Kadri, about 5 kms. from the Mangalore city bus stand, is an ancient religious spot in Mangalore. Among the places of interest in Mangalore, the temple at Kadri stands foremost. This temple dedicated to Lord Manjunatha, dating back to about 1068 A.D., and nestling at the foot of the Kadri hill, draws to Mangalore hundreds of visitors. Some of the images and idols found here are indeed priceless for beauty and antiquity.
Kadri temple has a perennial source of fresh water springing from a cavern which is supposed to be the Holy Ganga itself. To the north of the shrine and on a level higher than the temple are the nine sacred tanks.
On the Kadri hill, by the side of the Manjunatha temple, is Sri Yogeshwar Math of the Nath tradition, founded by Yogi Matsyendranath. Near Sri Yogeshwar Math is the Panch Pandava Cave where, it is believed that the Pandava brothers, during their exile, spent a few days to avoid detection by the Kauravas.
It was in this cave Swami Ramdas (1884-1963), the founder of Anandashram, Kanhangad, Kerala stayed for three months, on completion of his year-long itinerant life all over India in 1924, doing intense sadhana, and it was here, he had the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi. His famous travelogue In Quest of God was written during his sojourn in this cave. For the pilgrims, boarding and lodging facilities are available in Mangalore; they can visit Kadri by city bus or auto-rikshaw pray lord Manjunatha.
The ancient Mangaladevi temple is in Bolar, 3 kms. from Mangalore city bus stand. According to the legend, the name “Mangalore”, originated from the Goddess Mangaladevi who is enshrined in this temple, built in the tenth century in memory of a Rajmata of Malabar of the same name, who is said to have accompanied Yogi Matsyendranath, a prominent Guru of the Nath tradition. While he was on tour in Malabar for propagating his message, the Rajmata became his follower, renounced her worldly life and being initiated in the Nath tradition, and settled down at Bolar. At first there was a small building for her residence. Later a temple was constructed in her memory and an image of the Divine Mother was enshrined in it. This was the origin of the Mangaladevi temple which was re-built by the erstwhile ruler of Mangalore in 968 AD Thereafter the place came to be known asMangalapura, which, in course of time, was changed to Mangalore. The sculpture of Goddess Mangaladevi is perhaps the earliest Durga sculpture in the South Kanara District.