The temple of Manjunatheshwara on the hills of Kadri is a very beautiful and admired temple in Mangalore. It is said to be built during the 10th or 11th century. Kadri Temple was renewed to a complete stone structure during the 14th century. The idol of Lord Manjunathaswamy of the temple is called as oldest of the South Indian Temples.
It is believed that Parashurama who was living in Sahyadri, killed the kshathriyas who were cruel and donated the lands to Kashyapa. He prayed to Lord Shiva for a place to live. Lord Shiva guaranteed Parashurama that if he performed a penance at Kadali kshethra, Lord Shiva would bring back as Manjunatha for the betterment of the world.
As per Shiva’s orders Parashurama threw his axe into the sea and formed a place for his penance. Yielding to Parashurama’s prayers Lord Shiva showed to him as Manjunatha along with Goddess Parvathi and stayed at Kadri for the betterment of the world. As per the orders of Manjunatha the sapthakoti manthras become the seven theerthas.
In front of the temple, at a height there are a number of water ponds. When one walks down from there in front of the temple is a huge lightpole. There are statues of Machendranath, Gorakanath, Shringinath, Lokeshwara, Manjushri and Budha in the temple. The padmasanastha Lokeshwara statue is very beautiful. To the Northern side is the temple of Lord Ganesha. Behind the temple of Manjunatha, on to the west is the temple of Goddess Durga.
Several festivals are celebrated with dedication and joy at Kadri all over the year. During Kadiruthsava on the bhadrapada shuddha thadige, Ganesha chathurthi, Navarathri, Karthika Maasa and from Deepavali to Paththanaaje special poojas and religious ceremonies are held. Flag hoisting in Makara Sankranthi, nine days of yearly fair and Rathothsava, Dhanurmaasa pooja, Shivarathri, Ugadi are meticulously and religiously celebrated. Every Monday Rudrabhisheka is held. In 1988 from April 17th to 23rd BrahmaKalashothsava was held in great ceremony and magnificence after a long time. It’s a practice to raise the 40 feet Garuda to the 62 feet tall flagpole during the annual fair. The other places to visit around the temple are Udhbhava Linga, Akshaya pond, the 5 feet tall statue of Thrilokeshwara and Deepasthamba.