Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sri Kukke Subramanya Swamy Temple.

Sri Kukke Subramanya Swamy Temple.

 Kukke Subramanya :-

Kukke Subramanya (Tulu:
ಕುಕ್ಕೆ ಸುಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣ್ಯ Kannada: ಕುಕ್ಕೆ ಸುಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣ್ಯ) is a Hindu temple located in the village of Subramanya in the Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada District near Mangalore, Karnataka, India. The temple is one of the pristine pilgrimage locations in India. Here Lord Subrahmanya is worshipped as the lord of all serpents. The epics relate that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge under Lord Subrahmanya when threatened by Garuda.

Kukke Lapped in the luxurious abundance of the beauty of the nature the village of Subramanya lies in the Sullia Taluk in Dakshina Kannada with a sancity which very few places can boast of. The temple is situated in the heart of the village. Nature reveals herself in all her unhidden beauty in the rivers, forests and mountains which the temples is surrounded by. It is about a 105 KM from Mangalore and can be easily reached by train,buses or taxis.Subramanya used to be called as Kukke Pattana in the past. In the 'Shankara Vijaya' Anandagiri observes that Sri Shankaracharya camped here for a few days during his religious expedition (Digvijaya). Shankaracharya referred to this place as 'Bhaje Kukke Lingam' in his 'Subrahmanya Bhujangaprayata Stotram'.Sri Subrahmanya kshetra has been brilliantly described in the 'Thirthakshetra Mahimanipurana' chapter of the Sahyadrikhanda comprised in the Sanatkumara Samhita of Skanda Purana. This kshetra is situated in the banks of the river 'Dhara' which originates in the Kumara mountain and proceeds to the western sea.

According to ancient lore, the temple has been created at the spot where the king of snakes Vasuki prayed to Lord Shiva and asked him to protect snakes from the wrath of Garuda. Pleased by the penance, Lord Shiva sent Subramanya to protect the snakes and since then he has been worshipped as the protector of snakes.

One of the interesting aspects of the temple is the Garuda tower. The silver tower has been constructed to protect devotees from the poisonous fumes of Vasuki's breath. It is believed that Vasuki resides inside the temple. Ashlesha Bali and Sarpa Samskara are two of the important poojas that are conducted in the temple.

In the past, Subramanya was known as Kukke Pattana. There are many shrines which you can visit while at the place some of which include. Uttaradi Mutt, Biladwara, Kumaradhaara River, Rudrapada, Kashikatte Ganapathi Temple and many others. Devotees worship at the temple with the belief that they will be able to reach their desires immediately. You will get access to quality facilities when you visit the place. The temples guest house offers accommodation to the devotees and visitors. Food is free to both devotees and visitors and its cuisine is authentic Indian tradition.

The Rishis also found it difficult to go on with their penance and hence they went to Lord Shiva and requested him to redress their grievances. Luckily enough, it was the seventh day since his son Subrahmanya was born, and through this child aged seven days only, the demon Tarakasura was slain in a hand-to-hand fight, and Sri Subrahmanya permanently made his abode nearby which is called "Adi Subramanya". Near this temple is a Madhwa Math.

The Name Kukke:-

It has been learnt from legends that Subrahmanya used to be called Kukke Pura or Kukke Pattana in the past.

In more recent times Guru Adi Sankaracharya visited Subrahmanya and referred to this place as 'Bhaje Kukke Lingam' in his composition Subrahmanya Bhujangaprayata Stotram makes, the above evidence all the more convincing.


Though the main entrance of the temple faces east, the devotees enter from west through main Gopuram, after taking a holy dip in the Dhara River. A Garuda pillar covered with silver is seen here. According to traditions, the pillar was fixed to protect the devotees from the poison flames which gush out from the breath of Vasuki, existing inside the temple. Next to the pillar is the outer hall and then the inner hall. A platform is seen in the center of sanctum. On the upper platform is the idol of Sri Subrahmanya, on the middle portion is the idol of Vasuki and at lower level is the idol of Shesha. Legends say that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents took shelter under Lord Subrahmanya, when they were detained by Garuda. A group of Lingas known as Kukke Lingas are found to the west of inner sanctum. At the southern side of the inner sanctum is the shrine of Lord Bhairava.

