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india coastal circuit

india coastal circuit

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Published by ANK SHRINIVAASAN

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Published by: ANK SHRINIVAASAN on Sep 28, 2008
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02/18/2013

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COASTAL CIRCUITOf Sea Shells & Sand Castles
Agumbe is one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats, situated in-between Shimoga& Dakshina Kannada Districts. To enjoy the beauty of the Western Ghats& a stretch of the Arabian Sea, one has to reach the peak of Agumbemaneuvering along the 14 steep hairpin bends.The highlight of this place is to experience the delightful Sunset, whichgets reflected from the Arabian Sea onto the Horizon. Agumbe is thehome of the Lion Tailed Black Macaque (Monkey) and Yellow RingedKraite (an endangered species of snakes).This place is of religious interest in the interiors of Dakshina Kannada. An outstandingexample of religious and cultural tolerance where charity is a way of life, extended to allwithout discrimination. Lord Manjunatha temple is a famous pilgrim center. SriDharmasthala, which is one of the sacred places in South India, is well known to all pious people. It is situated in the village of Dharmasthala, in Beltangady Taluk of South Canaradistrict.The History of this place says that, One-day the guardian angels of Dharma assumedhuman forms & riding on horse & elephant, with their retinue in regal pomp & divineglory came to Nelyadibeedu. Ammudevi Ballathi & her husband received the visitorswith joy & respect. The angels were so pleased with the welcome & charities that theysaid "Pergade (Pergade-Heggade) we are attracted by your pious conduct & charities.Offer this Nelyadi Beedu to us & build another house for yourself nearby & worship us inthis Beedu & we will see that your wealth & charity be unbounded." Thus they blessed &vanished. It was then that Pergade & his wife were aware that their guests were notmortal beings but divine visitors who had chosen to test them. From that day they began propitiating them by putting up a swing cot & burning lamps & incense in their NelyadiBeedu. They built a separate residence for themselves nearby.Thereafter the divinities appeared to the couple in their dreams & commanded thus "Weare powerful Daivas we are Kalarahu, Kalarkai, Kumarswamy & Kanyakumari, you must build separate Shrines for us at places pointed out by us. You must hold festivals atappointed times, you must choose for us two mediums of Nobel birth so that we mayspeak our will to them. Our commands will be carried out vassal Annappa. You mustappoint four worthy persons, to help you & see that rituals are strictly observed. We shallreward you & your posterity with health, wealth & longevity so long as you worship uswith faith & devotion. We shall spread our glory far & wide & get you abundance of offerings. Therefore see that Dana-Dharma is extended to all equally at all times. Weshall back your wishes with support, your word with fulfillment & crown all your effortswith success. Should you act against this behest you shall suffer. Don't be afraid we will protect, be peaceful." So, directed by those spiritually beings that appeared in theeffulgent glory Birmanna Pergade & Ammu Devi Ballalthi were overjoyed. They lost notime to build shrines, install idols of Dharma Daivas & hold Utsava, Parva & Nadavali ascommanded.Pergade invited Brahmins for festive offerings, but they refused to come unless Godswere worshipped along with Daivas, Whilst Pergade was grieving over this problem theDharmadevathas sent their vassal Annappa to bring from Kadri the Lingam of SriManjunatha & installed it at the spot in the temple where it now stands. Manjula means
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 pleasing or beautiful, Natha means Lord. Pergade built a temple there on the right side of the shrine of Dharma Daivas where Annappa installed the Lingam, established the performance of the daily poojas & the rituals & the festivals in a befitting manner. Theshrine of Annappa faces the Lingam of Sri Manjunatha. Thus in Kuduma, SriChandranatha, Sri Manjunatha & four Daivas & Annappa Daiva came to be worshippedsimultaneously at different shrines with common festivals. In Nelyadi Beedu, Heggadealone worships his ancestors & the four Daivas.In the midst of the Western Ghats, surrounded by greenery Goddess Annapoorneshwarimakes Horanadu her home. The name of the goddess means "Feeding one & all”, like theever giving & loving mother. The specialty of this temple is that everybody who visitsthis shrine is provided with food & place to sleep or rest.During the early part of Kaliyuga, the good earth was stricken by famine and pestilence.It did not rain for years. Even Brahmins were constrained to eat meat and the people wereon the verge of becoming cannibals.Jabali, the great sage was disturbed in his 'Tapas' by these troubles. Through his 'GnanaDrishti' he realized the root cause of all this. He found that Arunasura the 'rakshasa' whoescaped from death and fled when Goddess Durga slew Shambasura had increased hislife span by following the teachings of his Guru. He had made the people stop all yagasand yajnas as revenge against the 'devas', and this has resulted in drought and scarcity for years.Moved by compassion, Jabali desired to alleviate man's sufferings and decided to perform a yajna to placate the devas. He approached Devendra in haven with a request to permit him to take Kamadhenu for the