Kateel, Dakshina Kannada

Travel: Western Ghats Diaries: 2


Posts under the category “Western Ghats Diaries” is about Picturesque locations, Spiritual places, few natural parks in this region of India. May not be end to end factual. Some analogies, Some mythological, Some soulful experiences that this beautiful place on this earth has been giving for decades.

If is really interesting can be taken as Travelogue. If boring, a scrap book. If anyone finds it useful; A big thanks. If the information given here is wrong, please leave your comments to provide more accurate information regarding a place. Same if one wants to add information, kindly leave a comment. Might be useful for anyone visiting this beautiful place. Thank you!

Kateel, Dakshina Kannada

The place is 26 kms from Mangaluru. Curvy, narrow roads accompanied by lush green terrain on both sides from NH17 take to this beautiful place. Etymology says that in Sanskrit, ‘Kati’ means ‘center’. Kateel is midway between Kanakagiri, the source of the river, and Pavanje, where the river joins the sea. ‘Ila’ means area (land), thus the place is called ‘Kati + lla’, Kateel. (Kati also means ‘Waist’)

Mythology tells that when the earth was in the grip of unprecedented drought, no food, no water, no food for humans, animals, and birds. The earth entirely looked deserted, corpses everywhere. Sage Jabali rose from his deep meditation and came out of it, just to see his fellow beings and dwellers starving and dying. The cave situated some ten kms from this place. He wanted to eradicate the famine for the goodness of world. He wanted to conduct a Yajna for the same. So appealed to Lord Indra to bless him and so he directed the Sage to Kamadenu’s daughter Nandhini.

Picture: Front entrance 

Sage Jabali with much reverence approached Nandhi to help him in his yajna. But Nandhi reacted from the point of disrespect and ignorance and Sage Jabali cursed her to be a river in the world. But felt bad for losing his temper when she prayed for a remedy. He asked Nandhini to meditate on Universal Mother at ‘Kanakachala’. The universal mother was pleased by her austerity and said that the curse will be removed the moment she is born in her. Nandhini started flowing as a river from the mountain Kanaka. Nandhini flowed and eradicated the drought.

Picture: The other side of the river from connecting bridge. 

Once upon a time there were two demon brothers called Shumbha and Nishumbha. They had stuck terrors and the universal mother slayed them to restore peace. But their Prime Minister Arunasura managed to escape and slip to nether worlds. Arunasura became powerful by his penance. He had two ministers Chanda and Prachanda.

 Picture: The connecting bridge near the entrance. 

He wanted to build a demon empire impregnable and invincible. Arunasura was advised that with divine grace he can achieve his goal. He did severe penance and got his boons to evade death by all possible means just like Hiranyakashipu. He was invincible and disturbed all worlds. With prayers the divine mother took form of a damsel to pay his due back which was left  in the time period of Shumbha and Nishumbha. He fell for the damsel and wanted to marry her but she disappeared mocking him.

Picture: A board inside temple.  

Arunasura’s arrogance and self emphasis clouded his lateral thinking of oneness and universal law of operation. He wanted to seek revenge on this play. He sent his army headed by his ministers but the divine mother took the form of ‘Raktheshwari’ and destroyed the entire army. Arunasura couldn’t take the defeat and with rage waited in the place where the damsel disappeared. He hit hard a rock out of rage and swarmed out of the rock myriad bees attacked Aruna. They dipped their stings into his flesh and sucked his blood.

Picture: The exit 

The six- footed bee is neither two-legged nor four-legged; and the bee is neither god, nor demon, nor man and the sting of a bee is no weapon of any kind. The Mother, thus, rid the world of a terror that was Arunasura without violating the terms and implications of the boon of Brahma. Sage Jabali rushed to the place and wanted Mother to attain a milder form and bless the devotees visiting the place. The battle happened nearby the place where River Nandhini had been flowing and the divine mother as  promised incarnated in the form of a Linga in the middle of the stream of Nandini, thus annihilating her curse. And is the end of the mythological story behind the place.

Picture below: River Nandhini joining together

The temple is situated in a panoramic back drop of western ghats surrounded by lush green scenery and the pilgrim can stand on the connecting bridges to have the view of gushing river on the either side of the temple.

As the water gushes and joins back after few meters from temple, divine vibes and visual treat congregate to give an all together different soulful experience to anyone visiting this picturesque island temple.



Shree Kshetra Kateel, The legend of the holy shrine (Sthala Purana) 

To know more about the place: http://kateeldevi.in



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