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Nellitheertha Somanatheshwara Cave temple
The Nellitheertha Somanatheshwara Cave temple is one of the sacred places in Dakshina Kannada district.
The most interesting feature of Nellitheertha is a cave temple which is situated to the right of the temple. The cave is about 300 to 400 meters long and one needs to move slowly on ones knees to reach the inside of the cave. Inside the cave, one can find a beautiful lake and a Shiva Linga. The history of the temple dates back to 1487.
Inside the cave, water drops keep dripping down in the shape of gooseberries (namla) to form the lake and hence the name Nelli (Amla) Theertha (holy water).
It is believed that Jabali Maharshi (Sage) use to perform penance in the cave to appease Goddess Durga Parameshwari. Goddess Durga Parameshwari appeared before Jabali Maharshi and assured that Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Durga herself would grace the region and that there would be temples to worship all three of them in the locality.
Another unique feature of this cave is that it is closed for nearly 6 months a year. The cave is open only between October and April. There are plenty of animals inside the cave. The cave houses snakes of all varieties, scorpions, porcupines and huge number of bats. Troubling or hurting the animals inside the cave is strictly prohibited.
Sri Somanatheshwara Cave Temple
Sri Kshetra Nellitheertha
Neerude Post, Kompadavu Village
Dakshina Kannada District,
Pin code: 570063
Distance from Nellitheertha
Kateel: 8 km (via Ekkaru - Neerude)
Bangalore: 375 km
How to get there
Nearest Airport: Mangalore
Nearest Railhead: Mangalore
Road: Nellitheertha can be approached by several routes.
- From Mangalore via Gurupura, Kaikamba and Yedapadavu on Moodbidri road.
- Reach Bajpe from Mangalore and take the route to Kathelsaar. Continue on the same road to reach Nellitheertha.
- Take a deviation at B C Road to reach Nellitheertha via Polali and Kaikamba.
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