Vidyarambham or Aksharabhyasam in Kollur Mookambika Temple
Vidyarambham is the occassion when young children are introduced into the world of alphabets or letters as they take their first step into the world of knowledge. The traditional ceremony of Vidyarambham (Vidya means "knowledge" , arambham means "beginning') is held on Vijayadashami (the last day of Navaratri) day. Initiation into the world of alphabets usually begins with the writing of the mantra "Om hari sri ganapataye namah" Hari refers to the Lord, sri, to prosperity. Initially, the mantra is written on sand or in a tray of rice grains. Then, the master/ teacher/ elder would write the mantra on the child's tongue with gold.
Writing on sand denotes practice. Writing on grains denotes the acquisition of knowledge, which leads to prosperity. Writing on the tongue with gold invokes the grace of the Goddess of Learning; Saraswati, by which one attains the wealth of true knowledge.
The Kollur Mookambika temple is very famous and auspicious for this ceremony as Kollur is the abode of Goddess Saraswathi. It is considered highly fortunate if a child is able to have their Vidyarambham through pandits and pujaris at this sacred temple. The temple on their part has elaborate arrangements for the ceremony.
Vidyarambham on Vijayadashami day during Navaratri day is highly auspicious in Kollur but will be a crowded affair. The temple also has Vidyarambham done every day which many people opt for. You will have to obtain the ticket by paying Rs 100 at the temple counter and this pooja is called Vidyaramba Kanike. Vidyarambam pooja is performed between 6:45am to 1:00 pm daily at the Saraswati mandapa.
If you are traveling from far off places, it is better to reach the previous evening and stay in the many hotels/ lodges around the temple.
TO REACH KOLLUR
Kollur is around 36 km from Kundapur, the taluk head quarters and 135 km from Mangalore. From Mangalore, private bus operators and state government transport services operate to Kollur on a high frequency. Kollur is also connected to many major South Indian cities directly.
The railway station at Udupi falls on the Konkan Railway network and there are trains to most major cities of the state. From Upudi, you can reach Mookambika temple by bus or by taxi easily. You can also reach Mangalore railway station and then a bus to Kollur. Udupi is 70 km away from Kollur.
The nearest airport is the Mangalore airport located at Bajpe, 60 km away from Udupi. There are flights daily from Mumbai, Bangalore and from other parts of India.