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Bhootaradhane, worship of demi-gods is one of the distinct cultures of the coastal region. Though rituals vary from region to region, the people’s dedication coupled with fear is omnipresent.
In such a celebration that was held near Idiyadka in Perla near Kasargod, the devotees expressed their fervour to Vishnumurthy Daiva, worshipped as saviour of the land, as they ran over a heap of burning charcoal neglecting the danger, known as kende seve in local parlance as part of Ottekola. What seems more miraculous is that these religious come out unscathed from rage of blazing coal in winter night.
Lord Vishnumurthy, worshipped as god elsewhere here has been bestowed the place of a demi-god. With folk tales that depict the miracles of demi-god being famous in the region, the people have accorded powerful status to Vishnumurthy, believing that dedicated offering pleases him while non-commitment invites his wrath.
The locals said that for many years Ottekola was not offered and that they observed several families in surrounding areas were afflicted with problems. Owing to this, in 2008, local residents along with the families affected renovated the temple and restarted offering. The temple, believed to be 800 years old attracts people from all over.
Though the offering sends shivers down the viewers, for the people involved in the act, it is all about faith. As per the tradition of the festival, a mount of wood is set to fire in the morning, which reduces into heap of burning charcoal towards evening welcoming the ardent devotees. Managing trust of the temple now has decided to hold the festival biannually.
Along with Vishnumurthy, demi-goddess Ullalthi, a form of Goddess Durga is also worshipped here, hence the name Durgaparameshwari Vishnumurthy Daivasthana. But unlike the demi-god, Ullalthi is offered a traditional puja.