This temple has power to attract atheists too

This temple has power to attract atheists too

For theists and Atheists: A view of Shishileshwara temple in Shishila of Belthangady taluk. Dakshina Kannada being the hub of religious places has no dearth of temples, churches and other worshipping centres for the theists.

Among all the temples that are located in the district, few temples have been held high for the grandeur of the temple structure, few for their power to eliminate the problems of devotees and the rest for the blissful atmosphere in which the temple is located in.
Shishileshwara temple situated in a remote village - Shishila of Belthangady taluk has been drawing devotees to its lap since time immemorial apparently for the last two aspects. The temple surrounded by hill, dense forest and Kapila river from all directions, has the power to attract even the atheists to its pedestal.
The history

Though there are no documents available in particular to provide accurate information about the year in which the temple was constructed, an engineer from the Archaeology Department who studied the temple 15 years back had said, the temple has a history of 700 years.

Lord Shiva is worshipped in this rocky temple in the form of ‘Udbhava Linga’. It is believed that tribals found the Linga centuries back in the nearby hill ‘Kumara Gudda,’ where the Linga was worshipped for quite a long time. One fine morning, the Linga appeared in the current temple place to make it convenient for the priest to perform the daily rituals. Even today on the last day of the temple fair, the priest along with the villagers visits the original place where the Linga was found and performs the religious rituals.

God’s fishes

The huge bunch of fishes in the Kapila river by the side of the temple are the special attraction of this place. These fishes are considered as God’s fishes and for the same reason, the place is also called as ‘Matsya Theertha.’

The dark memory of the mass death of fishes in the Kapila river in the year 1996 is still haunting the people of this region.

The Mahashir fishes which used to amuse in the Kapila river relishing their freedom were mercilessly killed by few forces as the poison was intentionally mixed with the water.
As many as eight truck loads of fishes were dead then, which finally led to the strict ban on fishing in Kapila river for around 2 km radius of the temple.

“The fishes are quite safe now, but then we can’t guard them the whole day. There are few people who violate the rule and carry out fishing in the night. But we are helpless as we won’t have any proof to pinpoint someone,” says temple committee President Srinivas Moodithaya.

A memorial ‘Matsya Smaraks’ has been constructed in the temple premises to pay tribute to the fishes which were killed in large numbers. The sacred fishes here are offered with ‘Naivadyam’ every afternoon and there is a belief that bathing in the river and offering prayer to the fishes would eliminate skin diseases.

The temple renovated in the year 2000, celebrates annual fest for nine days every year in the month of May.

How to reach

Shishila is 110 kms from Mangalore, 30 kms from the temple town Dharmastala and 15 kms from Kokkada. From Dharmastala or Uppinangady one has to catch the bus to Shishila and can get down near the temple. There are limited number of buses to Shishila. The alternative way to travel is by service jeeps.