My mother-in -law had long been insisting that I visit the Kukke Subramanya temple in South Canara.A priest had advised her that this was necessary to get rid of “sarpa dosha” (serpent’s curse) on me. As I was in Mangalore for my wife’s college reunion we made a quick day trip by taxi.
The route is scenic as the road leads up into the western ghats.The road has seen better days and the ride is very bumpy in many places.Maybe taking the daily passenger train from Mangalore would have been a better option.However the western ghats are pretty with winding roads ,areca nut plantations and occasional glimpses of the Netravati river as it hurtles down towards the Arabian sea.
The temple is on the banks of the Kumardhara river .It is dedicated to Lord Subramanya.He is worshipped here as lord of all serpents.Epic has it that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge here under Lord Subramanya when threatened by Garuda.Built in simple South Canara style with the mandatory manglorean tiled roof it is a much venerated pilgrim spot in South India.
Serpa dosha is one of the poojas performed by the devotees .This two day pooja involves rituals similar to those performed during hindu funeral rites.We did not have the luxury of time (and I am lacking in patience )so we left after the darshan.We made offerings of miniature nagas in the temple hundi.And as is with most South Indian temples the laddoos which were given as prasadam were simply delicious.
Another bumpy three hour drive and we were back in Mangalore.Hope the snake gods are smiling down on me .And yes mother-in-law is happy.