Felicitation ceremony at Nellitheertha

Recently, the annual temple festival was conducted at Nellitheertha. The 5 day festival went off very well and thousands of devotees attended the festivities. One of the key highlights of this year’s festival was the felicitation held for Sri Subramanya Tantri, the “tantri” for our temple.

Tantris are a special class of Brahmins revered in Tulu Nadu. They are a small sect of Brahmins who hold the rights to perform/conduct Jaatres or annual festivals in temples. In addition, all the major religious events in the temple are conducted under their supervision. Tantris are extremely well versed in Agama Shastras and therefore know all the correct rituals and mantras in conducting temple worship. During the annual festival, the chief priest of the temple takes a backseat and works under the supervision/guidance of the Tantri.

Over hundreds of years, the families of Tantris has branched out and consequently, they take turns in every temple. Nellitheertha has always come under the supervision of the Tantris from “Yedapadavu” which is a small town about 10kms from the village. It is said that as soon as Lord Parashurama created the Western coast (Parashurama Kshetra), the Yedapadavu tantris were the first to hold the Kamandala!!

Sri Subramanya Tantri is one of the Tantris from the Yedapadavu clan and has been coming to our temple for over 30 years. Under his expert guidance, the temple has progressed immensely and is today considered one of the must-see places of Tulu Nadu. We decided to therefore hold a small ceremony to honor this great Guru!

 

Sri Subramanya Tantri and his wife
Smt & Sri Subramanya Tantri (my mother standing beside)
Sanmana Sabha (my dad on extreme left)
Sanmana Sabha (my dad on extreme left)

The chief administrator of the Ambalpadi Janardana temple, Sri Vijay Ballal, presided over the function. Sri Sri Lakshmi Narayana Asranna, the chief priest of Sri Kateel Durga Parameshwari temple, Sri Bhuvanabhirama Udupa, Sri Bhujanga Shetty and other dignitaries were present at the ocassion.

 

Sri Baggamajalu Subramanya Tantri
Sri Baggamajalu Subramanya Tantri

 

Sri NVGK Bhat reading the certificate
Sri NVGK Bhat reading the certificate

Yours truly got to propose the vote of thanks in the end!

 

Vote of Thanks
Vote of Thanks
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Karthika Deepotsava at Nellitheertha

 

A couple of weeks ago, the month of Karthika was celebrated at the Nellitheertha temple. A “deepotsava” was held and thousands of lamps were lit.

 

Temple entrance
Temple entrance

 

Hundreds of lamps
Hundreds of lamps

Our scriptures mention that lighting lamps in the month of Karthika is extremely auspicious. Throughout India, people make it a point to light at least a couple of additional lamps during the entire month.

 

Ranga Puje
Ranga Puje

 

Lamps
Lamps

A Ranga Puje was held on the ocassion. Later in the evening, a “Bali Utsava’ was also conducted for Lord Somanatheshwara.

 

Bali
Bali
Bali suttu
Bali suttu

Posaral – Temples of Tulu Nadu

Posaral is another beautiful, sleepy little village on the border of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. It has an extremely old temple of Lord Mahalingeshwara and Mahaganapati. The temple was renovated in 2006 and we found that it has all the basic infrastructure. 

The local priest informed us that there is recorded evidence of the temple having existed more than 1200 years ago.

We (me and my cousin Vasu) got hold of a book published by the locals about 2 years ago. It mentions the existence of a pillar in the village dating back to the 12th century in which the chieftain of Barkur has recorded his gifting of the village to some one from this place.

 

Name: Sri Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapati Devasthana.

Location: Posaral, Karkala Taluk.

Main deities: Mahalingeshwara, Mahaganapati, Nagas, Brahma.

Bhutas: Panjurli

The temple is located on the banks of the river Shambhavi. Another unique thing about this temple is that there are some very antique carvings on the pillars of the Theertha Mantap.

