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Polali Raja Rajeswari Temple

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Polali is a place of worship in Dakshina Kannada, near Mangalore. It is a beautiful place where Nature leaves you stumped. The Phalguni river garlands the temple where the presiding deity is Sri Raja Rajeswari.

The history of the temple dates back to the Christian era where many references to the temple are made. It is believed that even Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan invaded the area.

The idol of the Goddess is made of a soil mixture specially prepared for the purpose. The image made of clay is a unique feature and nowhere else can we see such a big idol. The Goddess is more than nine feet tall and wears a dazzling crown made of precious gems. It is believed that King Suratha gave it to the Goddess.

Mahaganapathi, Subramanya, Bhadrakali and Saraswati adorn the sanctum sanctorum. The Gods and Goddesses are exquisitely modelled.

Lepashta Gandha is a religious event where the idols are given a coating of soil mixture with eight medicinal properties once in 12 years. This is celebrated with the Brahma Kalasa festival. What is strange is that the soil mixture used for coating the idols is not prepared fresh every time. It was prepared hundreds of years ago when the images were originally moulded and installed. Some special herbal juice was used in the preparation of the soil mixture, making it strong like granite.

The one-month-long festival begins in the month of March. The deity is placed on a beautifully decorated circular crown-like structure called ‘Prabhavati’. Besides this festival, Sivarathri, Gokulashtami car festival, Navaratri, Deepavali, Karthikai, Sashti and Dhanur mahotsavam is celebrated on a grand scale.

The football game during the temple festival is famous so much so that Polali Chendu (Polali football game) is synonymous with the festival.

About 100 yards to the south of the temple there is a platform like structure named ‘Simhasana Katte’ (platform of throne). On the fourth day of the festival the deity graces the throne and a formal pooja is performed.

A silver chariot was designed in 2001. There are lots of sevas that can be performed to the Goddess. Students of history and science can unravel at the hidden treasure of this temple. The temple property is officially in the name of Sri Durga Parameshwari installed in a small shrine located in the outer quadrangle.

Polali is near Mangalore. There are buses plying between Mangalore and Polali every ten minutes. My Special thanks to Mrs. Malathi Sridhar for providing me the information about this temple.
(from archives.chennaionline.com)​
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