Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Kukke Subramaneswara Swamy Temple and History

Sri Kukke Subramanya Swamy Temple ,Dashina Karnataka

 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.

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