk clothes. The city of Mangalore takes its name from the main deity of the temple, Mangaladevi. The temple was built as a memorial to a 10th century princess of Malabar Mangale.