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Mahalingeshwara Temple Puttur

The Mahalingeshwara Temple is an ancient temple in Puttur, which was constructed in the 12th century A.D. The temple is situated in Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district of Indian state, Karnataka. Lord Shiva is the main divinity worshipped in the temple. He is considered as savior and protector of Puttur Taluka. For this reason, there is photo and images of Lord Shiva in each house in the region.

The temple holds a unique pond to its west side. It is believed that the pond used to emit pearls during old periods. In local language of the region, pearls are denoted by Muttu and so the region got its name as Muttur. Later, the name changed to Puttur.

A car festival is organized within the temple for 10 days where the entire town is filled with joy and colors. More than a lakh of individuals come here to celebrate and be a part of this amazing and unique festival. Another interesting thing about Mahalingeshwara Temple is that, elephants are not allowed to enter the premises. This is because of the old historical belief, which is being followed by local residents from past several years.

The Puttur Mahalingeshwara Temple is a protected historical monument under the 1961 Act of the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. The care and maintenance of the temple is managed and supervised by the Directorate of Museums and Archaeology, under the Mysrore division of Karnataka’s Government.


The temple was built in the 11th – 12th Century and Lord Shiva is the only deity who is worshipped here. There are also numerous historic and religious stories linked with the temple.

As according to a famous belief, there were 3 monks who used to perform religious rituals within the temple premises with rice as prasada against draught. Suddenly, one day there was water coming from all corners of the Holy pool of the temple that turn rice into beautiful pearls. Since, then it is believed that the pool has religious pearls in it. Another story is concerned with name of the region according to which Puttur means snake nests, and snake is the holy animal for Lord Shiva.

Even elephants are also not allowed to enter in the premises of the temple. This is because according to a historical story, a thief entered the temple to rob all idols of Lord Shiva and an elephant helped him out in his entire task. So, as against anger of the god, elephants were cursed to not enter the temple, otherwise they will be punished to death.


The Mahalingeshwara Temple of Puttur is very beautifully constructed. It holds different style and sizes of statutes of Lord Shiva, which makes it a unique temple to visit. The temple is surrounded by beautiful forests from all around. There is also a religious pond to its west, where individuals believe that during ancient times, there were pearls found in the pond. The pond is well constructed with stone steps that could lead one to the water shore. There are also other scenic places located near to the temple. Bendru Theertha, Beeramale Hill, Juma Masjid Kallega and Shri Gopalkrishna Temple are main scenic spots near temple boundaries. There is also a church named as Mai De Deus Church, which holds traditional importance and is at close distance from the temple.

Religious Significance

The Mahalingeshwara Temple of Puttur holds excellent religious significance. There are numerous festivals celebrated in the region. One major festival celebrated in the temple is Chariot Festival or Rathotsava. This is a ten-day festival, which people celebrate with great show and pomp. Shivaratri is another ceremonial festival celebrated in the name of lord Shiva. Here crackers and different kinds of colors are used. These items fill the entire region with joy and happiness.

To enjoy the beauty and dazzling cracker works during these festivals, a large number of tourist and local people visit the temple every year. The traditional Brahmin monks of the temple are the members of Barekere Kedilaya family.

Best Time to Visit

There are different festivals celebrated in the temple. For those who want to enjoy and be part of such festivals, then, it is better to visit the place in month of February, April, August, October, November and December. Even the temperature during these months is suitable to visit the place conveniently, as the temperature rises very high during summers.

Other than this, one can even visit the temple during any normal working day in order to get blessed with divinity of Lord Shiva.

Entrance Fee

If the temple is visited during any special festival or occasion then there is nominal fee amount that need to be paid like 20 to 50 INR. Otherwise, visiting the temple is free of cost. Only the entry timings are important to remember which is from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How to Reach

By Train

The railway station of Puttur is the nearest to the Mahalingeshwara Temple. It falls on the linking between Bangalore and Mangalore. It is just 1Km from the center region of the town. A vehicle or taxi can be hired after reaching the railway station of Puttur.

By Road

The temple is also very well connected to roads. The Puttur region is located on Mangalore-Mysore highway and is only at distance of 52km from Mangalore. It also holds good connectivity with the national highway, NH-48, Mangalore to Bangalore through Uppinangadi, which is just 12 km from the main city.

By Air

For those who want to reach Puttur by airways can book tickets for the nearest airport that is the Mangalore International Airport. The airport is only 55km from Puttur and a taxi or cab can be easily hired from the airport to reach Puttur or the temple conveniently.

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