A giant anthill marks this hill station

A giant anthill marks this hill station

This 12 feet high giant anthill, a nature’s wonder is in Banalli, of Mudigere taluk in Chikmagalur district. People of the region believe that Goddess Unnakki lives in this anthill. Every Sunday pooja is offered to the anthill.

However, the real wonder happens during the grand annual fair of Goddess Unnakki. The fair is celebrated after Deepavali and before the full moon day – either on a Sunday or Thursday. The devotees believe that anthill vibrates when the priest offers mahamangalarathi during the fair.

“Many argue that it’s a false belief and tested it. But to their surprise, most of them experienced it and now offer pooja to the anthill. People believe that their offerings here yield fruitful results. So during the annual fair, more than 5,000 people gather near this anthill,” said B K Raju, a villager.

During the time of jathra, some strange rituals are also performed here. “One cow boy runs around the anthill with a bull. Later he cuts a small piece of skin from its ear and eats it with food,” Raju explained the age old tradition.

During this procession, people throw puffed rice over the bull and later it is collected as ‘Prasadam’ by the believers, said B A Santhosh, another villager from Banalli and also a lawyer by profession.

Madegowda, who is in his 70s, has more interesting stories about the anthill. “According to our elders, cowherds used to offer pooja to this anthill. They used to offer prayers to Goddess Unnakki, whenever they lost their cattle. Some even believe that tiger comes at night near the anthill. However, we have not witnessed it. But the vibration of anthill is true as I have experienced it,” he recalls.

Another interesting aspect is that nothing happens to this anthill even during heavy rains or gusty winds. “Its strange and I believe that there is some superpower in this anthill,” he vows and adds that he was an atheist before he learnt about this anthill.

A protection wall has been built around the anthill and iron rods are fixed to protect the anthill.

 “Many people come from far away places with their offerings. People who can’t go to Subramanya usually visit this place,” said Shiva, another villager.

Located next to the anthill is a huge banyan tree and mango trees which also attract the onlookers. Despite the lack of facilities in the region, people continue to throng the place to have a glimpse of the giant anthill.

How to reach?
Banalli is 11 kms away from Mudigere town and 15 kms from Charmadi ghat. From Mudigere, very few buses ply to Banalli. However, people with own vehicles can reach the place without much difficulties. There are two routes from Mudigere to reach Banalli. One is via Sabbhenahalli and another via Kenjige. The second route is good. There are many buses from Mangalore to reach Mudigere.

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