Shrine of Uma Maheswara:-

The shrine of Lord Uma Maheswara (Lord Shiva) is seen on the north-eastern side. One can also worship the deities, Surya (the Sun God), Goddess Ambika, Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesh here. During Navaratri, special worships are offered to Ambika. Mahashivaratri is celebrated for Lord Uma-Maheswara, and on Rathasapthami, rituals are performed for the Sun God, Surya. The idol of Vedavyasa Samputa Narasimha is found in the south-eastern side of the sanctum.  Narasimha Jayanthi is celebrated for the deity during the month of Vaishaka. The shrine of mother Goddess Hosaligamma, lies to the south of the temple. Hosaligamma and Purusharaya are supposed to be the bodyguards of Lord Subrahmanya. Devotees make offerings to the deities such as Kunkumarchana, Mangalarathi and Hannukai. Other notable features of the temple are the Sringeri Mutt, Subrahmanya Mutt, the statue of Ballalaraya and Uttaradi Mutt. Darpana Thirtha, a rivulet, flows from north to south in front of Subrahmanya Mutt.

The Deity of Sri Karttikeya:-

Skanda Purana narrates how, after Karttikeya had slain Tarakasura, Lord Brahma installed the deity of Karttikeya in Subrahmanya Ksetra along with the deity of Vasuki through whom Karttikeya accepts the worship of his devotees. The deity is popularly known as ‘Sri Subrahmanya Svami’. In front of the altar is a slivergaruda-stambha which is said to have been erected and consecrated with special mantras in order to shield the devotees from the poisonous vapors from Vasuki’s mouth within the garbha-grha (altar-room).

Different utsavas (festivals) are held for the Deity according to the season. Some months he is taken on a ratha (chariot), other times he   is taken on a palki (palanquin) accompanied by traditional music and colourful banners.

The biggest festival held here is on Campa-sasti during the month of Margasirsa (Nov/Dec) when the deity is taken out on the huge brahma-ratha.

On the south side of the temple there is a deity of Bhairava Kapalesvara (a fierce aspect of Lord Siva) which is said to have been installed by Karttikeya himself after killing Tarakasura.

On the same side as the shrine of Bhairava are the ancient deities of the mother-goddess Hosaligamma and Purusa-raya. They are considered to be the bodyguards of Subrahmanya.

On the north-east side of the temple compound are the deities of Uma-Mahesvara which were installed by Sri Narada Muni.


Lord Subramanya is worshiped in the form of a Cobra in the temple of Kukke Subramanya. According to Hindu Mythology Lord Kumaraswamy killed the demon rulers Taraka, Shoorapadmasura and others in a war; and the Lord washed his Shakti Ayudha (Axe in the shape of a bayonet) in this river. Hence forth the name Kumaradhara was given to the river.

After the battle Lord Subrahmanya came to the top of Kumara Parvatha along with his brothers Lord Ganesha, Veerabahu and other aides. Lord Indra along with other Gods received him and prayed the Lord to be kind enough to marry his daughter Devasena. Thus Indra’s daughter Devasena married Kumaraswamy on the banks of Kumaradhara on ‘Margashira Shudda Shashti’.Lord Kumaraswamy also gave darshan to Vasuki the head of nagas, who was making a penance requesting him to be with the Lord permanently. Granting Vasuki’s wish the Lord has made his spiritual presence in this shrine along with his wife Devasena and Vasuki.Every year a famous car festival is being held here on ‘Margashira Shuddha Shashti’ with special poojas to the Lord.

The great Shiva Bhakta and Serpent king Vasuki was performing tapas for years in the Biladwara caves of Kukke Subrahmanya to avoid the attack of Garuda. Following Lord Shiva`s assurance Shanmuka gave darshan to Vasuki and blessed him that he would stay with his parama bhakta in this place forever. Hence the poojas offered to Vasuki or Nagaraja are nothing but the poojas to Lord Subrahmanya.

