History of the Temple
It is believed that Kadehalli (the border village) of Shivalli eventually came to be known as Kadiyali. This belongs to Tulunadu (the land of Tulu speaking people) in the West Coast of India, around 300 k.m. south of Mumbai (Bombay).
According to the Tulunadu's lore, Rama Bhoja, a king of Tulunadu, performed "Putrakamesti Yaga" (Prayer for a son) in order to be blessed with Santhaana (progeny). As a preparation for the Yaga, he was ploughing the Yaga Site. A sacred Naga (Cobra) was caught in the plough and was killed. As a reparation for the sin of Sarpa Hatya (killing of the sacred Cobra), he consecrated a Shivalinga (Lord Shiva's icon) which had the divine presence of Lord Sheshashayee Narayana (Lord Vishnu) in it, on a silver peetha (seat). This is known as Sri Ananteshwara Temple in Udupi (near the Lord Sri Krishna Temple). The king also established four Durga Temples around Sri Ananteshwara Temple. Sri Kadiyali Mahishamardini Temple is one of them.
According to another local lore, the area was originally a thick forest. There was a beautiful water tank in the centre of this forest and Holy Munis (ascetics) used to perform tapas (penance) on its banks. Celestial fairies used to frequent the spot on pleasure excursions and bathe in the tank. Once a Brahman youth, who was carrying a statue of the Goddess was passing by. He kept the statue on a rock near the tank and rested there. The rock had the sannidhya (divine presence) of Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) in it. At its divine touch, the fierce featured statue turned into a benign one. It stuck to the rock and the youth could not pull it off of it. Later, the sage Kanva Rishi consecrated it on that spot itself. Thus the Goddess Mahishamardini remained here in Kadiyali to bless the devotees around. In the course of time, the tank became a well which is now near the inner Gharba Gudi (Sanctum Sanctorum) inside the Temple.These folk lore support the findings of the archaeologist and the Vaastu Shilpa (the art of ancient architecture) proves it.
Further, the presence of other Deities/Icons, such as Shakti, Shiva and Subrahmanya support the ancestry of the temple.
The structure of the Gharba Gudi (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Temple, which is wholly built in granite, is simple. Conforming to the Tuluva style, it has a square type of layout. The roof, made of granite slabs can withhold the heavy monsoon rainfall of this coastal belt. As per the opinion of Dr. Bhatt, it belongs to the pre-Vijayanagar period, even though the architecture is devoid of intricate carvings.
The temple is one of the oldest in the area and has a history of more than 1200 years. This ancient temple which was in a dilapidated condition was very well renovated in recent years by undertaking various developmental activities and is presently being noted as a well kept and well maintained temple in this part of the district.
A beautiful and well maintained temple sarovar (tank) and two newly built sculpted chariots of the temple really are eye catching. Dharmadikari and Rajarshi Dr. Veerendra Hegde of Dharmasthala, who has inaugurated the generator set and covering of the outside yard with granite stones, is a supportive strength behind all the developmental activities of this temple.
The Temple is a model of cleanliness. The presiding Deity, Sri Mahishamardini continues to shower blessings on her devotees and beckons increasing number of disciples to the Temple day after day.
Gharba Gudi (Sanctum Sanctorum) Renovations
The Gharba Gudi (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the temple, dates back to more than 1200 years and is built out of granite. However, the outer quadrangle, built only less than a hundred years ago, is constructed out of laterite, and its roof is made out of Mangalore tiles. After decided that its time to replace this outer quadrangle and its roof, the Administrative Committee of the temple and the devotees proceeded with the project and has replaced the old quadrangle and the roof with beautifully sculpted stone construction and granite slabs to give the temple an aesthetic and a more traditional look. Even the roof of the "Theertha Mantapa", situated right in front of the Gharba Gudi (Sanctum Sanctorum), has been replaced by granite slabs. The sculpturing work, started in 1994 was finished in April 1997 just in time for the Ugadi and the annual Chariot Festival. There were great celebrations.