Karkala traces its history right back to the 10th century when it was ruled by Jain kings. Hence, some of the more famous structures found here include the large statue of Bahubali. Set in the rocky hills of the town, the statue is 42 feet high and is the second tallest such structure in Karnataka.
Karkala is mostly preferred by travelers. Indeed, the go-to destination for types of travelers, be it family, kids, and couples. The best season or months to visit places in Karkala are February, March, September, October, November, December. And, these are the best 10 tourist places in Karkala, which can be explored by travelers. Local attractions can be visited at any time of the day, be it early morning, afternoon, evening or night, as suitable for travelers.
1. Chaturmukha Basadi
Chaturmukha Basadi is an ancient temple depicting beautiful architecture. Adorned with 108 pillars supporting a big slab of granite forming the flat roof of the temple. Besides, the complex gets its name from its four entrances located in each of the four directions all leading to the garbhagriha. Do visit the place to explore its splendid history and design.
2. Statue of Bahubali
The statue of Bahubali or the Gomateshwara is believed to have been constructed around 1432 AD. Constructed by King Veerapandya Bhairava Raja of the Pandya Dynasty, the then ruler of Karkala. Nevertheless, Bahubali was a prince who renounced worldly pleasures and spent 12 years in meditation. During the span of meditation, he was covered by climbers that grew near him. The 12.8 m high monolithic statue built by King Veerapandya Bhairava Raja commemorates this legend.
3. Ramasamudra Lake
Ramasamundra Lake, a favorite picnic spot among locals and travelers is believed to be created during the last quarter of the 14th century. At this time, the pond is said to have healing properties and is believed to have never gone dry. The pond was actually created in the memory of Ramanatha – indeed the son of King Veera Bhairava and brother of Veerapandya.
4. Anekere Lake
A beautiful spot of Karkala, Anekere Lake is a large water body with a historic significance. Once built like a tank in 1262 by the King Pandyadeva. Also, it supplied the city with drinking water for over eight centuries. Today, this ancient 12th-century Anekere spreading over an area of 7 acres is full of clear water and adorned with beautiful white lilies.
5. Lord Ananthashayana
This temple was once served as a Jain Basadi offered to be built by a Jain king during 1567. The legend goes by as when once Sringeri Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharathi Swamiji visited Karkala. Firstly, he was welcomed warmly by the king. However, Swamiji conditioned his stay with the construction of a temple dedicated to Lord Almighty. Secondly, the king gave his Basadi to Swamiji and installed a magnificent stone sculptured idol of sleeping, Lord Vishnu. Founded in a lake near a village named Nellikar, the idol seems to be carved out of a single black stone.
6. Attur Church
Attur church is said to be the 3rd Church after the destruction of the first church by Tipu Sultan. It is believed that the second Church, built nearby Nakre of Karkala when became old and unusable. Moreover, the parishioners went in search for a new place for the church taking the statue of St. Lawrence along with them. They came to Attur and placed the statue on the ground near Pushkarni pond to quench their thirst. The priest and the parishioners could lift the statue from the ground only after they decided to build the church on this place.
7. Padutirupathi Venkataramana Temple
Sree Karkala Venkataramana temple is known as Padu Tirupati or western Tirupati. Indeed, dedicated to Lord Srinivasa, a form of Lord Vishnu, this temple is a major pilgrimage center, especially important to Gaud Saraswat Brahmans. This temple is considered equivalent to Tirupati, and deity is known as Shrinivasa or Venkataramana, just like in Tirupati.
8. Varanga Kere Basadi
At a distance of 34 Kms from Udupi, 72 Kms from Mangalore & 22 Kms from Karkala, Kere Basadi located in Varanga is a beautiful Jain Temple located in the middle of a lake. Moreover, the temple is located in beautiful surroundings. The temple has four idols in four directions facing North, South, East, and West. The idols of 4 Tirthankaras are Bhagwan Parsvanatha, Bhagwan Neminath, Bhagwan Ananthanath & Bhagavan Shantinath.
Venur is a small town located in the proximity of Karkala on the banks of River Gurupur. However, once served as the capital of Ajila Dynasty, Venur today is a popular spot housing owing to its major attraction of a statue of Bahubali, about 35 feet high. Created in the year 1604 AD, by King Thimmanna Ajila, the statue is standing on a platform without any support and is the smallest of all four statues of Bahubali in the state.
10. Manastambha of Hiriangadi
Hiriangadi is a famous destination lying in the proximity to Karkala housing a group of ashrams and holy shrines. The place is best renowned for its Neminath Basadi Complex surrounded by a rocky extension of Sahyadri Mountain ranges. A 60 feet tall Manastambha is one of the main attractions of the complex. Hence, one can also witness the tombs of Jain priests Gowri temple, Stone Age structures and Kanthavara temple located near the complex.
So, this was Karkala. Make time for these amazing places for some good time. Happy Exploring!