Madhur Maha Ganapathi Temple (or The Srimadanantheshwara Siddhivinayaka Temple) in Madhur, Kasaragod is the sacred abode of the divine presence of Lord Ganesha. It is one of the coveted destinations of lakhs of pilgrims from all over India and abroad.
Though the presiding deity here is lord Anantheshwara (Shiva), the temple is renowned as Ganapati temple. The idol of Shiva Linga here is ‘Udbhava Murthy’ – a statue that is not made by a human. The statue of Ganesha is an integral part of the wall of the sanctum sanctorum. This temple has separate sanctuaries for Kashi Vishwanatha, Hamsaroopi Sadashiva, Shri Dharmashastha, Shri Durgaparameshwari, Shri Subrahmanya and Shri Veerabhadra.
The picturesque location of the temple is a feast for the eyes, with Madhuvahini River relaxingly flowing in front of it. The three-storied temple resembling the shape of an elephant’s torso rises grandly against a beautiful landscape of hills, valleys, paddy fields and gardens. The structure features beautiful wooden carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana.
Legend behind the Temple
As per the legend, a low cast woman named ‘Madaru’ accidently found a Shiva Linga when her sickle stuck on it. To her astonishment she found out that the linga was bleeding. She reported the incident to the ruler of the region. He instructed the lady to throw her sickle to the eastern side with great faith. She did so, and the sickle fell far beyond her imagination on the western bank of the Payaswani River. The ruler was amazed at the sight of a tiger and cow gazing together on the site. He was confident about the divine presence there, and ordered for the sanctification of the idol at that spot. The place came to be known as Madoor, and the Payaswani River became Madhuvaahini.
There are several legends associated with the origin of Ganapati idol in the temple. One among them is that a priest’s son drew the picture of Ganapati on the walls of the sanctum sanctorum while playing. But to everybody’s amazement, the picture started growing in size and became big and fat.
In 1784, Tippu Sulthan, in his conquering spree, attacked the place and he planned to demolish the temple. But after drinking water from the temple well, he felt composed and changed his mind. He left the temple without attacking it. But he made a deep cut in the roof of the temple with his sword symbolizing the attack. That mark of the sword is still kept as a historical monument.
Ganesh Chaturthi and an annual festival named “Madhur Bedi” are the major festivals celebrated in this temple.