A temple for Gandhi in Mangaluru

A temple for Gandhi in Mangaluru

Gandhiji being offered 'aarthi' at the temple in Mangaluru. DH photo.

The port city Mangaluru, is known for its unique tradition of worshipping a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, at Shri Bramha Baidarkala Kshetra Garodi, Nagori, in Mangaluru. The Garodi is dedicated to the twin Tulu hero warriors —Koti and Chennaiah.

A clay Gandhi statue, was consecrated at the Garodi in 1948, by the then temple administrators --Narsappa Salian and Somappa Pandit--both staunch Gandhi followers. The marble statue was installed 13 years ago.

Speaking to DH, Garodi Manager Kishore Kumar said that, the then Garodi administrators, wanted people to follow Gandhian ideals in life. Hence they installed the Gandhi idol in the Garodi.

Pooja is offered to the Gandhi and Narayana Guru idols; as for the other deities there, thrice daily at 6 am, 12 noon and 7.30 pm.

A lamp is lit daily near the statue. “All devotees who visit the Garodi offer prayers to Gandhiji too,” Kumar said.

Separate shrine 

The Garodi has a separate ‘gudi’ (shrine) for Gandhiji. “Just the way, pooja is offered to Brahmasri Narayana Guru, we offer prayers to Gandhiji also,” explained Kumar.

“Probably, this Garodi is among the rarest of temples. Gods, demi-gods, the tallest figure of the Indian freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi, and social reformer Brahmasri Narayana Guru, are all worshipped at a single place,” observed Kumar.

Besides Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Narayana Guru’s idols, the Garodi has idols (gudis) of Sri Mahaganapathy, Sri Mayandal Devi, Sri Balaparameshwari Devi, Sri Ananda Bairava, Sri Subramanya, Sri Brahma (all gods), Sri Kodamanthaya Daiva, Vishnumurthi Daiva, Kujumba Kanjava, Koti and Chennaiah.

Black coffee offering

On Gandhi Jayanthi, a special pooja is offered in the evening at 7.30 pm, wherein Pallakki Bali Utsava of deity Ganapathy and Naga Brahma is held around the sanctum sanctorum of the Garodi.

During the bali utsava, the deities Ganapathy and Naga Brahama are brought in front of the statues of Gandhi and Narayana Guru and a special arathi is offered.

During the special pooja, black coffee is offered to the statue of Gandhi along with mixed fruits and sweets. Later, the same coffee is offered to the devotees as “thirtha,” said Kishore Kumar.