Pomp, gaiety mark Nagara Panchami in coastal dists

A priest performs puja on account of Nagara Panchami at Kudupu Shree Anantha Padmanabha Temple, on the outskirts of Mangaluru, on Monday.

Nagara Panchami, first festival in the holy month of Shravana, was celebrated with pomp and gaiety across Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts on Monday.

Devotees thronged temples and snake pits to worship Serpent God and offered tender coconut, milk, honey and turmeric to the god.

Kukke Shree Subramanya temple, Kudupu Shree Anantha Padmanabha Temple and Anantha Padmanabha temple at Manjeshwara are known for worshiping Serpent God.

There was a serpentine queue of devotees at various temples since morning to offer special puja to the Naga idols. In fact, devotees had started gathering at Kudupu temple since early morning to offer special puja.

Special pujas like ‘Panchamrutha Abhisheka’ and ‘Naga Thambila’ were offered by the devotees to the God.

After the ‘Mahapooja,’ ‘Annasantharpane’ (mass feeding) was held at Kudupu temple. A large number of devotees also visited Sharavu Mahaganapathy temple and made offerings to Naga idols outside the temple.

Apart from the pujas in the temples, special prayers were also offered at most of the ‘Nagabanas’ (sacred groves) situated in the backyard of houses and localities. As majority of the schools had holiday, many were seen heading towards their native villages to worship Serpent God.

In Udupi

In Udupi, festival was observed by offering puja to Lord Subrahmanya and Nagabana at Sri Krishna Mutt in the town.

Special pujas were offered at Naga Sannidi at Thangodu, Mangodu, Muchlukodu, Arithodu, Kaderkar Sri Lakshmi Narayana Mutt, Doddanagudde Sagri Natural Nagabana and at Manchikere.

Traditional dish

‘Arasina Ele Gatti’ (sweets made in turmeric leaf) is an integral part of the festival. It is a traditional dish prepared in all the households.

There was brisk sale of flowers like jasmine, ‘Kedage,’ ‘Hingara,’ ‘Sevanthige’ and ‘Kakada’ in the market since Sunday evening, ahead of the festival.

Flower sellers, who had come from Hassan and other places, were engaged in selling flowers on the roads in Hampankatta, Bejai and State Bank bus terminus. However, the showers inconvenienced the sellers.

There was huge demand for ‘Gendali’ variety of tender coconut, which is normally offered to Serpent God. Tender coconuts are supplied from Tamil Nadu. Even the prices varied from Rs 35 to Rs 45. Among the flowers ‘Hingara’ was sold between Rs 150 to Rs 200. They are supplied from Sullia, Puttur, Bhatkal and other areas to Mangaluru.

The price of turmeric leaves had also skyrocketed. A bunch with 25 leaves were sold between Rs 40 to Rs 50.

“Last year it was sold for Rs 25 to Rs 30,” said merchants at Central Market.

Even the price of white ‘Kedage’ flower had touched Rs 100 while price of ‘Suvarna Kedage’ had reached Rs 250 to Rs 300 in Udupi. An ‘Atti’ of jasmine in Udupi was sold for Rs 750 while it was Rs 1,050 on Sunday. There was decline in supply of tender coconuts due to deficit rainfall, said merchant Hanumantha in Udupi.

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