Mangaluru: With the rain gods showing no signs of relenting, devotees visiting the famed Kukke Sri Subrahmanya Temple here in Sullai Taluk, about 110 km from Mangaluru are having to go without the ‘Teertha’ or holy water they are accustomed to buying from it in packaged bottles. A well in the grounds of the temple, traditionally called ‘Teertha Bhavi,’ supplies the water for both the “teertha ” distributed along with the prasadam for some “sevas” and sold to devotees, besides the ‘abhishekam,’ or bathing of the deities every morning. But with the well fast drying up there is just enough water for the ‘abhishekam,’ forcing the temple authorities to give up selling “teertham” bottles since Thursday.
According to a temple executive where he has said,“The well now has hardly any water. Every night some water gets collected in it , but this is just enough for the morning abhishekam of the deities. As we cannot use any other water for the teertha, we have stopped distributing it . The practice was stopped similarly for about a fortnight a couple of years ago owing to the well drying up”. Everyday nearly 10,000 to 12,000 devotees from across the country and abroad visit the temple, and the footlfall increases to 18,000 during special occasions, especially Champ Shasthi.
It is learnt that in the usual course, the temple sells about 2,000 teertha bottles of 200 ml each every day. And the sales go up to around 3,000 on weekends and holidays. It is hoping this is a temporary interruption and the rains will arrive to replenish the Teertha Bhavi. Meanwhile the temple is doing the only thing it can. Hoping to appease the gods it organized a ‘Parjanya Japa,’ and a tender coconut abhishekam recently.
While it did rain a few days later, it did not last and now with the mercury steadily climbing, the well is once again threatening to dry up. But not giving up, the temple administration intends to consult its priests on what other poojas can be offered to bring rain to the parched region.
In the meantime many devotees are disappointed for not being able to take teertha water back home to their family members, especially seniors who can’t make it to the temple due to their old age.