Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hornadu - Kalasa - Shringeri - Kollur

Day 2: Nov 9, 2007

In the early morning we reached Horanadu. We were provided a small room that we had to share with 2 other people. This facility was just to have a bath. It was a village guest house but was clean. After a hot water bath we walked down to the Annapoorneshwari temple through dense fog. It was an out of the world experience. This temple is surrounded by bettlenut and coconut plantations as you see in the backdrop of the temple gate below. This is one of the cleanest Hindu temple that I have seen. The darshan was calming, we saw the Goddess being bathed as part of the Shodashopchar (ritual offering of sixteen items). It is a beautiful human sized idol made in granite. This region being home to Annapoorneshwari is truely blessed. I learnt in this trip what it truely means to do Annadan.

Annadan is supposed to be the highest level of charity that one can do in Hinduism. It is said that it is the only charity that truely satisfies the needy. If a man is in need of food he will take only as much as the capacity of his stomach and will say enough when he cannot eat more thus feeling trupti or satisfaction wheres all other needs are insatiable.

Annapoorneshwari is the goddess who can provide endless amounts of food to the needy. In this temple we see in her hand the spoons and utensils that are her tools. We took breakfast at the prasad hall. It consisted of Avalakki/ patal pohe seasoned with red chili and mustard in oil with sugar and salt and sprinkled with water.

From here we went to Kalasa, I don't remember much about this place except that is is a Shiva temple and one has to climb a flight of steps. I do remember the guide telling us that here is where Agasthya Muni stayed when Lord Shiva ordered him to go south to balance the rotation of the earth as it was distorted by the congregation of all the Gods attending the Shiv-Parvati wedding in Varanasi. Agasthya Muni was granted special vision to enjoy the wedding from Kalasa.

Then we proceeded to Shringeri. This place is of high importance as Adi Shanakaracharya established the first peetham here.
He was looking for a suitable location for starting a peetham and at this place on the bank of the river Tunga he saw a snake sheltering a frog from the hot sun under its hood as the pregnant frog was in labour. Adi Shankaracharya was taken aback by this scene of a serpent the natural enemy of a frog actually protecting it and immediately identified this place as a special one. People now feed the fish here on the ghats of the Tunga.
We washed our feet in the river and became Suchirbhut (the act of cleansing) and went on to take darshan of Sharda mata and Vidyashankara. Both the temples are beautiful and distinct. The Sharda temple interior is beautiful where as the Vidyashankar temple is decorated on the outside.
It has carving of different Raashis in the corners. In the Shringeri Mutt there is a hall that displays paintings on the life of Adi. As a child I had a very spiritual impression of Shringeri Mutt in my mind based on the books I had read but it was quite different experience to be there. May be it being Diwali there were more visitors or something else I am not able to figure out. Pandit Gowrishankar is one person we know who has studied Vedic Culture at Shringeri Mutt and he used to visit us sometimes and explain to us all the nitty grities of Puja rituals. We had lunch here at the Prasad hall. It was impressive how well it was maintained. Food consisted of rasam, sambhar, majge/ buttermilk and heaps of rice.

In the evening we reached Kollur. After checking into a Guest house we got fresh and walked to the temple. It was the time for Mahamangal aarti and there was a huge rush. This temple seemed to be dominated by Malayali culture. It is the abode of the goddess Mokambika. We stood in the line for darshan for more than an hour and just at about the time of the aarti hell broke loose. We were squeezed into the mandap and I was gasping for air. I saw the priest coming with the aarti through the crowd pressing against each other. I told Dad to follow him when he would return to the Garbh gruha. Reached in front of the Goddess barely bowed my head and sprinted out into the open space. This temple is not kept clean and reminded me of all the temples in Maharashtra where similar experiences are inflicted on the devotees. I could not take any pictures of Kollur as it was night time and also the temple is surrounded by high walls.

source : Wikipedia

We took prasad at the dinning hall and returned to the guest house to retire for the day.

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