Kumara swamy offering ‘abhaya’ to Vasuki:-

Previous to Karthikeya, Garuda, the mount of Vishnu was once chasing Vasuki (the king of serpents) and he saw Vasuki washiding in a large cave. Both of them engaged in a severe fight. Kashyapa appeared before them and asked Garuda to stop fromkilling Vasuki, who was devotee of Lord Shiva. Kashyapa suggested Garuda, alternate way of getting food. Kashyapa also advised Vasuki to go to Kumara Kshetra and pray for Lord Shiva.Vasuki arrived Kumara kshetra and performed a severe penance. Pleased with his penance, Lord Shiva appeared to Vasuki and replied: My son Karthikeya will arrive this place after killing the demon king, Tarakasura. Indra will celebrate the marriage of his daughter Devasena with Karthikeya. You will be blessed by Karthikeya, you will be united with Karthikeya and has been worshipped alongside Karthikeya ever since. Garuda will never trouble any more (even today one cannot find Garuda at this place). Vasuki then lived in a place called Moola Subrahmanya, eagerly waiting the arrival of Karthikeya.After killing the demon Tarakasura, Lord Brahma installed the deity of Karthikeya in Subrahmanya Kshetra along with the deity of Vasuki through whom Karthikeya accepts the worship of his devotees and bless them all with fulfillment of their desire immediately. The deity is popularly known as ‘Sri Subrahmanya Swamy’.Dhara River (also called as Kumaradhaara)It is believed that after killing the demon Tarakasura, Karthikeya washed the demon’s blood from his spear in the River Dhara.

In the Treta-yuga, Lord Parasurama came to this place and bathed in the River Dhara in order to absolve himself of the sins of exterminating the kshatriya-race twenty one times over.In Dvapara-yuga, when Samba was cursed with leprosy, he came to bathe in the Dhara in order to become free from the disease.By smearing the mud (mrithika) from the riverbank over his body and bathing in the river, he regained his original beauty.It is believed that Kumaradhara is most efficient place of remedy for elimination the sufferers from even the most incurable diseases.

Dhara River (also called as Kumaradhaara):-

It is believed that after killing the demon Tarakasura, Karthikeya washed the demon's blood from his spear in the River Dhara.

In the Treta-yuga, Lord Parasurama came to this place and bathed in the River Dhara in order to absolve himself of the sins of exterminating the kshatriya-race twenty one times over.
In Dvapara-yuga, when Samba was cursed with leprosy, he came to bathe in the Dhara in order to become free from the disease. By smearing the mud (mrithika) from the riverbank over his body and bathing in the river, he regained his original beauty.

It is believed that Kumaradhara is most efficient place of remedy for elimination the sufferers from even the most incurable diseases.

Mode of worship:-

The Poojas in the Sri Subrahmanya Temple are conducted according to 'Vaikanasa Agama'. The temple is opens at 5 a.m. and the God is woken up to the accompaniment of Nadaswaram. Abishekam is then done to the Lord, followed by Go pooja (worship of the cow). The poojas continue till midday and after naivedya is offered to the Lord, food is served to the surging crowd of devotees.

Ashlesha Bali:-

Ashlesha Bali Puja or Ashlesha Bali pooja is one of the important Kaalasarpa dosha pujas performed at Kukke Subramanya temple. Lord Subramanya is known as the protector from Kaalasarpa dosha and Kuja dosha. Kukke Sri Kshetra temple is the most popular for Sarpadosha puja. Aslesha Bali puja is performed on Aslesha nakshatra in each month.

Aslesha Bali puja in Kukke Subramaya temple will be performed in two shifts – 7:00 am and 9.15 am. Those who want to perform this puja need to report for sankalpa with Purohita inside the temple either at 7:00 am or 9.15 am. After the completion of Homa Poornahuthi Puja, devotees will get prasadam. Devotees believe Shravana masa, Karthika masa, and Margashira masa are the most auspicious months to perform Aslesha bali puja at Kukke temple.

