Kudupu Catholics go Veg on Nagara Panchami
Mangaluru: Imagine Catholic families staying away from Dukhra mass (Pork Bafat/Sorpotel)) and sannas, and that too on a Sunday- but many Catholic families residing around the vicinity of the famous Ananthapadmanabha Temple in Kudupu, about 12 Kms in the outskirts of Mangaluru went pure vegetarian on Sunday, the day Hindus celebrated Nagara Panchami, in order to pay respect to the Snake God and in recognition of Hindu sentiments. And I found this through one of our distant relatives, the Pinto family who live 300 mts away from the temple.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Marcel said, ” It has been a tradition that has been carried on by our ancestors living here, to abstain from meat and fish on Nagara Panchami feast. There is a very close relationship between the temple authorities and many Catholic families that live close by, since many of these families were tenants and their ancestors had leased agricultural land belonging to the temple administration. Any feast that takes place at this temple we Catholics help out in their needs, and especially on Nagara Panchami as a mark of respect to their Snake God we don’t cook any non-vegetarian food, and this kind of tradition has been going on for decades”.
A bevy of Catholic kids and youngsters standing in the queue with packets of ‘Nandini’ milk and flowers in their hands along with their Hindu friends speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Although we are wasting lots of milk, tender coconut water etc by pouring it on the Naga, it is fun to keep the religious tradition going along with our Hindu neighbors and friends. During Christmas time our Hindu friends join us in making Kuswar and also in putting up decoration and Christmas tree. So we too join in their feast, and if the temple needs any assistance from us, we step in. We have kept a close friendship with the temple authorities since there are nearly an equal number of Christians and Hindus residing in this Temple area”.
Yes, the Kudupu Temple witnessed thousands of devotees lining up to celebrate the festival, where Nag Panchami was celebrated with religious fervour , and also at other Temples across the city on Sunday. The devotees worshipped the snakes particularly ‘nag’ (cobras) with milk, tender coconut , flowers etc at this temple which is located on the outskirts of Mangaluru, on the Mangaluru-Moodbidri highway. A large number of devotees were also seen thronging Lord Shiva temples to offer special prayers.