Kundapur: Kalavara village, serpent god's abode, exults on Champa Shashti festival

Silvester D’Souza
Daijiworld Media Network - Kundapur (SP)

Kundapur, Dec 9: Kalavara near Koteshwar in the taluk happens to be one of he famous places in coastal Karnataka that are well known as being the worship centres for the serpent god, also known with the name, 'Subrahmanya'.

Kalavara is located five kilometres from Koteshwar on the state highway leading to Halady. The abode of Lord Mahalingeshwara, and Lord Kalinga (Subrahmanya), is very famous in this region as it is known to be a centre where the serpent god is worshiped and the religious vows undertaken reportedly become very fruitful. The temple is over 800 years old, and it is also famously known as 'speaking serpent god'.

Many things are in common between Kalavara and Subrahmanya. In Subrahmanya, the ancient temple dedicated to the serpent god is located in the middle of a rivulet surrounded by forests. In Kalavara, the temple is surrounded by forest. In Subrahmanya, offerings and puja are directed at the anthill and in Kalavara too religious services are offered to the anthill that is backed by the story that it was formed in a well. This is the only centre of worship for the serpent god where the presiding deity is known with the name, 'Kalinga'. The place got its name, Kalavara, because of it being the place dedicated to Kalinga. It is believed that this temple is as powerful as that of Subrahmanya as a part of the power flowed here from Subrahmanya. It is said that people who are unable to go to Subrahmanya to meet their religious vows or offer services can meet their commitments here. The path through which the power flowed here is always found to be wet with fountains of water.

A power centre known as 'Chitrakoota' is located near the stone forms of the serpent god here. The idols found here are unique which cannot be seen elsewhere. Even though various events are celebrated here, Hiri Shashti (Champa Shashti) and Kiri Shashti (Skanda Shashti) are very famous. It is a common sight to see serpents on the day of Shasti celebrations here. The serpents which appear get seated on the decorated idol for a few minutes before disappearing. In the base anthill too there are serpents which can be seen, but they do not harm anyone. Devotees who pray to the god here to solve their health problems like diseases, not having children, complications on land, removing the Nagadosha etc and take religious vows, come here to perform the services.

Meeting the religious vows happens to be the unique feature of the Hiri and Kiri Shashti here. In addition, one can offer coconuts with fruits, Tulabhara service, rolling the body all along the path at the temple are also offered. People selling silverware in different shapes and sizes can be seen sitting by the roadside. When the devotees explain about the vows they have undertaken, these vendors immediately pick the pieces of silver shaped for the particular problem for a price. The people hold these pieces in hand, turn their hands around and then offer the pieces into the donation boxes. It is said that the problems and ailments disappear after the vows are met.

The temple was renovated in 2019 by spending about three and half crore rupees. Sanctum sanctorum, Theertha Mantap etc have been built now. The sculptors from Kerala had been invited here to carve the stones in accordance with the religious strictures.





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Title: Kundapur: Kalavara village, serpent god's abode, exults on Champa Shashti festival

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