By Shobha Rao Smilemaker
Aug 6: As a child, I remember being in awe of my father as he scolded the labourers on his visit to our ancestral property at Peruvar village. My grandfather's big home was the only one that i know that had two separate kitchens for his two wives! thirty years ago later, amidst heavy rain, lots of new houses, slushy muddy paths and immense greenery, i searched a lot and finally found the same old Peruvar property on the auspicious Varamahalaxmi day.
The land has been now passed on to the labourers families who still remembered their hard working days with our family. It was nostalgic to click similar pictures at the same places along with my relatives Lalitha and Saikiran.
We also drove to the Madavu temple in Bantwal taluk and i was so grateful to receive the prasada of the Varamahalaxmi Pooja that was conducted there in the morning. As i admired the amazing natural greenery from the temple height, a local called Manjunath informed me that this was a snake infested forest land when he would come here as a child to see a small idol of Lord Balasubramanya on a raised platform and i saw the pictures of the old simple structure too.
Soon the power of this lord to fulfill wishes became well known especially regarding health, marriage or getting children and the place was transformed to an imposing magnificent temple that is present today.
A similar story of a small structure being upgraded into a big temple is that of the Mahadeva Deveshwara Shiva temple at Kajekar. 900 years ago, during an ashtamangala question ritual, the locals discovered the presence of this ancient idol along with some stone inscriptions. There are also shrines dedicated to 8 different spirits here and the locals perform their annual and other rituals with great pomp and fanfare.
We then visited an archeological site called Pandavara Kallu which is part of the Badaga Kajekar village. It literally meaning the huge granite stone structures where the Pandava brothers were supposed to have taken shelter during their years in exile. This historical monuments have now been dilapidated, but it could also have been a burial ground among ancient tribes. Nearby was the Brahma Baidarkala Garadi which are shrines dedicated to the spirits of Tulu folk heroes, Koti and Chennaya.
We also visited the Mahamayi spirit temple at Kuruvalgoli village, and i realised the great influence of spirit worship in this Tulu region. Most of the locals who have been through tough times, give full credit to the power of their village Gods for their newly found prosperity.
There are many such such countless small temples around South Kanara district with their own unique legends. It is the simple faith of the local people in them that can make you smile and want to visit them again and again!
Shobha Rao Smilemaker has a vision of living in a world where people use their ability to find and make smiles in any situation. She is a lawyer by qualification, a soft skills trainer by passion, a motivational speaker, a freelance journalist, a bestselling author, an avid traveler and founder of 'Smilemakers Trainings'. She can be contacted at www.shobhasmilemaker.com.