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Shri Raja Rajeshwari Temple Bantwal

Shri Raja Rajeshwari temple is a renowned spiritual destination in the state of Karnataka. Situated in Kariyangala Village in the Bantwal Taluka of the state, the temple was the built to honor Goddess Shri Raja Rajeshwari. The temple has been mentioned in numerous ancient books and epigraphs.


The Temple is quite old as it belongs to the 8th century AD. It was constructed by King Suratha and has seen several changes in terms of expansion and development by later kings and dynasties that ruled the region. The unique thing about the idol of Raja Rajeshwari is that it is entirely molded from clay. Devotees believe that it has extraordinary medicinal properties.

King Suratha had lost most of his kingdom to his enemies in battle. After being betrayed by his own ministers, he took refuge in the forests under the protection of sage Sumedha. This place became the location of the Raja Rajeshwari Temple. The King offered his personal valuables for creating the crown of the deity.

King Suratha is believed to have carved the idol of Shri Raja Rajeshwari himself and offered penance to the God in return for his kingdom. The inscriptions obtained from the Kariyangala village and from the Polali Raja Rajeshwari Temple itself offers several invaluable details of the past history of the temple.

The idol is believed to be around 5000 years old. Several kings and rulers after the reign of King Suratha contributed to the development of the temple by donating agricultural lands and through monetary contributions. Kings from the Alupa folk that ruled the place from around 710 AD to 720 AD contributed majorly to the development of the Polali.

The Unique Idol and Other Decorations

The idol of Shri Raja Rajeshwari projects an image of supreme divinity and stands tall at a height of 10 feet. The temple also has many smaller idols for different deities as well as Bhadrakali, Subramanya, Saraswathi and Mahaganapathi. The idols are coated with a specially prepared mixture that is believed to have immense medicinal properties, once every 12 years during a religious event locally known as Lepashta Gandha. The roof of a section of the temple has intricately carved images in wood of many Gods and Goddesses. Roofs of sections like the Dhwaja Stambha and the Garbha Gruha or the sanctum sanctorum of the temple are covered with copper plates.

Poojas and Festivals

Grand poojas are conducted daily in the Raja Rajeshwari Temple by the head priest and his assistants. Many festivals are held at the temple with a lot of fanfare. One of the main festivals is the Polali Chendu. The festival lasts for five days during which friendly football matches are organized to represent the victory of good over evil. The Polali Chendu festival is held during by the annual festival in March that lasts for a month and is attended by people from all over the country and even abroad.


The morning pooja commences at 8.30 AM. The Maha Pooja is held 12.30 PM. The final rituals for the day are conducted at 8.30 PM. The Flower Pooja and the Karthika Pooja are also conducted on special occasions.

How to Reach

By Bus

The temple is 19 km from Mangalore and easily accessible by bus and private taxi.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Mangalore Junction.

By Air

Mangalore airport is the nearest air strip from the temple.

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