Sachin at Kukke Subramanya

Little-known till a couple of days ago, all of a sudden lakhs of people now want to visit – or at least know more about – the temple town of Kukke Subramanya, 105 km from  Bangalore. Their inspiration: Sachin!

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Sachin Tendulkar's two-day pilgrimage to the Kukke Sri Subramanya temple drew scores of fans. It also had them sourcing details from a website on the town.

As a result, the website saw over 17 lakh hits till 1.30 pm on Monday, leading to a server crash. The pilgrimage by Tendulkar, his wife Anjali, and his siblings Ajit, Nitin and Savitha, resulted in a massive 17,50,200 hits over Sunday and Monday on www.kukkesubramanya.com. The website received traffic from all over the world, while the town attracted scores of fans. Many e-mails and telephonic enquiries were received at the temple's reception office at Kukke Subramanya in Dakshina Kanara district.

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"It was never like this in the past," said a source at the website. "Though VIPs from all parts of the country visit the Kukke Sri Subramanya temple, Tendulkar's visit has led to a deluge of enquiries about the pujas here." At the temple, Lord Subramanya is worshipped as a snake.

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Tendulkar, wife Anjali, brothers Ajith and Nithin, and sister Savitha spent Sunday and Monday at Kukke Subramanya, performing rituals aimed at helping him overcome sarpa dosha – perhaps one of the factors behind his nagging injuries.

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"He performed sarpa samskara on Sunday, and ashlesha bali and nagapratishte on Monday," said the source. "These rituals were recommended by a family friend, VS Nayak, living in Bangalore."

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To fans eager to shake hands with him, Tendulkar said, "I've pain in my shoulders. Please don't disturb me."
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Descent of Ganga

Got this amazing picture from http://www.krishna.se/Art/ganga_descent.html. Can’t praise the artist enough! What a beauty this pic is!

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The painting shows an artist’s rendition of how Ganga, when She deigned to come down to Earth from Heaven, was received by Lord Shiva. The story of Bhagiratha’s penances and the famous phrase Bhagiratha Prayatnam are wonderful to read about. Shiva is said to have locked up the arrogant Ganga in his locks, until further prayers and penance from Bhagiratha would see her through, but not before further being consumed (and then released, once again on Bhagiratha’s prayers) by the rishi Jahnu, which earned Her the appellation Jaahnavi.
Also see the wikipedia entry on Ganga.

Shiva Ganga

Shiva Ganga is a hill about 50 km from Bangalore, 20 km ahead of Tumkur. It’s a pretty tall hill with two Shiva temples, one very close to the foot of the hill and another, that’s possibly around 5 km uphill! The deities are “Gangadhareshwara”, and his consort “Swarnambha”.

The place is just fantastic, with breathtaking views from the high altitudes. Brilliant are the views of the surrounding city, the nearby `pushkarini’ or pond, from the top of the hill. Most of the place is rocky, with railings to hold on to as you climb, and monkeys to make sure you don’t take any offerings to the deity on top! A very forgettable experience was how my friend (Saketh) was `searched’ by a monkey, feeling for what he had in his pockets or in hidden beneath his shirt! And all this after another monkey had already robbed him of the coconut/flowers he had brought! Pretty intelligent creatures, one must say! Thankfully, I managed to salvage my camera, safely through these testing times!

Some of the places on the way to the top were reminscent of `Prince of Persia’, where you had to figure out a way which is hardly apparent to the eye (the typical hidden ledge you would climb on to)! In all, it was an experience in trekking as well :D. Inside some of the rocks (of which even the temple and the deities and sannidhis are a part of!), you could find some small fountains or water bodies, that we were told, never dry up throughout the year! But the most intriguing of all was a tunnel which supposedly led into the heart of Bangalore (couldn’t snap this up though!).

The way back was the same, but more easily traced (without the pebbles of Hansel and Gretel), and more nourishing, with regard to the breaks for a Maaza and some coconut water. Took about 2-2.5 hours to go up I guess and around 2 hrs to get down the hill. Being a Saturday, there was hardly any crowd, but we were told that there’s a lot of queueing on Sundays and on Maha Shivarathri (last week, 8-Mar). Overall, it appears to be a great place for a quick weekend trip.

Photos to follow… and yes posted now (14-03-2005, 0920) on my blog.

The first aerial view..

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The blazing sun (the camera could not capture!)

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Gopuram of the temple

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The easy lower part of the journey.. about 15%, with nice steps. Note the Nandi in the background..

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Another of the aerial views.. note the `pushkarini’ and the far-off hill..

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Yet another view of the earth!

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This is the hill on which the temple is. Note the water stains on the rocks.. Water must be flowing here often…S3010239.jpg

That’s Saketh (before the monkey debacle – note tha bag in his hand :D). Such steps were there in part of the way to the top..

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The way to the top is never easy…S3010241.jpg

Such huge rocks were on either side of our path…S3010242.jpg

Another sample of the rocks around!

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More picturesque…

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These railings were present in some places.. there are also some pseudo-steps (just inset in the hill) to help you climb..

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Closer to the top…
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From the top! One of these poles had a torch that could be lit (now dilapidated). S3010248.jpg

The temple on top..

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Higher and higher…

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This tree was beautiful.. only flowers.. hardly any leaves.. Don’t think that’s too apparent from this pic though!

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A Nandi on top…

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A view through two huge rocks…

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The Nandi from a distance, from in front of the actual temple

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Last few aerial views (1)

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Last few aerial views (2)

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Last few aerial views (3). Looks almost like a satellite pic from the top of the world!

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Whoa! The final pic. A bird’s eye view of the civilisation around in God’s world! This is my favourite snap:
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Just to know who went to this place… the photographer is yours truly, to the right!

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