Sarpa Samskara Pooja:-

Sarpa Samskara Pooja is done to get rid of the Naga Dosham which we got by killing a snake. Sarpa Samskara Pooja pooja is done for two days, so you have to stay there for two days. The pooja ticket is 2500 Rs, Nagaprathista is also included in it. You have to book the ticket one month in advance by sending a DD along with a letter mentioning the date you want to perform the pooja. Mention two more optional dates also. One ticket is enough for one family. Four members are allowed on one ticket. This pooja is done in Sarpa Samskara building which is in the park near Adi Subrahmanya temple. You have to sit according to your ticket numbers. Un married people who wanted to perform this pooja can sit beside their parents and they will do on behalf of him. There will be a preist for every one. He will perform the whole ritual.

Aslesha Bali pooja if performed on Aslesha Nakshatra, will give good results. It is believed that when performed on other days it won,t have power. In Kukke this pooja is performed in two shifts. Ticket for this pooja is 400Rs. You can get them in the counter. GOTO  SANKALPA MANDIR  IN THE MAIN TEMPLE AND GET SANKALPAM DONE BY ANY OF THE PREISTS AVAIALABLE THERE. After Sankalpa go to the Aslesha Bali pooja. Rangoli of a snake is drawn and Pindas made of rice are offered. We couldn’t see anything as so many people gathered there. Here also you are given cover of full coconut as prasadam. Prepare sweet using this coconut and don’t eat food or curry made using onion until you eat that coconut.

Ticket for NagaPrathista is 400Rs. Ticket should be obtained before 10 A.M. It is done near NagaPrathista Mandapam after MahaaPooja in the main temple. Ticket is given at the counter. Preist will come and do Abishekam with water to the idol of the snake. Small Square shaped stones on which snake are carved are kept in pooja and after pooja you are given Prasadam.

Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple:-

The main entrance to the temple lies to the east. The devotees will have to enter courtyard from behind and go before the idol. The sanctuary of Sri Subrahmanya Swamy lies opposite to the main entrance. A Garuda pillar with silver covering towers high between the sanctuary and the newly contructed portico. It is said that the pillar was charmed and errected in order to shield the people from the flames of poisson emanating from the breath of Vasuki residing inside. Devotees have to encircle round including this pillar too. Beyond this pillar the outer Mantapa and then the inner Mantapa and later the sanctuary of Sri Subrahmanya meet our eyes. There is a pedesal in the center of sanctuary. On the upper dais stands the idol of !Sri Shanmukha and then the idol of Vasuki and little lower the idol of Maha Shesha. Panchamrith Mahapooja and ‘Utsava’ of these deities take place daily. More details have already been given in the preceding chapters.

Places around Kuke Subramanya:-


To the north of the sanctuary there is a cluster of lingas known as ‘Kukkelingas’. Some believe that the lingas got that name simply because people uset to worship them together kept in a basket. Now of course they have been installed in the back portion of the sanctuary and are being worshipped there. Some argue that the place owes it’s name "Kukke Pattana" to the Kukke linga and they proceed a step further and say that the epithet "Kukke" in ‘Kukke Subrahmanya Devaru’ owes its origin to the curious custom of worshipping images kept in the basket. Also there is a fanciful contention that Kukke must be the Halegannada form of the Sanskrit word "Kukshi" meaning "cave". As the image was installed by Vasukin in the cave it came to be called as Kukkelinga. Moreover as already been referred we come across the phrase ‘Subramanya Ahipeshwara’ in the Lalithagama. The car festival of Kukkelinga takes place every uear on Makara Sankramana. At present many families, worship Kukkelinga as thte titular deity of their families. According to the legendary history, Sri Shanmugaswamy installed Shiva Lingas in three places in order to get rid of the sin resulting from killing Tharakasura. Afterwards many Gods and sages installed many more Lingas and images. In course of time when the place was subjected to the vicissitudes of the ebb and flow of its forutne, people collected these images and Lingas and placed them in the temple. Further particulars of this can be seen in Subrahmanya Mahathmya, the book published by the temple management.

Bhairava Devaru:-

 Now on the south of this sanctuary is the shrine of Lord Bhairava. According to the legend of the place this is Kapaleshwara installed by no less a God than Sri Shanmugha Swamy. This must have been installed in the present place later on, and the origin of the place seems to be uncertain.

