Sri Kukke Subramanya shrine in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka is one place almost every Hindu devotee in the Southern part of India would be familiar with. And not just being familiar, many would either have visited or would have planned to visit the temple at least once in a lifetime for the powers Lord Subramanya here is known to possess and bless a devotee with. Come, let’s learn about all that the shrine is known for and more.
Kukke Subramanya Temple – An Overview
The Kukke Subramanya Temple is dedicated to Lord Subramanya, Son of Lord Shiva. According to legends, Lord Subramanya is considered the Deva Senapathi – the commander of the army of the lords and is worshipped as the lord of snakes.
The temple Sri Kukke Subramanya is located in the Subramanya town of Sullia Taluk in Dakshina Kannada district. Easily accessible by rail and road, this small town is located about 105 km from Mangaluru while the temple is situated amidst a scenic location that’s relatively unexplored and neat in comparison to a lot of other pilgrimage venues.
While one can find the Kumaradhara river run in the temple surroundings, the place is embraced by a beautiful mountain from the background.
Quick Facts about Sri Kukke Subramanya Shrine
Temple Timings: Open on all days between 5 AM to 8 PM
Temple Food to devotees: Free food is served by the temple trust to the visitors in between 1.30 PM to 2 PM and again from 8 PM to 9.30 PM.
Dos and Don’ts at the Temple
- Devotees visiting Kukke Subramanya temple should abide by the below rules:
- One cannot enter without taking a bath, or wearing a shirt, coat or cap
- Products made out of animal skin should not be brought into the shrine
- Chewing tobacco, beetle leaves or Gutka is prohibited
- A devotee cannot enter the temple if he has oiled his head or body.
- Female devotees should not enter the temple if pregnant for sixth months or more.
Folklores Associated with the Kukke Subramanya Temple
So goes a story: Lord Subramanya reached this place after defeating the asura or evil forces and killing their chiefs Tharakasura and Soorapadhma. He cleansed his Shakti weapon in the river present at the place while Indra – the king of all lords, requested Lord Subramanya to accept his daughter Devasena as his wife and their marriage took place at the very same venue.
Waters from all the holy rivers were brought here for the ceremony and the same waters are believed to have flown down to become the river Kumaradhara.
There is yet another mythological story that would interest the devotees. An ardent Shiva Bhakta Vasuki who was also the serpent king is said to have been meditating for many years in the Biladwara caves of Subramanya, in order to avoid being attacked by the holy eagle Garuda.
As per Lord Siva’s instructions, Shanmuka or Subramanya is known to have appeared before Vasuki, blessing and permitting him to stay at Subramanya for eternity, as Vasuki was an ardent devotee of Lord Subramanya. Hence, it is also believed that any Puja offered to Vasuki is equivalent to a puja having been offered Lord Subramanya himself.
It is from then on that this place is known to have become important for people wanting to perform Sarpadosha Puja.
Also, in Shankara Vijaya, a traditional biography by the Advaitha philosopher Sri Adi Shankaracharya, he scribes that he camped at Kukke Subramanya for a short while and he himself refers to this place in his ‘Subrahmanya Bhujangaprayata Stotram’ as ‘Bhaje Kukke Lingam’.
Architecture of the Shrine
This temple building faces eastern direction and the main entrance is present at the back of the Sanctum. Located in between the sanctum and the entrance of the temple is a silver-plated garuda kamba (pole), which is believed to protect devotees from the poisonous breath of Vasuki who resides inside the sanctum sanctorum.
Present beyond this is two halls, the inner one leading to the sanctum. Located on the pedestal is a sculpture of Subramanya with Vasuki. A little below, one can find the idol of Sesha.
Various forms of pujas offered to the Lord
A wide range of rituals are performed at this temple but listed below are a few very popular or important ones:
Sarpa Dosha / Sarpa Samskara
Sarpa Samskara/Sarpa Dosha is the puja performed to snake god to get rid of the sarpa dosha or any negativity being caused in one’s life. Sarpa Dosha is being afflicted by the sarpa (serpent) dosha (curse) either knowingly or unknowingly through many ways in one’s present or previous births. People from various places across the country perform this puja at Sri Kukke Subramanya temple to get rid of the dosha.
This ritual can be performed on being advised by the astrologers and can be done either by the person afflicted if he is a male and married or through a priest. This is because the puja involves rituals similar to the ones done in performing a shraaddha (death rites). The devotees performing the Sarpa Samskara Seva will have to stay for two days at the temple premises.
The seva occurs during the day and the food will be provided to the devotees by the temple trust, for four people per seva.
Naga Pratistha Puja
This ritual is performed for one’s relief from Kaala sarpadosha, santaana dosha (Childlessness) and related problems. The Puthrasanthana puja to rid of childlessness is performed on all days except on Ekadashi or any other days on which a Hindu devotee observes fasting.
The Naga Prathista Puja will be done at the Nagaprathista Mantapa in the temple’s outer quadrangle after main or mahapuja.
This is performed by those known to be affected by Kaalasarpadosha due to various reasons and this too is held on all days except Ekadashi and other days when a Hindu devotee observes fasting. This puja is performed on the day of Ashlesha Nakshatra every month. However, Shravana Masa, Margashira Masa and Karthika Masa are considered most auspicious to perform this puja.
How to Reach Kukke Subrahmanya Shrine
Kukke Subrahmanya is accessible by road from Mysore, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, and Dharmastahla. The KSRTC buses operate on a daily basis from these places.
The nearest airport to Subramanya is the Mangaluru International Airport located at a distance of 115 km.
The nearest railway station is the Subrahmanya Road (SBHR) railway station on Mangalore-Bangalore railway route. It is located at a distance of 12 km from Kukke Subrahmanya while there is also a daily passenger train service available from Mangalore and Bangalore.
People can avail local transportation facilities to reach the temple from the station.