Moodappa Seve at Nellitheertha

This past weekend (Feb 28 and Mar 1), a very special and rare seve was offered to Lord Mahaganapati at the Nellitheertha Somanatheshwara Cave Temple. The seve is called as “Moodappa Seve” or “Apoopa Seve”. Just like Laksharchane where thousands of flowers are offered, this seve consisted of offering thousands and thousands of “Appa”, a sweet dish popular in Dakshina Kannada. “Appa” is equivalent to the Modaka offered in other regions. 

 

Mahaganapati
Mahaganapati

Since Ganapati is believed to like Modakas a lot, the entire idol of Ganapati is covered (till the nose) with Appas and other dishes. Such a rare seve happens seldom. One famous temple where such a seve happens regularly is the Madhur Ganapati temple in Kasaragod.

In Nellitheertha, the entire ceremony was spread over two days. It started on Day 1 with a prarthana and Punyahavana for purification of the ingredients to be used in preparing the dishes.

 

 

Prarthana
Prarthana
Punyahavana
Punyahavana

Subsequently, during the day, a grand Ganapati Homam and Kalashabhishekas (Panchavimshati – 25) were performed to both Lord Somanatha and Mahaganapati.

 

Kalashas
Kalashas
Start of Ganapati Homam
Start of Ganapati Homam

Meanwhile, the preparation of the “Appas” started. It was a overwhelming sight to see thousands and thousands of sweets being prepared. The entire team of cooks was taking extreme care and interest in preparing the dishes. Several baskets full of dishes were ready by evening.

 

Appa preparation
Appa preparation
Modakas ready!
Modakas ready!

At the same time, the Ganapati Gudi was also getting decked up.

 

Preparation
Preparation

In the evening, there was a Bharatanatyam dance program by Kum Megha Kakkillaya, offered as a service to the temple. It was an excellent program and Kum Megha’s performance was stunning.

 

Bharatanatya
Bharatanatya
Bharatanatya Pose
Bharatanatya Pose

In preparation for the Moodappa Seve, a special “Ranga Puje” was held for both Mahaganapati and Lord Somanatha in the evening. The Ranga Puje is, once again, a unique offering prevalent in Dakshina Kannada region.

 

Ganapati Ranga Puje
Ganapati Ranga Puje
Ranga Puje
Ranga Puje

Next, the idol of Mahaganapati was ‘readied’ for the Seve by cleaning, etc and the various dishes were brought in front of the Gudi. The whole ritual was conducted by Sri Baggamajalu Subramanya Tantri and his team.

 

Appas being brought
Appas being brought

 

Just before the Seve commenced
Just before the Seve commenced

After that the seve began. It took more than an hour for the team of Archakas to fill the entire Gudi of Mahaganapati with the Appas and other dishes. The offerings were poured in so as to cover the idol, except for the face! It was a beautiful sight to see. 

 

Seve in progress
Seve in progress
Idol fully covered
Idol fully covered

It was getting close to midnight when the entire offerings were put in. The idol was then covered with silk clothes, dry fruits, flowers and other things. Mahaganapati was ‘resting’! and the entire temple was closed. Silence all around as Ganapati was in ‘Shayana’.

 

Shayana
Shayana

The ceremony on day 2 started early – at around 6:45AM. It began with the Kavatodghatana (door opening ceremony). Rituals were conducted to ‘wake’ Mahaganapati up from the sleep and the various offerings were removed one by one.

 

Arati before opening
Arati before opening

 

Opening ceremony
Opening ceremony
Modakas being removed
Modakas being removed

Finally, a Panchamruta Abhisheka was performed for Mahaganapati. In the afternoon, a Maha Puje was conducted followed by Mantrakshate ceremony signalling the successful end of the Moodappa Seve.

 

Panchamruta Abhisheka
Panchamruta Abhisheka
Mahaganapati
Mahaganapati

It was a thrilling experience to be part of this seve. Truly, I had never seen anything like this before. More photos of this event can be seen here.

|| Om Sri Mahaganapataye Namaha Om ||

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s