Mookambika temple in Kollur town of Udupi District of Karnataka State is the only temple that is dedicated to goddess Parvathi.
Temple Architecture: The entrance of this shrine is marked by wooden gateway, with excellent image of Nrutya Ganapati (dancing posture of Lord Ganesha) at the centre of the arch. The garbha griha has copper roof with gold crest.
The outer look of the temple structure, we can see the sanctorum, then entrance hall and then the Lakshmi Mantapa. There are four pillars at Lakshmi Mantapa on which you can see beautifully carved images of various gods - Ganesha, Subrahmanya, Naga, Mahishasura Mardini and the goddess in different postures (from some of the episodes of Devi Mahatma), on the upper portion. You can also find beautiful images of Ganapati on the top portion of the doors situated at the entrance to Garbha griha, Lakshmi Mantapa and the Mukhya Dwara (main entrance). Outside the temple, opposite to the garbha griha, there is a huge Deepa Sthambha (a pillar to hold lamps) on which you can see 21 concentric circles in which the lamps can be lighted. This beautiful Deepa Sthambha rests on a Koorma Peeta (tortoise head), on which is a huge elephant and upon this Lord Ganapati is astride, looking westward and facing Goddess Mookambika Devi.
In the inner corridor, just outside the Garbha griha, you can find four different idols of Ganapati while moving around the temple for pradakshina. These idols are being worshipped, beginning with the Dashabhuja Ganapati. Of the four idols of Ganapati, the Balamuri Ganapati idol that is made of white marble is beautiful and high of significance.
While moving for pradakshina, you can also see the image of serpent carved on the stone in the south-west corner of the temple. It is believed that, if one touches this serpent and offer prayers, they are blessed and get rid of Sarpadosha, prevent all doshas, and acquire good fortune. You can also see the Shankara Peeta, where Adi Shankara Bhagavathpada meditated, and by virtue of his ascetic powers, visualized the form of Devi in all totality and realized the Devi herself. As we move in a pradakshina at the outer enclosure, we first find Subrahmanya swami, then Saraswati and then Pranalingeshwara, Partheshwara, the deity of Mukhya Prana (with a bell on the tail) installed by Vadiraja. It is said that the deity of Mukhya Prana has been installed just opposite to the Veerabhadra swami shrine with a view to balance its frightful appearance.
A Vishnu Brindavana with a beautiful idol of Gopalakrishna within the Brindavana and the platform for Tulsi can also be seen.
Description of Garbha griha: It is really amazing to note that the garbha griha of the temple houses both, the idols of Lord Shiva and of His consort, Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva is present in the form of Jyothirlinga while the goddess Mookambika is in a seated posture holding a conch and divine disc with three eyes and four arms. This Jyotirlingam is in front of the idol of the Goddess Mookambika.
The great sage Sri Adi Sankaracharya is said to have installed the idol of the Goddess Mookambika behind the Jyotirlingam. Adi Shankaracharya stopped at this temple, fixed Shrichakram and on it installed the idol of Mookambika which is the central idol behind the lingam. On the either side of this idol you can see the idols of Kali and Saraswati. The original deity of the goddess installed by Adi Shankara was subsequently missing and as a substitute for the missing of original one Rani Chennamma offered another idol. But over a period of time the missing idol was found and thus there are two processional idols made of gold. The place where sage stayed and did penance are behind the Mulasthana and the gate through which he left is to the north. Devotees are allowed to sit at this place and pass through the gate by paying some reasonable amount.
The unique feature of the Shiva lingam here is that the lingam is divided into two unequal parts by a golden line that is visible by the reflected sun light. The Swayambhulinga is of great significance as linga manifested itself when Lord Shiva drew the Srichakra with his toe and Kola Maharshi performed a long lasting penance in its vicinity. The swayambhu linga holds high significance since Shri Mookambika Devi has merged with this Linga. The golden line on the swayambhu Linga is wider on the left side. It is believed that Goddesss Lakshmi, Parvati and Saraswathi have all merged on the left side and the Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma resides on the right side of the Linga. It is also said that besides the golden line, on the right side of the Linga, there is a carving image of Shiva injured by Arjuna s blow during the clash of Kiratharjuna. Towards the left, we can find the image (carving) of Gopada (foot of the Holy cow- Go is Cow and Pada is foot) at the Shakthi Peeta.
Assets of the Temple: As and when a devotee got his desire fulfilled on praying the goddess, he/she offered gifts as acknowledgement to the goddess. Of the many types of jewellery that adorns the goddess, the one made of emerald is most valuable. Sri M.G.R, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu gifted a gold sword that weighs one kg and is 2½ feet long. A similar type sword made of silver was offered by Sri Gundu Rao, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka.s