Vedavyasa Samputa Narasimha Devaru:-

 We find this deity in the south-eastern sactuary. It is said that the Vedavyasa Samputa and the image of Lakshmi Narasimha handed over to Sri Madhvacharya by Sri Vedavyasa are of paramount importance. (It is said that Ganapathy had been installed and worshipped in this shrine in olden days. But now the idol of Ganapathy is in the inner Mantapam of the shrine of Sri Subrahmanya. Moreover to the south and the north are situated the temples of Bhairava and Umamaheshwara). Festivals are celebrated here on three days on the occasion of Narasimha Jayanthi in ‘Vaishaka Masa’. The deity belongs to the Swamiars of local Mutt and is worshipped by them.

Ballalaraya Vigraha (The statue of Ballala King):-

History tells us that the rule of the Hoysala Ballala King began in our district in the eleventh century. But after a period therir rule in the District came to an end and was replaced by the rule of the Ikkeri dynasty. But in some places the kings of Ballala dynasty continued to rule groups of villages. They were called Ballala’s or Ballala Kings. Subrahmanya was once the capital of one such Ballala Chieftain. On the basis of the study of the ramnants it has been gathered that the place of the king was situated to the south-west of Kulkunda near the place where the cattle fair is conducted now. The statue of the king must have been installed at the entrance in front of the temple during the regime of the Ballala Chieftains. A story has been woven round this installation. It is believed that the Vedavyasa Samputa in possession of the Subrahmanya Mutt is unbreakable. Driven to curiosity a Ballala Chieftain tried to break the Vedavyasa Samputa which was supposed to be unbreakable by making the elephant trample upon it. As a result a burning sensation spread throughout his body and the horrified king prayed to Sri Subrahmanya. Sri Subrahmanya ordered that the statue of the king should be installed at the entracnce and that cotton, butter, mustard and pumpkin should be offered to it. The incident is described in the short history of Subrahmanya Samsthana published by Sri Subrahmaya Mutt in 1927. But no other sources can be tapped to substantiate this legend. One can find the statues of the Maharaja of Mysore installed in the temples of Nanjanagudu and Chamundibetta. So it can also be inferred that the Ballala Chieftain must have followed this custom and have installed the statuein order toenlist the loyalty of his subjects. Custom requires now that every day when the Mangalarathi is over, it should be placed hre. On the Champashasti when the idol of Sri Subrahmanya is takend out for the festival the god proceeds only after acception the offerings of this Ballala King.

Subrahmanya Mutt:-

 A Subrahmanya Mutt belonging to Dwaitha tradition of Madhwa religion is situated to the south-east of the outer quadrangle of the temple. It is said Sri Madhwacharya made his brother Vishnu Thirthacharya his disciple and gave this Mutt to him. This is therefore, sometimes called as Vishnuthirthacharya’s Samshtana.

Sringeri Mutt:-

 This is situated to the north-east of the temple compund. The deity there is Chandramauleshwara. He is regularly worshipped with Panchaparva Nandadeepa. This Mutt is under the management of the temple and the rituals are conducted on its behalf.


 The mother Goddess Hosaligamma’s temple lies to the south of the Subrahmanya temple. Hosaligamma and Purusharaya are the two most important deities here. Different forms of worship are daily conducted. On two occasions during the festival the deity possess the man appointed for the purpose (on Karhika 30 and Margasira 6). This possession takes place on other auspicious days also. (Margashira 15 and on Jyeshta Shasti). Bhoga (Nadavali) is offered to the deity twice a year. It is supposed that this deity is the bodyguard of Sri Subrahmanya. Devotees make various kinds of offerings here (Kunkumarchana, Mangalarathi, Hannukai). Hosaligamma and Purusharaya are very ancient deities and their names appear in the Kaumarika Khada of the ‘Skandapurana’. It is said that Hosaligamma and Purusharaya are none other that Vatayakshini and Chandila respectively referred to in that book. More details have been given in the book ‘Stala Mhathmya’ published by the temple management.

Darpana Thirtha:-

 A streamlet called Darpana Thirtha flows from north to south in front.