Specialities: The speciality of this temple is that the locals believe that the Lord here is very pleased with tender coconut abhishekam. So it is a custom to offer the Lord a few tender coconuts if one’s wishes (as requested to the Lord) comes true.

Address: Sri Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapati Devasthana, Saccharipete, Mundkur village, Karkala Taluk, Udupi – 576128.

Contact: By snail mail.

How to get there: From Mangalore, reach Mulki and then turn right towards Kinnigoli. After Kinnigoli, reach Moorukaveri and turn left towards Belmann. Reach Jaarikatte and turn right. You will find an arch to Posaral on the right side after about 2kms.

More photos.

Yelinje – Temples of Tulu Nadu

Yelinje was the first temple I visited as part of my project. This is a small but beautiful temple located near Kinnigoli, about 30kms from Mangalore. Yelinje has a Lakshmi Janardana temple. The temple also has a Mahaganapati idol. Here is some information on the temple.

 

 

Name: Sri Lakshmi Janardana Mahaganapati Devasthana.

Location: Yelinje, Mangalore Taluk.

Main deities: Lakshmi Janardana, Mahaganapati, Nagas.

Bhutas: Panjurli, Rakteshwari

 

Specialities: A Bavali Dhama (bat colony) right next to the temple. Hundreds of bats are perched on a few huge trees and survive on the temple food. The bats do not harm anyone.

 

 

Address: Sri Lakshmi Janardana Mahaganapati Devasthana, Yelinje, Mangalore Taluk – 574 141.

Contact: 0824-295063

How to get there: From Mangalore, reach Mulki and then turn right towards Kinnigoli. After Kinnigoli, reach Moorukaveri and turn left towards Belmann. Yelinje is located about 5 kms from here.

Annual festival: From Magha masa, Shukla paksha, shashthi till dashami (typically in February).

Misc: The temple was renovated in 2003 and is in reasonably good shape now. The temple area is very serene and is located amidst lush greenery. The drive from Moorukaveri to Yelinje is really enjoyeable.

Panchamruta Abhisheka at Nellitheertha

Recently, the 5th anniversary of the Sri Jabali Sannidhana was held at Nellitheertha. On this ocassion, Panchamruta Abhisheka (milk, curds, ghee, honey and sugar) was performed for a week to all the dieties.

I happened to attend the festivities on the concluding day. It is believed that the abhisheka consisting of the five items brings back color to the idols of the dieties.

According to the custom, whenever Panchamruta Abhisheka is performed, special Arathis and offerings also must be made. When I asked Sri Subraya Bhat why this was so, his reply was “When you take an oil bath, don’t you feel more tired and desire for some special food and a nap. Its the same here” 🙂

There were hundreds of people who attended the festivities in the evening. An Yakshagana by children was also performed on this ocassion.

Sode Trivikrama Temple

It is well known that the life and times of Sri Vadiraja Swamy was full of miraculous and unbelievable events. One such event is associated with the construction of the Trivikrama Temple at Sode.

The ruler of Swadi (as Sode was known then) requested Sri Vadiraja Swamy to construct a temple as there existed no Vishnu temple at that place. Sri Vadiraja Swamy asked the king to start construction of a temple and gave him the necessary instructions. When people questioned Swamiji on the idol, he told them that the idol of Sri Trivikrama would come to Sode from Uttara Badari (in the Himalayas). He told them that the idol is being worshipped by Sri Madhvacharya and the same was seen by him when he visited him and Sri Vyasa in Badari.

It is believed that the idol was brought to Sode by Sri Bhutaraja. Bhutaraja started bringing the entire Garbha Gudi (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple from Badari. The structure is in the form of a stone chariot. On the way, he is supposed to have been stopped by a demon. Sri Bhutaraja used one of the wheels of the stone chariot to destroy the demon and made it on time to Sode. Even today, one can find that the stone chariot structure housing the idol in the temple has just three wheels. Devotees visiting Sode must definitely visit this temple and observe the unique stone chariot and the three wheels. I believe there is just one other temple (somewhere in Tamil Nadu) where the idol is placed in a chariot like structure.

