How to Reach Kollur Mookambika Temple
Travel, as you know has a lot of branches like a visit to beaches, hill stations, forests, deserts, big cities and pilgrimage centers. For me, Travel is always a passion. I had done a number of pilgrimages to various destinations and recently made one to the famous Kollur Mookambika Temple in Karnataka state. My cousin Sandeep, who was on leave from UAE was my companion.
We started our journey with a divine mission- to meet the "Goddess of Knowledge" (Vidya) better known as "Mookambika". We boarded the train from Kozhikode (Calicut), a major city in the state of Kerala. The train Chennai-Mangalore Mail left the station at 8.10 am and reached Mangalore Central at 12.25 pm. Our next train was "Matsyaganda Express" (No.12620) which will depart at 12.50. This train starts from Mangalore Central and goes to Lokamanya Tilak (Mumbai).
At 12.50 the Super Fast Express started its journey through the Konkan route. The journey provides you wonderful scenery like lavish greenery, rivers, ponds, tunnels, hills, and sleepy villages, etc. You may even misunderstand that you are passing through Kerala for the scenery are similar to what we enjoy while traveling in Kerala. Even the houses seen along the tracks seem a replica of what we see in Kerala. But here it is not as congested as in Kerala. We can enjoy nature's beauty at its best while passing through the Konkan area.
Finally, at 15.25 we reached Byndhoor Mookambika Temple Road, (now known as Mookambika Temple Road Byndoor), a newly constructed railway station. In the earlier days, devotees stopped their journey at Mangalore or Kundapura (Ph:08254 237365) and proceeded to the temple by bus. Now with the sanction of a stop at Byndhoor, visitors can reach the temple comfortably and easily. In one hour , we reached the temple from here (just 28 km away). The Byndhoor bus stop is just 500 meters away from the railway station and requires only 5 minutes walk. The bus will drop you at Mookambika bus stand. After getting down, just walk as it is mere 250 meters away and within 3 minutes you can reach the temple area.
Let me give you some more details. Mangalore by rail is 221 km away from Calicut and Mangalore-Byndhoor distance is 179 km. It means Calicut to Byndhoor, what it takes is 400 km. From Byndhoor to the temple, there is no railway connectivity and only by road you can reach Kollur. The distance from Byndhoor railway station to Kollur Mookambika is 28 km which can be covered in 40 minutes to one hour easily. The train rates are cheaper while comparing with the road transport. Even if you travel in daytime please reserve in Sleeper class so as to ensure a comfortable journey.
For A Spectacular Journey
I will advise train on a couple of scores like economy, time-saving, comfort & convenience. My second advice is plan a day journey. I will tell you why. Kollur is now easily accessible by train upto Byndhoor. What it takes for a journey from Byndhoor to Kollur is just 28 km which can be covered in 40 minutes to one hour by road. The Konkan route is so panoramic and spectacular. But to enjoy and absorb that beauty, you need to travel daytime. Hence I always suggest daytime travel.
From Mangalore to Byndhoor (now renamed "Mookambika Temple Road"), the travel time by train is just 2.40 hrs. Trains run so fast through Konkan route. You can watch plenty of tunnels during the journey.
If you reach Mangalore by train, you can resume the journey by any of the trains, I listed below, to Byndhoor. Please note there is a confusion about Mangalore generally among the travellers. There are two railway stations in Mangalore. One is Mangalore Central (Station code MAQ) and the other one is Mangalore Junction (Station code MAJN), better known as Kankanadi. My recommendation is if you can't catch a direct train from Kerala, you reach Mangalore Central station and resume journey in any of the following trains.
1. Madgaon Passenger (No. 56640) departs MAQ at 05.40 am and reaches Byndhoor at 09.17 am. Journey time 3 hrs 37 mnts.
2. Madgaon Exp (22636)
Departure 08.15 and arrives Byndhoor at 10.54 am (2.39 hrs)
3. Matsyagandha Exp (12620)
12.50 noon - 15.25
4. Mumbai Exp (12134)
16.45 - 18.45 (just 2 hrs)
5. Netravati Exp (16346)
23.20 - 02.06 (2.46 hrs)
All the above trains run daily. The most suitable one is Sl.No. 3 and 4. Most trains cover the distance in 2 hrs and 40 minutes. After alighting at Byndhoor, you can hire a taxi or go by bus to the temple. It is a ghat road and mostly deserted.
The Kollur Mookambika temple attracts a large crowd during Dasara festival and on vacation holidays like Onam, Christmas, April, and May. The Annual Festival in the month of March is a great occasion and time for celebration. If you plan your journey skipping weekends, there won't be any problem in finding accommodation Still I must say that lodging facility at Kollur is limited since the place is not as commercialized as other pilgrims' centers like Guruvayoor or Palani. For Pooja and Festival details, you are at liberty to contact the temple administration. Their contact Numbers are 08254-258-221/521/488 & 489. Mail address: Sri Mookambika Temple, Kollur-576 220.
