Temples witness serpentine queue to worship Serpent God

Nagara Panchami festival was celebrated across Dakshina Kannada district on Friday with full ferver and enthusiasm. The ‘Serpent God’ occupies a distinct place in Tulu Nadu. 

On this occasion, devotees worship snakes to ward off evil sprits. In some parts of India, people offer milk to snakes. According to the Hindu Mythology, the day is celebrated because Lord Krishna had killed ‘Kaalinga Sarpa’ on this day.

People gathered in large numbers at ‘Naga banas’ (sacred groves) and offered special rituals to the serpent god. Though huge crowds visited the Ananthapadmanabha temple at Kudupu in Mangalore taluk, the heavy rains lashing the region dampened the spirit of the devotees. The special ‘alankara’ made to Lord Ananthapadmanabha comprised sandal and turmeric paste, flowers and ‘Abhishekas.’

Thousands of devotees stood in the queue to have darshan of the deity at Kudupu. The Nagarapanchami has a special importance in Dakshina Kannada. People get together to have a community Nagapanchami, making offerings to the Serpent god at sacred groves. ‘Naga Tambila,’ a special puja, were organised at sacred groves and temples.

Kukke Shree Subramanya temple, Ananthapadmanabha temple at Kudupu  and Anantha Padmanabha temple at Manjeshwara are famous temples dedicated to Naga where Nagara Panchami is celebrated in a grand way. Devotees offered milk, tender coconuts, honey, turmeric and flowers to the idols of Naga. Special poojas like ‘Panchamrutha abhisheka,’ ‘Naga Thambila’ were offered by the devotees to the God.

After the ‘Mahapooja,’ ‘annasantharpane’ (free meals) were served to the devotees at the temple. A large number of devotees also visited Sharau Mahaganapathy temple and offered their offerings to Naga idol outside the temple. 

Nagara Panchami is synonymous with a sweet made in turmeric leaf. It is a typical dish prepared in all the households who observe this festival in the region. On account of Naga Panchami, the sale of tender coconuts, flowers including marigold, kedage, sevanthige had gone up. In fact, flower vendors from Hassan had come to Mangalore and were seen selling the flowers beside the road at Hampankatta and State Bank region.

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