Another interesting story associated with this temple has to do with the huge pillar (known as Garuda Kambha) in front. This pillar is at least 30-40 feet long and when observed from a distance, it appears tilted towards one side. This pillar was established by Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha, the successor of Sri Vadiraja Swamy. The installation of the pillar kept failing for some unknown reason. The pillar just could not stand erect. People are believed to have tried to install this for several days and failed. One night, Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha had a dream and Sri Vadiraja Swamy told him to carve his picture on one side of the pillar. He also instructed him that the picture should be that of him being seated on a Hamsa (swan). Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha got this done the next day and lo and behold, the pillar stood firm.

Pillar in front of the temple

To this day, there has been no problem with the pillar. Ensure you give this pillar a close inspection and observe the carvings on the same.

Kukke Subramanya Temple – Accomodation and Travel

I see that there are quite a few hits to my blog on Kukke Subramanya Temple. Of course, most people get to the page wanting to know how to reach Kukke and where to stay. Which means my writeup is a completely useless article for them. So, here I go in my attempt to be of some use to the devotees of Kukke Subramanya.

Accomodation: There are quite a few guest houses at Kukke. Ashlesha, Karthikeya, Kumarakrupa and Skandakrupa are few of them. Courtesy this site, the phone number for booking rooms is 281224 or 281400. The STD code for Kukke is 08257. There is another lodge called as the Sriniketana lodge which is also pretty reasonable. I do not have the number but the folks from the other lodges should be able to provide the same.

Travel: The road through Shiradi ghats and through Charmadi ghats (through Mysore-Madikeri-Puttur) are both horrible. And I can’t see them being repaired any time soon. Traveling on one’s own vehicle could be a nightmare. The best option, according to, is to take a KSRTC Rajahamsa bus from Bangalore overnight. Its really convenient. Plus you can book two way tickets online.

In case you are not able to book accomodation and have to reach Kukke (with family), the better thing to do would be to land up in Dharmasthala and take an accomodation there. There are multiple guest houses available there and chances of obtaining one are brighter. Dharmasthala to Kukke is about 60KMs and you can cover it in less than 2 hours plus there are lots of public transport buses available.

P.S: I am now even more convinced about what I wrote a few days ago over here. Two weeks ago, Nitin and I landed up in Kukke. Nitin wanted to go there and I was his guide 🙂 Hoovina jothe naaru swarga serithu!

Route

From Bangalore :- Bangalore – Nelamangala – Kunigal – Chennarayapatna – Hassan – Sakleshpura – Gundya Junction – (left turn on NH48) – Subramanya. Approximate distance is 280kms. Road quality is (a) excellent till Sakleshpura, (b) bad then onwards.

From Mysore :- Mysore – Hunsur – Periyapatna – Kushalnagara – Madikeri – Sampaje – Puttur – Subramanya. Approximate distance is 220kms. Road quality is average.

Update:  As of March/April 2008, the Shiradi Ghats section between Sakleshapura and Gundya (near Kukke) has significantly improved. Work is progressing at a rapid rate. Out of the 45kms, almost 30kms is very good. You will have to travel a little slow in the remaining 15kms. I managed it in a Honda City which has one of the lowest ground clearances. So you can imagine!

Update: See some photos of the road and Shiradi ghats as of July 2008

Update (January 2009):

Found this excellent website with complete and useful information on the temple. Click here.

Udupi (contd – 3)

  • Udupi is also famous for a host of other things, chief among them is its contribution to the world of cuisine.
  • It is said that Udupi is the birthplace of Masala Dosa.
  • The Mangalore Bonda or “Goli Baje” available at Mitra Samaja, Car Street, Udupi is truly amazing.
  • Udupi hotels are also world famous for their taste and hospitality.