Wish-granting bells

Wish-granting bells
Every temple has its own rituals and wish-granting ceremonies. But in Montethadka, the ritual is known by the town’s name itself. Montetadka is nestled amidst greenery in Shibaje village, Belthangady taluk, Dakshina Kannada district. It is said that this place has a history that dates back to almost 800 years ago. The presiding deity of the village is Shri Durgaparameshwari Devi and the monte wish-granting ritual is considered to be one of the most special ones in the temple.

Cattle-rearing is an important subsidiary activity in Dakshina Kannada. A monte (a bell made of bamboo) is tied to the neck of the cattle to keep track of them while grazing. Hearing the sound of these bells, grazers can easily locate their cattle. Only a few villages have carried this bell-making tradition forward, as attractive metal bells have become popular in many places.

A wet bamboo piece is first taken and long holes are made on its both ends. After the piece is dried, a number of bells are tied to it using wild creepers. These bamboo bells are sold in the temple for Rs 25 each.

People offer this bell to god praying for the protection of their cattle from diseases, and when cattle goes missing. This has become a popular ritual here, and has become synonymous with the place.

(Translated by A Varsha Rao)

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