Karkala, located about 35 kms. from the city of Udupi, serves as the headquarters of Karkala Taluk. It lies 52 kms to the north-east of Mangalore is mainly visited for its 45-feet tall statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwara), which is believed to weigh 80 tons. Apart from its colossal size, this statue is also known for its placement on a 300 feet high, huge granite rock. Standing stoic in the vicinity of a picturesque little lake, Lord Bahubali’s statue was commissioned by a Jain king in the year 1432; the act being done to honor the memory of Bahubali or the first Tirthankara. He had renounced the world when he had found himself on the threshold of his most victorious moment.
Visitors also like to explore the delights of 'Chaturmukha Basadi', a Jain 'Basadi' built of granite and located in front of this statue. Here, you will also come across a beautifully carved pillar referred to as Manasthamhha—nearly 50 feet high. This pillar is the tallest and most beautiful of 11 Manasthambhas. Just like Moodabidri, you will also find 18 temples at Karkala. This monolith of Gomateshwara had formed the nucleus for the development of the Basadis and the Jain Math. These places of interest have drawn lovers of art, 3 streams of devotees and the students of history alike.