Divinity amidst nature

The temple is popularly called as ‘Athishaya kshethra.’ It is believed that if there was any need for jewellery for marriage in the olden days, the bride used to pray on the banks of the river by keeping beetle leaves to get the jewellery. After the marriage, the jewellery would be returned at the same place where they had prayed.

The Bachanayakanagundi is adjacent to the temple and the ksehthra. Bachanayaka is a local hero of the past who is being worshipped as a local daiva. Since the stone and Gudi of Bachanayaka is situated on the banks of the river Kallaje, the pool is named after him. ‘Kapukaya’ is another name of the same pool.

 It is not known who established the sacred pool, but it is the practice of local people to offer milk of newly calved cow to the sacred fishes of the pool. So also offerings of rice to the fishes is a sacred practice during the months of April every year from time immemorial.

The locals celebrate the annual festival at the Daivasthana of Bachanayaka. During the occasion, people offer rice to the sacred fishes. The river originates in Western Ghats at Kalmakaru area, 25 kms upstream and joins river Kumaradhara 3 kms downstream from the spot.

In fact, the pool is an abode for large Mahseers – Tor khudree. The presence of big sized fishes attract people and they worship and feed the fishes. When the visitors throw rice to the fish, all come together on the banks of the river, which is a feast for the eyes.

The rivulet is also populalrly called as ‘Matsyadhama.’ When Ramanath Rai was the Minister for Fisheries and Ports, a vented dam was constrcuted at the cost of Rs 33.5 lakh to preserve the fish.

The ‘sthala purana’ of the kshethra says that when a sage was meditating at the spot, Lord Shankhapala appeared before him and later the statue of the lord was consecrated. In the folk literature, it was said that during the reign of Panja Ballal, Shankhapala was worshipped.

However, over the years, the temple was washed away in the floods. The Yenekal region reached its zenith during the reign of Angaravarma Ballal which is proved from the fact that he had hid treasure in a Nagabana at Maduve Gadde, which is now under the control of the State government.

How to reach?

From pundigadde stop of Yenekal village, ‘Bachanayakanagundi’ and Sri Shankhapala Subramanya Swamy Temple and Sri Ullalthi Ullakulu, Bachanayana Daivasthana is just 1 km on a mud road. It is located at a distance of 40 km from Sullia and 110 km from Mangalore.

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