ritual. Devendra informed Jabali that Kamadhenuwas not available but he could take his daughter Nandini instead. Jabali then went to Nandini who, however refused to accompany him to the sinful earth, which hadnourished such evil beings as Ravana and Karthivirya. Jabali countered this by sayingthat the same earth also produced such saintly beings as Ahalya. Nandini, however, was firm in her refusal. Jabali, in his anger, cursed that she be born asa river on earth. Nandini prayed for mercy. Relenting, Jabali advised her to pray toGoddess Durga to redeem her from the curse, Nandini appealed to Goddess Durga whoappeared to her and informed her that though Nandini would be born as a river infulfillment of the curse she, Durga, would be born as Nandini's daughter at the center of the river, and in the process, Nandini would attain purification. On Magha ShuddaPoornima, Nandini emerged as a river from Kanakagiri Jabali performed his yajna. Thedevas were pleased and the earth was once again green and smiling.When Arunasura realized that earth was flourishing once again, his anger knew no bounds. He sat in tapas and acquired a boon from Brahma that he would not suffer deathfrom any two legged or four legged creature or any destructive weapon. Brahma also blessed him with Gayatri Mantra, assuring him that as long as he recited the mantra hewould be secured from death. Blessed with these powers, Arunasura defeated the devasand conquered heaven. In their alarm, the devas implored Goddess Durga for help. Durgasuggested that they should somehow prevent him from reciting the mantra and then shewould find a way of destroying him. The devas sent Purohit Bruhaspathi to Arunasura,Bruhaspathi praised Arunasura's powers and questioned the necessity of his reciting amantra to another god. When he himself had risen to the eminence of a god by his ownexploits. Flattered by this praise. Arunasura gave up reciting the provocative mantra.
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One day Goddess appeared in Arunasura's garden as a beautiful woman. Seeing thischarming apparition, Arunasura inflamed with desire, approached her. The charming beauty reminded him that she was the same woman who had killed Shambasura and fromwhom Arunasura had escaped death. Conscious of and confident in his newly acquired powers, he rushed forward, sword in hand, to slay her. She disappeared into a stone.Arunasura slashed the stone with the sword, and then a vast swarm of bees emerged fromthe stone and stung him.The queen of bees 'Ugra Bramai' stung him repeatedly till his last breath. Devas led byJabali performed abhishekam with tender coconut water and requested the Ugra Bramarito bless the world with her 'Soumya Roopa' Goddess Durga then appeared in her 'SoumyaRoopa' in middle of the river, where present structure of the temple imparts its glory tothe world. 'Kati' being the word which means 'center' (midway between the 'Kanakagiri'the place where the river was born, and the end, Pravanje, where the river joins the sea)and 'lla' means area. Thus the place is called 'Kati + lla' Kateel.A small peaceful town situated 17 Kms from Moodabidri; Karkala is a center of effervescent activity where dexterity & commitment combine to take an unusual form.One can see young zealous sculptors engraving beautiful figures and bringing stones tolife.It also has a huge Chaturmukha Basti. In recent years Ranjal Gopal Sharma, a famoussculptor, has left behind a living tradition of the art of engraving. Statues made here areappreciated over the world & exported to Japan.Karkala also has a massive 12.8 m monolithic Gomateshwara and the St LawrenceChurch which draw thousands of devotees from all communities.Kukke Subramanya is on the bank of river Dhara. According to Hindu Mythology LordKumaraswamy came to this place after killing the demon rulers Taraka,Shoorapadmasura and others in a war; and Lord washed his Shakti Ayudha (a battle-axein the shape of a bayonet) in this river. From this onwards the river is famous asKumaradhara. After his battle with the demons Lord Kumaraswamy came to the top of Kumara Parvatha along with his brothers Lord Ganesha, Veerabahu and other aides. LordIndra along with other Gods received him; pleased by the success of the war Indra prayedthe Lord to be kind enough to marry his daughter Devasena.This was agreed upon courteously and the marriage took place on the banks of Kumaradhara on 'Margashira Shudda Shashti'. Lord Kumaraswamy also gave darshan toVasuki the head of nagas, who was making a penance here. Vasuki prayed to the Lord tostay along with him permanently at this place and the Lord with the boon.From that time it is believed that the Lord has made his spiritual presence in this shrinealong with his wife Devasena and Vasuki. Every year a famous car festival is being heldhere on 'Margashira Shuddha Shashti' with special poojas to the Lord.About approx. 10 Kms from Udupi is Malpe. An ideal picnic spot with its virgin beach.The endless stretch of golden sand, graciously swaying palm trees, the clear blue sky;gurgle of the sea… all set the perfect mood for the unforgettable holiday here.St. Mary's Island, another delightful get away is only a boat-ride away across Malpe, hereone can find a unique formation of volcanic rocks which are vertical hexagonal rocks.The whole island is a big collection of these rocks in different sizes.Purusha and Prakriti are twin aspects of Divine glory manifest in the universe Prakriti hasan existence, like Purusha, through ephemeral. The latter appeals to some, while the
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