Foundation stone laid for the reconstruction of the historic Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple

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By Eugene DSouza
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi, 02 Oct 2016: Shri Mahalingeshwara temple situated at Devaragudde in Moodubelle village is believed to be over a thousand years old and has been the centre of religious, cultural and social activities of the village. This temple has been under the administration of the hereditary trustees of Melmane (Upper House) and Kelamane(Lower House) since the historic time.


Though the main deity of the temple is Shri Mhalngeshwara (Shiva), the temple complex has the ‘gudi’ of  Shri Suryanarayana (Sun God) that was installed by the ancestors of Melmane and also an idol of Shri Ganesh sponsored by the Saralaya family of Kanaradi. Hence, the temple has been a place of worship for both Shaivas and Vaishnavas.


Around fifty years ago the temple was renovated. However, the ‘Garbhagudi’ (Main Sanctuary) of the temple is in a dilapidated condition as it was not renovated since a long time. With a view to completely renovate the Main Sanctuary and also to renovate the Shri Suryanarayana Gudi and have a new gudi for Shri Ganesh, it was decided  to rebuild the entire temple complex.


Under the guidance of  Tantri Sagri Shri Haridas Ithal a Renovation Committee was constituted representing various sections of the village community. It was decided to call for tenders from different architects and engineers. Having completed the preliminary procedures, it was decided to lay the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the temple complex on Sunday, 2 October 2016.



In the morning of Sunday, 2 October 2016, people of the village along with the members of the Renovation Committee as well as prominent leaders of the village and community assembled at the Geeta Mandir at Moodubelle township from where the foundation stones were taken in a grand procession to the temple complex at Devaragudde.  Meanwhile, the Ganapati Homa’ to ward off evil spirits and remove any kind of obstacles in the way of reconstruction of the temple was in progress inside the temple since 8 am.


The procession accompanied with ‘chendes’ and trucks carrying the stones that had started at 9.45 am reached the temple at 10.30 am. Two stone slabs were lowered from the truck by the crane and laid before the front door of the temple.


Tantri Sagri Shri Haridas Ithal conducted elaborate Vedic rituals in front of the stone slabs, washing them first with water and later with milk, ghee, turmeric powder, etc. The hereditary trustee, Vasantha Shetty from Melmane along with his wife participated in the elaborate rituals.


After the end of the rituals of purification and sanctification of the stone slabs as well as the instruments-hammer and chisel, Tantri Sagri Shri Haridas symbolically chipped off the edges of the stone slabs with the help of a hammer and chisel. Thereafter he handed over the charge of continuing the work to Shri Narayana Mestri of Karkala the chief architect of the reconstruction of the temple who has vast experience in temple construction. The temple of Shri Suryanarayana at Padil, Mangalore constructed by him is being considered as an architectural marvel in the entire coastal area.


The total cost of the reconstruction of the entire temple complex is estimated at around rupees four crores.


The foundation stone laying ceremony  was attended by hereditary Trustees and Honorary presidents of the Temple Renovation  Committee-Belle Melmane Vasantha Shetty and Dr. Ramratan Rai of Kelamane, B. Sadananda Rao-President, Rajendra Shetty-Secretary, Dr. H. Bhaskar Shetty-Administrative Trustee and Vice President, Chandrakant Rao-Treasurer, Nagaraj Kamath-Joint Secretary, Belle Melmane Uday Shetty-Vice President.


Besides the trustees and Temple Renovation Committee other dignitaries who participated in the foundation stone laying function included: Mrs. Ranjani Hegde-President of Belle Grama Panchayat, Shivaji Suvarna-President of Belle CA Bank, Prasad Shetty Kuthyar, Mrs. Sujata Suvarna-member of Udupi Taluk Panchayat, Mrs. Ida Gibba D’Souza-former member of Udupi Zilla Panchayat.


The programme was compeered by Devdas Hebbar.



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