The Marikamba Temple in Sirsi, Karnataka, India, is a Hindu temple dedicated to a form of the goddess Durga. It is also known as Marigudi, with “Doddamma” denoting the “elder sister” of all Mariammas in Karnataka. The central icon is an eight-armed image of Durga, also known by the names Renuka and Yellamma. It was built in 1688.It is 83 kilometres (52 mi) to the east of Gokarna.
The temple’s façade, a 19th century addition, is painted blue. After entering through a façade, there is a courtyard in the center, surrounded by cloisters. The cloisters are filled with images of deities from Hindu epics. The changes made inside the temple have hidden any evidence of older structures. The shrine has a central image of the fiery form of the goddess Durga, with multiple arms (eight shoulders), riding a tiger and slaying a demon. It is believed that a 2.1 m (7 ft) long image was taken from a pond on the road to Hanagal. The temple has very special mural paintings in the Kavi art, an art form that was popular in the coastal region of Konkan in Karnataka. In this art form, now extinct, the top plastered layer of the mural was first dyed with a red pigment, which when removed revealed a lower white layer of plaster over which the murals were created It is said that the first Marikamba Devi idol was crafted in kortagere.
The Main priest of the temple is the carpenter, or Vishwakarma, of the caste.The poet Kanakadas, a famous saint of the Bhakti movement, visited the temple and advised people to stop the buffalo sacrifice. In 1934, when Mahatma Gandhi visited Sirsi during his campaign to end the untouchability of the Dalits, he refused to visit the temple, as an animal sacrifice was an ancient practice prevalent in the temple; The sacrifice was in the form of a buffalo offering to please the goddess. During the annual Rath Yatra, a buffalo was especially tied to offer as a sacrifice to the deity. After Gandhi’s protest, there was a social movement in the city not only to abolish animal sacrifice but also to allow Dalits to enter the temple. chief trustee of the temple, in association with Vitthal Rao Hodike, a teacher and dedicated Gandhian of the town. Both objectives of the movement were fulfilled
The Sirsi Marikamba Jatra of the deity (chariot procession) takes place in the month of March every alternate year and is carried out throughout the city. It is attended by a large number of devotees. It is calledThe largest and most famous fair (jatra) in the state of Karnataka. Devotees from across the state take part in this great event and join the procession. Children’s entertainment, circuses, a variety of shops, dramas and plays and many such things are set up for the people. It depicts the story of the goddess killing mahishasura.
How to reach Marikamba temple
By Road: From Bangalore 426 kms.
Nearest Railway Station: Talguppa railway station
Nearest Airport: Hubli