 Adi subramanya Temple:-

A road on the northern side of the main Gopuram leads to Adi Subrahmanya. 0.25 KM of walk will take you to Adi Subrahmanya temple. One can see a great Valmmika (anthill) in the sanctum. Here daily poojas are conducted and devotees can offer sevas to Shree Subrahmanya.

 Kashikatte Ganapathi:-

This is situated beside the main road towards Kumaradhara about 0.25 KM from the main temple. Here temples of Ganapathi and Anjaneya are seen. It is believed that the idol of Ganapathi found here is very ancient and installed by sage Narada.


On the way from main temple of Kumaradhara you come across a very sacred place called Biladwara which is 0.30 KM from the main temple. It is said that Vasuki (Serpentking) lay hiding in this cave in order to escape from Garude. It is a cave surrounded by beautiful garden.

Kumaradhara river (Bathing Ghat):-

A holy river sanctifies this pilgrim center. It originates from Kumaraparvatha. As a natural charmer, the river cascades down great height and muters lush vegetation of the region. Its journey links with Nethravathi, a holy river of Dakshina Kannada district and joins Arabian Sea. As the river flows over the rocks and thick forest areas it is sure that all the skin diseases will be cured if pilgrims take bath in this river.
Note : As the river is very deep and flows very fast one has to take care while taking bath.

 Darpana Theerth:- 

A tributary of Kumaradhara flows in front of the outer quadrangle of the main temple. It is believed that a mirror (Darpana) and an Akshaya patra (Kopparige with full of gold jewels) happened to come floating down from mountain and the same was collected by temple authority.

 Samputa Narasimha:-

This Temple is situated in the south eastern side of the main sanctum. It is believed that the image of this God is handed over to Madvacharya by Shree Veda Vyasa.This temple belongs to Shree Subrahmanya Mutt.

Vanadurga Devi Temple:-

This temple lies about 0.50KM away from the main temple, Recently this was renovated by using specially designed red stones on traditional style. Daily poojas are conducted here and devoteed offer sevas to Goddess.

 Kukke Shree Abhaya Mahaganapathi:-

It is situates on the left side of the main road to Kumaradhara, about 0.45 KM from the main temple. It is one of the biggest monolithic statues of Ganapa. It is 21 feet tall. The architecture of the shrine is in Nepali style.

Temple Festivals:-

The Annual festival is held here from ‘Karthika Bahula Dwadashi’ to Margashira Shudha Poornima'. On the day of Karthika Bahula Amavasya, the Lakshadeepotsava is celebrated. On the next four days, the Chandramandalotsava, Ashwavahanotsava, Mayura Vahanotsava and Flower Chariot Utsava are conducted respectively. ‘Panchami Rathotsava’ is celebrated at night on Panchami (the fifth day). On the Shashti day (sixth day), Lord Subrahmanya and Lord Umamaheshwara are taken out in procession. The appearance of the Garuda Pakshi (kite) at the time of Ratharohana and also at the time of Avabrath Mahotsava, the next day, is a remarkable feature as this bird can never be found here on the rest of the days. The annual festival comes to an end with a ritual called Maha Samprokshana.

Temple Timings:-

Morning: 7A.M TO 1P.M
Evening: 3P.M TO 8P.M
Poojas Offered     Timings
Opening the main doors     5.00 AM
Usha Kala Pooja     05.30 AM - 7:00 AM
Sevas by the devotees     07.00 AM - 10 AM
Madhyahna Pooja     10.00 AM - 12.15 PM
Mahamangalarathi     12.00 PM
Distribution of Theertha Prasada     12.30 PM - 01:00 PM
Anna Santharpane     1.30 PM - 2:00 PM
Hannukai Seva, Mangalarathi by the devotee     3.30 PM - 6:00 PM
Nisha Pooja     6:00 PM - 7:40 PM
Mahamangalarathi     7.30 PM
Closing the main doors     8.00 PM

How to Reach:-

    By Air:-

    The nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport at a distance of 115 km.
    By Train:-
    The nearest railway station is the Subramanya Road railway station on the route of Mangalore railways station about 7 Kms from the Kukke Subramanyar Temple.
    By Road:-
    Kukke Subrahmanya can be reached by road from Mangalore and from Bangalore. KSRTC operates buses on a daily basis from these two places.

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