Place: Kukke Subramanya Temple
Distance: 80 Kms approx.
District: Dakshina Kannada
Kukke Subramanya is a Hindu temple located in the village of Subramanya in the Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada District near Mangalore. The temple is one of the pristine pilgrimage locations in India. Here Lord Subrahmanya is worshipped as the lord of all serpents.
Sri Kshetra is situated on the bank of river Kumaradhara. Kumaraswamy, who was born to suppress the evil demons, killed the Tarakadi Asuras in the war and when he came to Kumara Parvata with his brother Ganapati, Devendra gave his daughter Devasena to Kumaraswamy on the plate of Kumaradhara Theertha on the day of Margashira Shuddha Shashti. However, he excused the prayer of Nagaraja Vasuki, who was performing penance there, and told Vasuki that he would settle in this realm along with the army of Gods and be always present with him from one point of view.
Kukke Shree Subrahmanya Kshetra, one of the seven realms of creation of Parasurama, is famous for Naga worship since the ages of mythology and history, and Lord Vasuki is the presiding deity of Shree Subrahmanya as a devotee of devotees. This field is also known as Gupta field.
The exact date of Kukke Sri Subrahmanya Temple is not available, but the Skandapurana and Srimad Shankaracharya mention this area in the 9th-10th century treatise “Shankara Vijayam” as “Bhaje Kukkelingam” and the 9th century Bantra inscription. The existence of Kukke Subrahmanya is estimated to have a history of around 5000 years as there is an ancient reference to the place name Kukke.
It is said that the temple was built because of the belief that Shri Subrahmanya resided in the Kukke field as a nagarupi. But it is believed that the presence of Udbava Swayam Murthy or the idols installed by the sages will give the devotees who come to see Subrahmanya the main benefits of procreation, auspiciousness, skin diseases and removal of Naga Dosha. The soil of Hutta given as basic prasadam is special here. The special pujas here are snake rites related to Naga Dosha, Ashela Bali, Naga Pratishshe services.
The temple is situated on a riverbed at the foothills of the Kumara mountain in the Western Ghats. The temple is surrounded by Kumara Parvata, Darpana Theertha River and Kumaradhara River in the eastern direction of the temple. As the sanctum sanctorum of the temple was dilapidated, the sanctum sanctorum was renovated in 2005 by the temple administration.
It is special that the main priest of the temple distributes Mula Mritika (huttada mudna) prasad to the devotees in the early morning auspicious muhurat along with various Vedic rituals from the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Devala on the Ekadashiya prior to the Champashashthi festival. Apart from this, the traditional practices like application of turmeric especially to Sri Gandha and Naga, offering of blossomed jaggery banana, water-milk abhisheka, Kalashasnana etc. are continuing. Kumaradhara river is the holy river here and there is a special belief that bathing here cures skin diseases. After the afternoon and night mahapuja in front of Shri Deva’s sanctum sanctorum, the devotees retain this prasad within themselves by consuming the basic prasad offered by the puja priests in the tirtha or by tying it to the body as protection in connection with the prayer service they perform for their Ishtartha Siddi.
Popular rituals: Ashlesha Bali (prayers seeking protection from black snake) and Sarpa dosha parihara (removal of any curse of snake god) are two popular puja rituals offered at Kukke Subramanya Temple. These rituals can be booked online as well.
Places to visit near Kukke Subramanya Temple: Kumara Parvatha near Kukke Subramanya is a popular trekking destination. Dharmasthala (55kms), Sakleshpur (60 kms), Madikeri (75 kms), Bisle Ghat (20 kms) are some of the attractions to visit along with Kukke Subramanya
How to reach Kukke Subramanya Temple: Kukke Subramanya is 280 kms from Bengaluru and 105 kms from Mangaluru (nearest airport). Subramanya Road railway station is 12 kms from Kukke Subramanya. Limited bus services are available to reach Kukke from Mangaluru or Bengaluru.