Always a Jam-Packed Kudupu Temple on Nagara Panchami Wore a Deserted Look This Year

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Always a Jam-Packed Kudupu Kudupu Shree Anantha Padmanabha Temple on Nagara Panchami Wore a Deserted Look Today (25 July)

Mangaluru: Following close on its heels after Team Mangalorean had published an article (Ref: Sombre Yet Spirited! Hindus Gearing Up for Nagara Panchami Amidst Covid-19 Restrictions  ) a day prior to the Nagara Panchami Feast, Team Mangalorean early morning today, 25 July visited Shree Anantha Padmanabha Temple in Kudupu, in the outskirts of Mangaluru, just to find out the happenings- but unfortunately, the Temple wore a deserted look, since there were hardly any devotees inside the temple, other than a bunch of cops guarding the vicinity. Controlling social distancing was not a issue today at the temple, due to no devotees thronging the temple?

Even though there were hardly any people visiting the temple early in the morning, but around 8 am or so, a few devotees started showing up, but they were allowed inside the temple only to a certain point, where they had to drop off the tender coconuts, Pingaras, Lavanchas, etc- and then the security men/staff or volunteers would carry those items to spot, where Naga idols are erected. Even though people knew about the Covid-19 restrictions, some of them couldn’t resist in following the tradition in observing the Feast. This showed that there is something about festivals that ushers in a sense of hope, even in the darkest of times. It does not matter that you’re stuck in your house, separated from friends and family, removed of your usual pleasures and restricted by fear and anxiety, but for a few hardcore devotees, they did stepped out of their homes, and visited the Kudupu temple to get the blessings of Naga on this auspicious Feast-but nothing compared to the crowd that throngs this Temple every year on Naga Panchami day. From adapting to the challenging time with the help of technology to also holding on to the dear pieces of tradition in whatever form they can, it seemed like this traditional feast had much in store.


 Among the three popular temples in the area, namely Kukke Shree Subramanya temple, and Anantha Padmanabha temple at Manjeshwara, Kudupu Shree Anantha Padmanabha Temple is yet another famous temple dedicated to Naga where Nagara Panchami is celebrated in a grand way. But unfortunately, this year as per the restrictions imposed on religious places not to have any poojas etc, due to the pandemic, there was no ceremony or any grandeur or fervour today. Usually, every year on Nagara Panchami day, ‘serpentine queue of devotees will be seen at this Temple to offer pooja to the idols of Naga and seek his blessings for the well being of the family. They offer milk, tender coconut, lavancha (Vettiver) roots, honey, turmeric and flowers to the idols of Naga. Said to be the god of fertility, several couples who do not have children, also offer prayers to the Serpent God on the day, as per a Hindu priest at Kudupu Temple. But all this lacked totally this year, thereby making it a Sombre.


This year, Nag Panchami or Nag Panchami 2020 was observed on Saturday, 25 July 25, and the Nag Panchami Puja Muhurat began at 05:39 am , where only the priests performed the pooja/rituals, in total absence of devotees. Next pooja/rituals will be held around 11 am or so, but still no devotees will be allowed near to the pooja area. tomorrow, and ends at 08:22 AM on the same day. The total duration of the Nag Panchami Puja Muhurat is 2 hours and 44 minutes. The Panchami Tithi began at 02:34 PM yesterday, July 24, 2020, and ended at 12:02 PM on July 25, 2020. Nag Panchami is celebrated on Shukla Paksha Panchami during Shravana month (July-August). Usually, Nag Panchami falls two days after Hariyali Teej. As per Hindu tradition, Panchami Tithi during Shravan month is highly auspicious to worship serpent Gods.

Women worship Nag Devta and offer milk to snakes on this day. Women also pray for the wellness of their brothers and family. It’s said that anything offered to snakes on Nag Panchami would reach to the serpent Gods. Hence, devotees worship live snakes or idols/photos of serpent Gods. Milk is offered to snakes or idols of serpent Gods, which is an age-old tradition in India. As the name suggests, the day is dedicated to the Naga Devta or the snake god. It is one of the significant days in Sawan, the auspicious month in the Hindu calendar. It is also one of the oldest festivals celebrated across India. Sawan or Shravan, in the peak rainy season, is dotted with vratas and pujas.

Many devotees also observe fast and feed the poor on this day. People offer milk to the Nag Devta or the snake god as part of the rituals. People also decorate their houses with rangolis and make kheer as prasadam or offering to the god. Devotees pray to several snake gods on Nag Panchami. Some among them are Ananta, Vasuki, Shesha, Padma, Kambala and Kaliya. In Sanskrit, ‘Nag’ means snake and people worship the snake god to protect their families from evil. According to mythology, a deadly snake ‘Kalia’ had been poisoning the waters of the Yamuna, making it difficult for the brijwasis (residents of Brij in Uttar Pradesh), to drink the water. Lord Krishna (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) destroyed Kalia and the snake god was forced to take back the poison from the river. Krishna had blessed him and said, people who pray and offer milk to the snake god on Nag Panchami will always be protected from evil.

This year the sale of tender coconuts, especially the “Gendali” kind of Tender Coconuts (which are orange in colour) and gallons of Nandini and other brands of Milk has been very low, and vendors are not happy with the sales. Earlier years, the streets leading to Kudupu temple were lined with street vendors selling green and yellow coloured tender coconuts, Pingaras etc- and devotees were seen buying them no matter what price the vendors are charging- but this year it was just the opposite. Offering of Gendali Bondas, the Orange coloured tender coconuts is a popular and traditional thing on this feast, and one could see a bunch of them inside the temple, dropped off by the devotees. (Ref: ‘Gendali Bondas’ (Tender Coconuts) Galore on the Eve of Hindu Feast ‘Nagara Panchami’! ). Offering Milk and tender coconut juice to the serpent God is part of the ritual, and therefore this item is stocked in plenty on this day, apart from other items needed during the rituals like Milk, honey turmeric and flowers. But this year, milk is out of the scene since pooja/rituals are not allowed.

Team Mangalorean wishes our Hindu community a Happy Naga Panchami Feast.



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