The favorite joint of Artists/Writers
The famous playback singer from South India, K.J. Yesudas is a regular visitor here since last 40 years. He started this practice in 1972. He reaches Kollur every year without a break. Wherever on this earth (mostly he is in the USA), he makes it sure to visit with his family on his birthday which falls on 10th January. So if you visit the temple that day, you can see him and watch his live concert. In case you are lucky enough, he would even write "Hari Shree" on your child's tongue ("Vidhyarambam", the Hindu ritual of initiating children into the world of letters). Needless to say, your child is blessed!
Apart from Yesudas, other famous personalities in the South Indian film world like Suresh Gopi, Kavya Madhavan, and Kaithaprom Damodaran Namboodiri make frequent trips to this holy temple. MGR and Jayalalitha from Tamil Nadu had visited the temple several times.
Though it is a Kannada spoken region, people here speak Hindi too well. In fact, it is a relief to tourists from other states. Also, since most of the visitors are from Kerala, Malayalam too widely used and as such communication is not a big issue here.
Sandeep was quick to find a lodge opposite to the temple with a reasonable rent too. After refreshing, we moved to the temple and had a good 'Darshan'. Again the next morning we 'met' our beloved Goddess and prayed well. It was a wonderful experience to spend a few hours here. It is even more wonderful if you take a bath in the crystal clear waters of "Souparnika River ", near the temple. It rejuvenates your whole body and mind. So don't forget to take a dip in the water.
At 12.58's Okha -Ernakulam Weekly train we returned to Calicut. (Almost every day there is at least one Special train going to Kerala. Most of them depart Byndhoor at 12.58 noon. For exact railway time table, you may check the Railway website at http://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/1780 Phone No. of the station is 099864 33740) since Konkan Railway follows two-time schedules for summer and rain season..
To make our journey more comfortable, we changed our earlier plan of catching a train from Mangalore and instead boarded it from Byndhoor itself. Three to four hours of bus journey especially through such Ghat area (Kollur-Mangalore) is tiring and troublesome. When the railways provide comfort, safety, and fascinating scenery, we had no choice either! And of course, it is economy too!!
Some Useful Information
- For rail journey, there is a special train every day towards Madgaon/Mumbai side and back to Mangalore/Kerala side.
- These trains usually leave at 12.58 noon (will change after Monsoon; check for exact railway timings).
- The general compartments of these trains are almost empty. Hence no need of booking sleeper class. In fact, the sleeper classes are even tighter!
- The bus from Byndoor to Mookambika temple takes a journey time of nearly 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- The bus from Mookambika bus stand to Byndoor railway station also takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. The distance from Byndoor Railway station to the temple is just 28 km.
- Taxis will take just 40 or 45 minutes.
- Fix the taxi charge before hiring, the charge may vary depending on the number of passengers. But you can bargain.
- For a worry less back journey to your destination (towards Mangalore/Kerala side), reach Byndoor railway station preferably by 12 or 12.30 noon.
- The road from Byndoor to Kollur is through the Ghat section and almost deserted. So try to avoid night journey as far as possible. The road is almost empty even during daytime. No shops/petrol bunks/phone booth/ATMs, etc., along the way. Hence this advice to avoid or limit night journey. But the condition of the road is excellent.
- From Byndoor railway station to the Byndoor bus stand, the distance is too short and walkable. After getting down from the train, walk straight through the Exit and walk 5 minutes to reach bus stand, 500 meters away. Plenty of autos/taxis available if you prefer no walking.
For More Information on the Temple
- Kollur Mookambika Temple in South India-A Holy Place for Excellence in Educational and Creative Purs
Kollur Mookambika temple in South India is a resort for writers, singers and artists for it is believed that a visit to the temple will help you improve your artistic and creative pursuits. Read on..
KSRTC Skaniya Luxury Bus
If you prefer journey by luxury bus, the Skaniya of KSRTC is a good option. It starts from Trivandrum at 4 pm and reaches Kollur next day at 9.35 am. Its return journey from Kollur starts at 2 pm and reaches Trivandrum at 7.35 am. It has stops at the following places: Kollam, Karunagapally, Kayamkulam, Harippad, Alappuzha, Cherthala, Ekm., Angamali, Chalakkudi, Tsr., Kunnamkulam, Edappal, Kottakkal, Clt., Vadakara, Mahe, Tly., Knr, Tlpba, Pynr., Kanjangad, Kasaragod & Mangalore.
(STD CODE : 08254)
- Amma Guest House - 258212
- Ashwathi Tourist Home – 258334, 258372
- Beena Residency - 258258
- Bhageerathi Tourist Home – 258290, 094492 69420
- Chandra Tourist Home – 258232, 094493 66936
- Chinmayi Tourist Home – 094487 90482
- Chithramoola Tourist Home – 094499 36097
- Devi Kripa – 258274, 258374
- Kairala Residency – 094483 27447
- Mayura Guest House - 258455
- Mookambika Palace – 258560/61/62
- Sree Varadha – 258454, 094974 96236
Kollur Mookambika (Karnataka)
My Other Articles on Famous Temples/Pilgrimage Centers in India (Click the Headings to Read the same)
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© 2012 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth