Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple Situated on the banks of River Nandini, amidst beautiful surroundings, is the spiritual energy center of South Kanara district. Goddess Durga is the loving and caring mother of the people of South Kanara. Surrounded by lush green fields and beautiful hills, Kateel has become a famous pilgrimage and a tourist center over the years.
Kateel is located 30KMs North of Mangalore. Traveling to Kateel in the winding roads amidst green hills and valleys is a very pleasant and memorable experience. Thousands of devotees visit Kateel daily to seek the blessing of goddess Durga.
There is a story behind this spiritual place. A severe draught hit this place, it did not rain for years. Even Brahmins were forced to eat meat and the people were on the verge of giving up their principles.The great Sage Jabaali was disturbed by this situation. Through his 'Jnana Drishti', Jabaali realized the root cause of all this. He found that Arunasura the 'rakshasa' who escaped from death and fled when Goddess Durga killed Shambasura had increased his life span by following the teachings of his Guru. He had made the people stop all yagas and yajnas as a revenge against the 'devas', and this has resulted in drought and scarcity for years.
Jabaali wanted to put an end to human sufferings and decided to perform a yajna to please the devas. He requested Devendra to permit him to take Kamadhenu for the yajna. Devendra asked Jabali to take Kamadhenu's daughter Nandini instead. Nandini refused to accompany Jabaali to the earth where evil was prominent. After a lot of arguements, Jabali, in his anger, cursed that she be born as a river on earth. Realising the mistake, Nandini prayed for mercy. Relenting, Jabali advised her to pray to Goddess Durga to redeem her from the curse, Nandini appealed to Goddess Durga who appeared to her and informed her that though Nandini would be born as a river in fulfillment of the curse she, Durga, would be born as Nandini's daughter at the center of the river, and in the process, Nandini would attain purification. On Magha shudda Poornima, Nandini emerged as a river from Kanakagiri. Jabali performed his yajna. The devas were pleased and the earth was once again happy.
Elsewhere Arunasura acquired a boon from Brahma that he would not suffer death from any two legged or four legged being or from any weapon. Brahma also powered him with Gayatri Mantra. After acquiring these powers, Arunasura defeated the devas and conquered heaven. The Devas prayed Goddess Durga for help.
One day Goddess appeared in Arunasura's garden as a beautiful woman. Seeing the lady, Arunasura approached her. The beautiful lady reminded him that she had killed Shambasura and from whom Arunasura had escaped death. Arunasura got angry and tries to kill the woman with sword. The Goddess suddenly turned into a stone. Arunasura slashed the stone with the sword, then a vast swarm of bees emerged from the stone and stung him.
The bees ( dhumbi) stung him repeatedly till his last breath. Devas led by Jabali performed abhisheka with tender coconut water and requested the Bramarambhika (Queen of the bees) to bless the world. Goddess Durga then appeared in her 'Soumya Roopa' in middle of the river, where present structure of the temple imparts its glory to the world. 'Kati' being the word which means 'center' (midway between the 'Kanakagiri' the place where the river was born, and the end, Pravanje, where the river joins the sea) and 'lla' means area. Thus the place is called 'Kati + lla' Kateel.
Devotees and followers from all over the world come to Kateel every year in huge numbers to participate in Simhamaasa, Navarathri and other holy occasions. Several educational institutions are also run through the temple's trust.
The temple's trust also encourages several forms of arts. Notable amoung them is the Yakshagana dashavathara mela which was started as an offering to the goddess. During dussera, navaratri and other annual celebrations several sacred rituals like, Chandika havana, thula bhaara, veda parayana, hari kathas etc are performed.