History Of Kanipura:

Kerala is the land of god. If one makes a travel through our Kerala, we find so many Temples. Adoor, Madhur, Kavu, Kaniyara are the four important Temples of Kasargod taluk which are considered as the four religious pillars of Kumble Seeme (Region). Out of the above Adoor & Madhur are the 'Ishwara Kshethras' (Temples), Kavu & Kaniyara are the Shri Krishna Temples. The management of these four Temples are being bested in Raja of Mayppady. This royal family has maintained these Temples through centuries past. The Kumble Seeme was bounded by Payswini River and Adoor hill ranges on the South and Siriya River in the North; and it extended from the Sea on the West side up to the borders of Sullya Magane in South Canara district in the Eastern side. One should know that, no religious or any important ceremonies or socio-religious functions in any family within the above said area commence even nowadays without an invocation and an offerings of any kind to the above said four Temples.


Kaniyara is one of the most important Temples of the taluk. This Temple is familiarly called as Kanipura or Kanwapura. This Temples is situated at Kumble town which is about 11 Kilometers away towards North from Kasargod town. This Temple has got very ancient history. It is said that, the royal Seat of raja of Kumble Seeme was originally situated at this place and subsequently it was shifted to Mayppady. The pratishta of the holy Deity - Shri Bala Gopala Krishna in this Temple was done by Shri Kanwa Maharshi from whom the name of this place Kanwapura, Kanipura, Kaniyara was derived. 


It is stated that this Temple has got the sanctity of over three Yugas of Treta, Dwapara and Kali Yug. The legendary Stala-purana of this Temple reveals that, Prabhu Shri Rama, the Yuvraja of Ayodhya during his Vanavasa period had come to the place where Maharshi Kanwa was doing Dhyana, and Kanwa had treated him well, fully knowing that Shri Rama is one of the Avatara of Lord Maha Vishnu. Thereafter, when Kanwa put forward his desire to perform Abishekam to Shri Rama, later had rejected the prayer by saying that he would accept if he come in that way while returning to Ayodhya, after smashing the Rakkasa vamsha at Lanka. Kanwa had preserved the Abisheka jala (holy water) in a Kumbha (pot) which was intended to perform Abishekam to Shri Rama. Thereafter, the Rakkasas were smashed by Shri Rama and to save the life of his brother Bharatha; Shri Rama returns to Ayodhya in Pushpaka Vimana (a helicopter of those days which was preserved by Ravana) and could not approach Kanwa Maharshi. Thereafter Treta yuga was passed over and Dwapara Yuga was started and when, at the end of Dwapara Yuga all the tapaswis started to get the Darshana of Lord Shri Krishna at Dwaraka and along with them Kanwa Maharshi also visited Dwaraka, and had the occasion to recollect the memory of Lord Krishna about his earlier Avatara and prayed that, since he lost the opportunity of performing Abisheka to Shri Rama, he wish to perform it to Shri Krishna who is the Avatara of Lord Maha Vishnu. But, by rejecting once again the prayer of Kanwa Maharshi, Shri Krishna told that, he would give his own statue of Bala Krishna to him which was earlier handed over by him to his foster mother Yashoda Devi long ago, at the time when he was being shifted his stay from Nanda-Gokula to Mathura. Shri Krishna ordered Kanwa Maharshi to install the Bala Krishna statue at the most eminent place of the Bhumandala. Lord Krishna gave reason for his order by stating that, as the power of Dharma (Justice) would be diminished in the future due to Kali Yuga mahime, Shri Krishna could not make further Avatara as before, and therefore, he would stay inside the Bala Krishna statue, and will protect the Dharma.


Treating this as his holy duty, Maharshi Kanwa started his yatra through out the land and found that in one place there was miraculous experience. He came to know that the name of that particular place is ‘Vasuki Ghartha’ where he installed that statue with extreme happiness. Thus, it has become the ‘Kanwa Prathishte’. Thereafter, Maharshi Kanwa decided to accomplish his desire by performing Abisheka to the Bala Krishna Idol and hence he immediately brought that Kumbha (Pot) in which the mantrodaka (the water meant for Abisheka) was preserved earlier and finally performed Abisheka to the Bala Krishna Deity. It is told that the holy water which toughed the Deity of Bala Krishna become ‘Akshaya’, and followed out a stream and grew in to a river, which is called as ‘Kumbha Hole’ (River from the pot). The said Kumbha Hole (also known as Kumbhini) ultimately joined the Western Sea within a short distance from this Temple. The place situated by the side of that Kumbha Hole, become ‘Kumbale’ (Kumble), and since the pratishta of the Deity was done by Kanwa Maharshi; the Temple is called as ‘Kanwapura’, ‘Kanipura’ and also as ‘Kaniyara’ (in local language).


Thereafter, in Kali Yuga some where in recent century Raja Jayasimha ruled over Kumbale Seeme, his sister Yashoda didn’t begotten and as per the elders instructions, he started Yathra along with his sister and when he came to the place where Kanwa maharshi installed the Deity, they experienced special feelings and then as per his prayer the Deity which was in invisible state become visible to them. Thereafter, by knowing the sanctity of this place, Raja Jayasimha constructed a Temple to the Deity and made arrangement for the daily pooja to the same. Thereafter, Yashoda become pregnant and Lord Bala Krishna has become the family Deity of Raja Jayasimha. The Lord is therefore called as ‘Santhana Gopala Krishna’.


Thus, the Temple at Kanwapura has the history of three Yugas. The Deity installed in this Temple is most beautiful necked image of Bala Gopala Krishna in jet black granite stone and has height of about 2 to 2.5 feet. The whole image is of a boy, who holds in both hands the ‘Navaneetha’ (butter). The Deity extended his both hands in frontward. Therefore he is also called ‘Benne Krishna’ (Krishna who loves butter very much). The Deity is said to be the Idol worshipped by Yashoda Devi, the foster mother of Shri Krishna, in Nanda-Gokula on Dwapara Yuga.