Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna Temple

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Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna Temple
Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna Temple is located in Kerala
Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna Temple
Location in Kerala
Coordinates12°35′42″N 74°56′33″E / 12.5949093°N 74.9424009°E / 12.5949093; 74.9424009Coordinates: 12°35′42″N 74°56′33″E / 12.5949093°N 74.9424009°E / 12.5949093; 74.9424009
DistrictKasaragod district
SanctumShri Gopalakrishna
Major festivalsAnnual Festival, Kumble Bedi
ArchitectureHindu architecture
Number of temples1

Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna Temple at Kumble is an ancient[clarification needed] temple and is situated eight miles due north of Kasaragod town. According to local religious beliefs, the Krishnashila Idol of the Lord Bala Gopalkrishna, having the features of a child, which was worshipped by Lord Krishna’s foster mother Yashoda, is believed to have been presented by the almighty Lord Krishna himself to the sage Kanva Maharshi in Dwaparayuga, who in turn installed the same at its present location where the temple exists. Historical records[which?] state that in the 10th Century, the Temple was renovated by King Jayasimha of Kadamba Danasty, whose capital was Kumbla and even the administration of his Kingdom was being done in the name of Kanipura Sri Gopalkrishna. The coronation of Kumbla Rajas was being solemnized at Kanipura Sri Gopalkrishna Temple.

It is stated[by whom?] that Sri Gopalkrishna Temple has the sanctity of over three Yugas of Treta, Dwapara and Kali Yug. The temple was established by Maharshi Kanwa. Believers ascribe to the temple the same sanctity and holiness as that of Sri Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor and also to that of Sri Krishna Temple situated at Udupi in Karnataka. Several Lakhs of Devotees offer prayers at the Temple regularly.[1]


Kanipura Temple was the original seat of the Raja of Kumbla, which was later on shifted to Maipady (Mayapuri). Even to this day one can see the ruins of the fort at Kumbla or Kotekar and Arikadi, which bears testimony to the political importance of Kumbla in the days gone by. Kanipura is only a derivative of Kanvapura. Tradition ascribes the Prathishtah of Sri Gopalkrishna Moorthi of the temple to Kanva Maharshi form whom the name of the place is derived. The other place names such as Kannur (also called Kanva Peetah) within two miles to the east of the temple and the well known Kanva Teertha of the Pejavar Mutt fame near Manjeshwar, also are indicative of the faith of the people in the many legends relating to the association of the sage Kanva with this temple and the place around if.[2]

The legend of the Sthala-Purana states that having installed the idol, which is an image of Balagopalakrishna in jet black granite, an idol which was being worshipped by the fostermother Yashoda, the sage performed Adhishekam to the deity with the Manthrodaka which he had saved in his Kamandalu during ages past; the Manthrodaka then flowed out as a stream, grew into a river and ultimately joined the western sea within a short distance form the temple. The river is "Kumbha Hole", (Hole means river) also known as the Kumbhini. The town as well came to be known as Kumbla form this.

The temple, for which extensive repairs and renovations have been carried out, is situated in the heart of the town of Kumbla at the foot of an elevated hill which rises in front of it, with the river Kumbha Hole flanking if on the north. If Srimadanantheshwara, and Sri Vinayaka of Madhur are the deities of the daily worship of the senior Raja of Kumbla, the patta Abhisheka or coronation of the senior Raja would in ancient days take place in Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna temple. The Abhisheka of the Yuvaraja of Kumbla used to take place at Srimath Udaneshwara Temple of perdala, which in Kumbla Seema is only next in importance to the above four temples.

Kanipura Sri Gopalakrishna’s praises have been sung by Parthi Subba, the father of Yakshagana, along with those of Madhur Sri Mahaganapathi, in several songs. It was in Kumbla that Parthi Subba was born and bred up (in about 1740 to 1800 A.D) and composed all his yakshagana prasangas which earned for him the title of the father of Thenkku Thittu Yakshagana. He was in the line of the Paatalies of the Kumbla temple, and at the Moodappa seva in Madhur temple in 1797 had presented a copper "Dhara Battal" to that temple inscribed with his name in Kannada, which is presently in use at the Madhur temple.


The festival at the Kumbla temple which lasts five days every year commences with Dhwaja Arohanam on the Makara Sankramana day every year. The festival comes to an end with the idol coming back after being dipped in the pond about three kilometers from the temple premises and the holy flag (Kodi) coming down. Popularly known as ‘’Kumble Bedi’’, because of the display of crackers done in front of the idol. The idol is sat on the Banyan tree platform and the display extends to almost one and half hours. People from different parts of north Kerala and South Canara assemble for the festival. ’’Bali’’ is the typical way of carrying the idol overhead of a poojary. Who goes around the temple with the idol decorated with flower and ornaments which is never to be too light. The poojary moves as per the taala of chendamelam and vadyam. First he moves with one of his hands supporting the idol on his head and the other hand swinging.In the end he removes the support and moves quickly around the temple.[3]

In the Media[edit]

The temple was in the news in 2012 when the temple was facing a threat of extinction. Situated at a narrow place in between the Arabian Sea and the Temple, the National Highway Authorities decided to demolish the temple. Protesting the NHAI's move, on 24 January 2012 pro-Hindu organisations demonstrated a massive rally in Kasaragod city. There was a march organised which began from Kumble ended at Kasaragod, over one lakh public from Kasaragod participated in this protest.[4] Sri Pejawar Vishweshwara Swamiji of Udupi, Sri Delampady Balakrishna Tantri of Agalpady, several other socio-religious leaders, Subbayya Shetty, Convenor of Temple conservation committee, IUML MLA’s N.A.Nellikkunnu and PB Abdul Razak, BJP leaders Surendran, Ramesh and others headed the protest rally.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of the Sri Gopalkrishna Temple and its evidences - Hindu Janajagruti Samiti". Hindujagruti.org. 2002-10-07. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  2. ^ "History". Kanipura.templeinfo.in. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  3. ^ Beejanthadka, Suresh (2011-01-24). "B N Suresh: Kumble Bedi (Festival in Kanipura Sri Gopala Krishna Temple Kumbala". Sureshbeen.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  4. ^ "Kasaragod: One lakh people participated in massive protest rally against demolition of Kumble Temple". HaindavaKeralam.com. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  5. ^ "Kasaragod: Massive Protests Against Demolition of Kanipura Temple". IndiaWires.com. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2015-07-02.