Enclosed between the hills on three sides and river Manjeswar on the other side, Shrimath Anantheshwar Temple is located at Manjeswar
, the northern tip of Kerala
. It is the most ancient and the most important temple of gowda
of Kerala. The temple dates back to the 2nd century.
Ananteshwar temple has three presiding deities. They are Shri Ananta, Shri Ishwar (Lord Shiva) and Lord Bhadra Narasimha (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). Other idols enshrined are Lord Mukhyaprana, Lord Rudra, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh and Lord Garuda. The image of Shri Subramanya is installed in a declivity considerably lower than the surrounding area and full of serpent holes.
Initially the temple had a
swayambhu shivlinga and later Ananta also was installed thus making it the Ananteshwar temple. Bhadra Narasimha was installed in the 12th century. The specialty of the temple is the ant hill called 'Rohini' inside the sanctum sanctorum. Sesha Tirtham is a pond on the right side of the temple. Belief is that leprosy patients used to take bath in this pond and were cured.
A group of holy spirits known as Ganas or Bhootha Ganas surround the temple. Jogi Gana, situated in the north-eastern side of the temple, is said to be the leader among them. The main offering to the Gana are coconuts.
The main festival of Anantheshwar temple is the Manjeshwar Shashti celebrated as the annual Chariot Festival in the month of November- December. Thousands of people gather at the temple during this period.
By road, this divine place can be approached from Mangalore which is 25 km north. Manjeswar Railway Station on the Kozhikode-Mangalore line is around 2 km away from the temple.