Mangalore: Gujjarakere - Treasure Trove of a Fascinating Past

Brijesh Garodi
Daijiworld Media Network-Mangalore

Mangalore, Jun 24: The world is full of fascinating, unexplored places, but unfortunately, hardly does one have the time to glance at them or take the trouble to delve deep into their charming histories.

Gujjarakere, a lake situated near Jeppu, is one such place, immersed in an interesting story. The lake is linked to two distinguished saints, Macchendranatha and Gorakshanatha, who lived in the surrounding areas of Mangalore. The two of them were celebrated deities of the famous Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple. This lake is also connected to nearby famous temples like Mahatobara Sri Mangaladevi Temple, Halekote Sri Mariyamma Mahishamardini Temple, Bolar and Sri Gorakshanatha Temple, Gorakshadhand.

According to Hindu mythology, Gorakshanatha was a disciple of Macchendranatha. On one particular instance, Macchendranatha asked Gorakshanatha to go on a piligrimage for 12 years. When he was back from his piligrimage, Gorakshanatha could not find his master. With his devotional spirit, Gorakshanatha sat for  Dhyana, with his hand upon the Brahma Dhand (a  stick that Swamijis usually carry).The  place where he sat for the Dhyana is called  Gorakshadhandu, a temple is also built at this place, known as  Sri Gorakshanatha Temple. With his spiritual powers, he found his master Macchendranatha in the Kerala Malyalasiri Rajya, along with his wife Malayala Rani.

Gorakshanatha realized that his master had now converted to a Samsari (married) from a Sanyasi (Saint). Gorkshanatha wanted to change his master, Macchendranatha, back to being a Sanyasi. He goes to his master in the disguise of a servant and works for him.

One day, when the master along with his wife sits down for lunch, their son ends up urinating there. Gorkshanatha’s master calls him and asks him to clean his son.  Gorakshanatha takes the boy to a river, dips him into the water and knocks him over a huge rock. Baby Manjunatha is now left with only skin, all of his flesh and bones are broken down to pieces. Upon being questioned by Macchendranatha, Goraksha asks his master to heal his son with his devotional powers, but he fails to do so, as he is now a samsari.

Goraksha then requests his master to give his old devotional powers to him so that he could treat Manjunatha. The  master does as requested  and Goraksha in turn puts the skin, flesh and bones back together and orders “Uto beta Manjunatha”, (Get up son , Manjunatha) . Manjunatha rises back to life. Goraksha pleads Macchendra to go along with him to the Mata in Kadri and return to being a sanyasi like before. Finally Machendra agrees, but his wife and son also follow them.

While leaving that place, Macchendra asks Goraksha to put two pieces of gold that he had in his side bag, so that it would help them in need as they made their journey from Kerala Malayala Rajya towards Kadri. On the way, they visited Gorakshadhand and passed by the lake, Gujjarakere. Gorakshanatha felt that being a sanyasi, it was futile to posses’ gold and throws both the gold pieces into the lake.

Before throwing, he speculates and puts a spell on the gold which would make it look like mud for the rest of the people, except for his master and himself, because if anyone else saw it as gold they would be greedy and fight after it.

As they carried on their journey, Goraksha also makes Malayala Rani disappear to a place faraway. That place is now known as Mangaladevi, and the Devi he vanished is Godess Mangalambika. History states that Mangalore is also named after this Mangala devi. Mangalore also known as Mangalapuram is derived from this tale.
Initially, there lived a group of people near Jeppu, called as the Gujjaris. They were extremely affluent and powerful, ruling the neighbouring places. This lake belonged to them and hence it got the name, Gujjarakere.

This tale shows the historical evidence linked to the holiness of the lake Gujjarakere . Such history being unknown to the residents of mangalore is a very sad state.

Around 2 years ago, the Mangalore City Corporation has laid the foundation towards the  improvement of the lake at an estimated cost of approximately  Rs 2 crore.But the project does not seem to be anywhere close to completion .  The holy lake is dumped with waste such as garbage, plastic, tyres and other unwanted plants. An association called The Gujjarakere Teertha Samsrakshana Samithi was formed in the year 2002 consisting of 50 localities . This group is striving hard to maintain the sacredness of the lake.

Drainage water has engulfed the lake, around a week ago, meanwhile the MCC is still ignoring the holy place.  A barrier wall created to protect the lake is close to collapsing, which shows further negligence on behalf of the corporation.

 Gujjarakere is in need of quick development in order for it to become a perfect tourist attraction.

