There is a place on the outskirts of Mangalore (around 30 kms odd) on the west coast of India, in the state of Karnataka (It is around 50 km from the city of manipal, where I studied many years back). The place is a small town which now lies on route to the Mangalore airport… The holy and powerful place of Kateel goddess lies here. The goddess here is fiery durga, who is victorious in battle and unmatched when it comes to power and divine grace.
I always made it a point to visit this temple whenever I had a flight to hop on or off from… I don’t know how or why, but the time I got to know of this temple, I had to visit it; there are many many temples in this area, but this is particularly legendry; There are many stories attached to the temple but most famous (which I think most konkani’s and mangalorians would know from childhood is) that as the goddess temple is located as an island in between the river Nandini; and over the last 50 years whenever this river used to become furious and heavy; threatening to submerge all land around it (due to the excessive rain-downpour which perennially occurs in this region)… it would never ever rise above the level of the temple… Goddess here keeps the fiery Nandini below her always, and keeping the coastal folks safe. Kateel itself means the waist of the river I believe, and though most of the year the river is a mere trickle but its a delight to see it in full force during the Indian monsoons.
The goddess idol is particular too, its probably the only place where I have seen the imagery of a sitting goddess, here the idol is but a mere 3-4 feet from the ground; she is sitting on her seat and holds a chakra and conch while offering protection and liberation to her devotees.
Though I am not religious about temples, but I found this place full of invigorating power and energy, I don’t know how to describe it but there is a sheer lightening effect which takes place when you enter the sanctum and look at the idol. The idol looks very very powerful indeed. Small and dressed in gold and ornaments; she looks fiery none the less.. as if always ready to slay the ignorance and promote the love of self.
Its a treat to go there if you are on way to Mangalore airport. It comes on the way and it would take you mere moments before you realize what I wrote is indeed the truth!
Love and Peace~