Shashti fair on Mys-B’luru highway

Shashti fair on Mys-B’luru highway

Subramanya Shashti, also referred to as Champa Shashti and Subbarayana Shashti, was observed on Thursday across the region by offering milk, fruits, and prayers to anthills, which are believed to house snakes.

Thousands of devotees thronged the Subramanya Swami temple at Siddalingapura on the Mysuru-Bengaluru highway.

They stood in a queue, braving the chill right from 4 am.

The district administration had banned vehicular movement on the stretch on account of the festival. It had diverted the vehicles on alternative routes.

The presiding deity was adorned with a silver mask (nagabharana), offered by the late king Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.

The anthills and ‘nagara kallu’ nearby were smeared with turmeric, vermilion and offered prayers. A few devotees were distributing prasad. The whole stretch resembled a fair, popularly called as ‘shashti jatre’ by the people of surrounding villages.

People from Mysuru, Mandya, Ramanagar, Channapatna and other places visited the temple in large numbers, in tempos and goods autorickshaws.

Rathotsava was also held later.

A few snake catchers were seen displaying live snakes.

The people were offering money to perform puja to the snake.

There is a unique practice in a few villages in Chamarajanagar district where the devotees killed fowl and offered blood to anthills.

It is believed that if a fowl is sacrificed at an anthill on shasti day, the people are not disturbed by snakes and would also be freed of ‘doshas’ (flaws) in their horoscope.