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flag   Our Maths | Gokarn
 

THE BHANDIKERI MATH AT GOKARN

The Samadhi of our first Guru, H.H. Shrimat Parijnanashram-I Swamiji is located here.

Gokarn is considered, as much a holy place –Teertha Kshetra - as Kashi is. Situated in coastal Karnataka, this ‘temple town’ has a lot of religious and mythological significance. Besides the branches of Kavle and Parthagaali Math, other well-known temples are found in Gokarn like the Mahabaleshwar Temple, Maha Ganapathi, Tamra-Gauri, Venkataramana, Uma-Maheshwari, Varadraj, Bhadrakali, and many others. The Kotiteertha is a beautiful lake surrounded by temples, and a small platform in the centre.

About 400 years ago, Saraswat Brahmins who fled from the Gomantak to escape forcible conversions by the Portuguese and Christians, came down and settled in and around Gokarn. About 4 kms. north of Gokarn is Bankikodla, earlier known as the ‘Vilayat of Bhanaps’.

For us Chitrapur Saraswats, Gokarn has a special significance, because it is here that our glorious Guru parampara began, almost 300 hundred years ago.

A view of kotiteerth Kotiteertha was the site of penance performed by senior members of our community, for want of a ‘Guru’ to guide the community. How H.H. Adi Parijnanashram Swamiji arrived there, etc. is well known history, recorded elsewhere. Swamiji brought with Him in His ‘Jholi’ the beautiful idol of Lord Bhavanishankar, which has thence become the ‘Pradhan Araadhya Daivata’ of Chitrapur Saraswats

As per the ancient lay-out, the main entrance to this temple-town was by the so-called ‘Bandi Keri’ (lane for carts), leading to the south-east corner of Kotiteertha. It is here that our Gokarn Math is situated, facing ‘Bandikeri’. The road leading to the main gate was first made in 1932 and renovated in 1998 to commemorate H.H. Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji’s visit.

The frequently used entrance to the Math from Kotiteertha side is actually the rear entrance.

Bhandikeri Math: The Gokarn Math, also known as the Bandikeri Math, is located a few metres away from Kotiteertha. It is said that originally, this was the Uma-Maheshwar Temple. It became a ‘Math’ after H.H. Adi Parijnanashram Swami made it His abode and later took Mahasamadhi there. The prabhavali of the Umamaheshwari idol has an inscription –Gersappe – leading to the belief that it has been brought to Gokarn from elsewhere. There is a narration that H.H.Krishnashram Swamij in His dream was told of this lying unattended in a forest in Gersappe, near Shimoga. He then went and brought it, to be installed at the Math.

The Uma-Maheshwari Shrine stands at the centre of the quadrangle enclosed by the Chandrashalas of the presentThe Uma Maheshwar Vigraha at Bhandikeri Math Math. The Vigraha faces the direction of Kotiteertha, the Samadhi Shrine faces the main gate Bandikeri side.

Major renovations to the Bandikeri Math and the consecration of the Hodi Samadhi took place in May 1928, under the direct supervision of H.H. Shrimat Anandashram Swamiji.

Swamiji observed Chaturmas at Bandikeri in 1937 and 1954.

The Toggu Math: This lesser known place is of great historical significance. It is situated opposite the Patta Vinayak or Batta Ganapati temple, to the left, on the way from Kotiteertha to our present Math. It is believed that when our elders first met the Sage from Kashmir at Kotiteertha (1708), they welcomed Him as their God-sent Guru and took Him to the nearby shrine opposite the Ganapati temple. They made this the first holy Abode of their Adi Guru. It was subsequently known as ‘Toggu Math’, the ‘higher Math’ being the present Bandikeri Math which enshrines the sacred Adi Samadhi.

Toggu Math houses the Vigraha of Kashi-Vishweshwara.

The Samadhi of H. H. Swami Parijnanashram I H.H. Swamiji observed  chaturmasya vratam at the Gokarn Math from July 5,2001 upto Sep. 2, 2001.

Projects carried out

  1. Repairs and Renovation of Samadhi temple
  2. Tamrashasan to Samadhi Room Roof
  3. Rooms for Parama Poojya Swamiji's accommodation and for the retinue

Getting there

 Gokarn is situated 36 km from Kumta, and 25km from Ankola, off the National Highway 17.

Buses ply to and fro from Kumta every hour, the first at 7.00 a.m. and the last at 7.30 p.m.

The nearest Railway Station is Gokarna Road, 6 kms from the town, on the Konkan Railway Mumbai – Mangalore route.

For Visitors

At present, no guest house facilities are available at the Bhandikeri Math, but some accommodation can be made available in near by hotels or lodges. Arrangements for meals can be made if prior intimation is given.

Math Schedule

11.00 a.m. Noon Pooja,

7.00 p.m. Deepa-namaskars,

8.00p.m. Night Pooja

Festivals

:Vanabhojan on ‘Chaitra Krishna Trayodashi’ Punyatithi of H.H. Parijnanashram Swami – I, when idol of Lord Bhavanishanker is taken in a procession to Shri Varadaraj Temple through the Bazaar Street.