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Widows do pooja in Kudroli temple

Mangalore: Oct 6, 2013 DHNS 2:54 IST
Breaking barriers Women priests Lakshmi Shanthi and Indira Shanthi offer aarti to Goddess Sharada at Kudroli temple in Mangalore on Sunday. DH Photo
The famous Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Kudroli, carved a niche for itself by paving the way for social revolution with two widow priests performing poojas for the first time in the history of the temple during the ongoing Navaratri celebrations.

The two women—Lakshmi Shanti from Bannur village, Puttur taluk and Indira Shanti from Mooda of Bantwal— were given a traditional welcome by “bands and chatras” in the temple at 10:30am on Sunday .

The women performed a “pradakshina” and, after sprinkling holy water from the temple tank, they went on to offer prayers to Narayanaguru, Mahaganapathi, Subrahmanya and Kalabhairava.

Later, they performed pooja to the main deity, Lord Gokarnanatheshwara, and Goddess Annapoorneshwari in the sanctum sanctorums of the respective deities.

Lakshmi and Indira performed “aarti” and distributed “theertha-prasada” to devotees. They also performed “aarti” to the Navagrahas.

Meanwhile, they also installed a marble idol of Lord Dattatreya under the peepul tree within the temple premises. The women priests also performed pooja to the idol of Goddess Sharada installed as part of Dasara. They were guided by the temple priests while performing all the rituals.

Speaking to the media, former Union minister B Janardhana Poojary, under whose initiative the revolutionary step was undertaken, said the women priests would be performing worship to the main deity whenever regular priests are on leave.

However, they are free to perform pooja to the deities on any day, as per their wish. Now, they will be deployed to perform pooja to Narayanaguru, he added.

Poojary also urged Chief Minister Siddharamaiah to appoint women priests in temples which come under the Muzrai department.

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