The temple of Goddess Durga Parameshwari in Katil is one of the most sacred and most visited temples in Karnataka. The sanctity, serenity and beauty of this place attract most of the pilgrims and visitors throughout the year.
It is really amazing to know that the temple is situated such that it is surrounded by River Nandini on all sides. The entrance of the temple is marked by well-carved and painted arch. One has to cross a small bridge that connects the temple and the road and leads you to the outside hall. The hall has a small book stall that sells the books on the importance of the temple, the place and the Goddess.
Once you cross the bridge, on your left there is the entrance that leads you to the inner compound where you can see the temple. The walls of the temple are of wooden unlike in most of the other temples.
The temple opens in the morning at 4:00 am. After cleaning the idol of the main deity, devotees and visitors are allowed to have a darshan. The first pooja of the day will be performed at 6:30 am during which the devotees can have the fantastic opportunity to see original stone idol of the Goddess. Later 10:30 am the Goddess is adorned with jewellery and garlands, called as Alankara. Devotees can then have Alankaara Darshan of the Goddess. In the afternoon hours, i.e. at about 12:30 pm, Maha pooja will be performed and prasadam will be distributed to the devotees. Towards evening, Pradhosha Pooja will be performed at 7:00 pm. It is then followed by various other poojas like Kumkumarchane, Sahasranama, Durga Namaskara, Huvina Pooja etc. that a devotee can perform for some amount. The tickets will be available at the counter outside. At 9:30 pm in the night, Maha Pooja is performed and the temple is closed for visitors at 10:00 p.m. But at the time of the festival or when there are some special poojas performed by devotees the temple will remain open till 12 O clock in the midnight.
There are other important deities in the temple. Once you step into the main entrance, before entering into the temple, you can see a big symbolic rock that takes the shape of a Linga, on the left side. This rock is regarded as Goddess Rakteshwari. Thrice everyday pooja is performed to Goddess Rakteshwari and on every Sankramana devotees offer coconut sevas to the Goddess.
Inside the temple compound where the main sanctum is situated, there lies idol of Sri Maha Ganapati in southern side. Gana homa and Pancha Kajjaya are the exclusive sevas offered by the devotees to the Lord Maha Ganapati. In the homa kunda (sacred fire pit) in front of the Sri Maha Ganapati, priests perform Ganahoma (holy lighting) every day.
Next to the Maha Ganapati shrine, on the right side, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappan. He is called as Shasthara in this shrine.
On the south west part of the temple there is an abode of Sri Kshetrapala, said to be the Gods that take care of the region. Special poojas and coconut sevas are offered at this temple on some festivals. Every night after the main pooja to the Goddess Sri Durga Parameshwari, Sri Kshetrapala is also worshipped. Besides this you can see the small shrine for Naga Devatas. Another temple of Naga Devatas is outside the temple.