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Comment on this article

  • Jeet, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, Jun 26 2012

    hats off to DAIJI to bring this issue .i was not aware of the story above connect to this lake.
    where r our so called RAMSENAS,BAJRANGIS and other parties r they sleeping.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh, mangalore

    Tue, Jun 26 2012

    Whats the use , our so called culture protector bretheren including politicians are not aware of this place n go to western culture to holiday. such a tragedy.look at the holy place , hope they spend time for this and preserve Hindustan rather than beating people.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shashi Shetty, Santhoor/ Manipal

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    Hi Dr, well you have a point of view which serves you better. i shall not argue on your contention of Dr's can save the life - but beyound a Dr .there is faith which protects man. if there were no faith on the external power which we beleive in temples or any place of worship - we would have needed more psychologist than orthopeadics. dengue, Malayria or any type of water born disease is prevalent in any of kind of environment. Dengue spreading musquitos can breed even in your domestic well. so what you recon, close down all the well?
    You must understand that, these ancient tanks were built for a purpose and christened in a god's name to protect it. they are all aquifiers which contains water during the monsoon. when we had many of these tanks in the past - there was no water shortage - since, we have destroyed these tanks , the places like Mangalore where we get 3 months rain have to depend on tanker water. The problem with learned is - they think only one way. despite it is well know that, science is incomplete.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr.Denis D'Mello M.S ( Ortho ), Mangalore / Kuwait

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    May I add : The surrounding area will become a " natural mosquito sanctuary " protected and maintained by the MCC.Only the Doctors and Hospitals can save you and not the Temple !! In this century our educated people are becoming sycophants , not being able to think properly for themselves.

    Well,during the monsoon practically every house in the vicinity of Jeppu market will be struck by maleria / chikengunya or dengee.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shashi Shetty, Santhoor/ Manipal

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    Well Said Jamal - that was what I was advising a friend of mine who is under the influence of Bajrangi. I/O of beating of creating hatred among the different communities - why not strengthen the memeber of our own community. like creating awareness about goodness about hinduism, protecting the scantity of our environment, teaching good for our children do that they grow up good and dont become alcohol and most important remove caste feelings amoung the fellow hinduism. very good article.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent, vincent/Mangalore

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    We can see only walls and incompleted structures. Where 2 crore is spent?.. curruption.. Hope lokayukta will bring the issue..

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pradyumna, Mangalore

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    Good to know this unexplored place. Please explore many such places and bring to brightness...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Subodh Chattopadhya, Kavathar-Melmane/24 Parganas Par

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    Mr.Alwyn, Canada
    You people are jump in between into the bandwagon by snatching each and everything of other's and branded of yours.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai

    Mon, Jun 25 2012

    Such fascinating places with rich Hindu history and culture lie ignore and abandoned.
    I wonder with which face these guys talk about Cow Protection. What an IRONY?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lionel dsouza, Bangalore

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    This is a great history...I remember one man Prof.B.V.Markande who was having the complete history on this, whom i met 10 years back.Shame on the govt and MCC for not at all concentrating on this...Young generation should be introduced to such a history of our Kudla....Thanks to Daijiworld for this great news...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Satish Kunder, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    I spent my childhood in this area but I was not aware of the history. Gujjarekere and Yemmekere are the two lakes situated very near to each other.

    Yemmekere has already vanished and it is changed to a playground now. There is remarkable change in this area and I could not locate some of the houses when I visited this area recently after 30 years.

    Nice to hear that MCC to restoring this lake hopefully to the past glory

    I still remember beautiful lotus in Gujjarekere those days.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    People who have strong will power can complete this project.I don't think our Government can complete it.DVS is a nice man like Mr.Oscar.So,..big NO..If Narender Modi had been Chief Minister of Karnataka,by this time work would have been completed.If not..then people who are in charge of the project would have gone home.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jamal, UAE/Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    To good hearted bajrangis and all sena members instead of spreading hatred, fear and enemity you all get together and clean this good forgotten lake. Not only god even general public no matter what religion will support you for the noble cause. I know you people don't have time for this? because no money no liquor.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil D.G., Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    Nice feature, Brijesh.. A person needs passion and a keen mind to cover such attractive places.. Hats off to you.. Hoping to see more from you in these columns..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Canada

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    Story is great but hard to believe the facts. Holly lake filled with garbage, plastic. bulshit etc very bad. Mangalore is called in many names Kodial, Kudla so many new things are poping up to change one to another. India everything is holy including corruptions, politicians, govt department all are holy.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lancelot N Tauro, Manglore - Doha Qatar

    Sun, Jun 24 2012

    Good Place for Builders to develop..high rise apats.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

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