Kattingeri - The village with colourful past and progressive future

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Report by Dr Eugene Moodubelle

Kattingeri, 17 March 2010: Every place of human settlement has a past history, present life and progressive future. The name of a place indicates in one word the significance of that place. In order to know about Kattingeri, the neighbouring village of Moodubelle and reconstruct its history and understand the present, Anil Alva and I proceeded to Kattingeri. Halting at the ancient temple of Shri Brahmalingeshwara we contacted Mr. Devdas Hebbar who readily agreed to help us in giving the necessary input for this article. While I was engrossed in jotting down the information given by Mr. Hebbar, Anil was busy in taking the pictures of the beautiful lake and the temple.

According to Mr. Devdas Hebbar, the name ‘Kattingeri’ has been derived from the lake that is close to the Shri Brahmalingeshwara temple. As the lake was believed to have been constructed by the villagers, it came to be known as the ‘Kattidhina Kere’ in the Tulu language and the words gradually merged into one as ‘Kattingeri’ and the village acquired this name.

The original residents of Kattingeri were the aboriginals (adhivasis) originally known as ‘Goddu Bakder’, who came to be referred later as Muggerkalas in Tulu. Their chief occupation was hunting. During the medieval period, the village was ruled by the Jain feudal lords of Moodbidri. Even today Jain wells and an inscription are found in Kattingeri. The Kattingeri village was said to have been leased to one of the Jain couples from Moodbidri who came and settled down at the village. Many of the Muggerkalas became their tenants. Gradually, some of the Muggerkalas migrated and settled down in other destinations such as Kaup, Padubidri, Mattu and other places.

As the Jain couple had no issues, they adopted a boy from the Shivalli Brahmin caste. As the name of the Jain woman was Hebbarthi, the adopted Shivalli Brahmin and his descendants acquired the surname as ‘Hebbars’, who became the trustees of the Shri Brahmalingeshwara temple and continue to be the trustees even today.

Shri Brahmalingeshwara temple has an interesting history. According to legend, the temple was founded by a Sage (Muni) named Brughu nearly 800 years ago. Initially, the idol of Shri Brahmalingeshwara was installed under a Pipal tree at Brahmagudda. As the place was felt to be small to accommodate the growing number of devotees, it was decided to shift the idol to the present location where the temple was constructed. During the construction of the temple, the idol was placed at the house of the Patel of Kattingeri near the temple, which is still known as ‘Brahmara Chavdi’.

Shri Brahmalingeshwara is a composite temple where three deities are worshipped. These deities are: Brahmalingeshwara, Durga Parameshwari and Naga Subramanya. The annual festivities of the temple are held every year during the second week of March for five days on the occasion of the Meena Sankramana. During this period, the devotees visit the temple and offer prayers, flowers, fruits and coconuts to the deities. For five days free lunch is served to the devotees and other residents of the village irrespective of their religion or caste. In the evening various cultural programmes are arranged including religious plays and historical dramas.

According to Mr. Devdas Hebbar, in the past, during the annual festival of the temple there used to be a demonstration of sword fights also known as ‘Katthi Kalaga’ in a huge paddy field known as the Varasare Bakyaar. Varasare means long sickle or sword. Representatives from 12 villages (maganes) used to participate in this mock duel which was purely for the purpose of entertainment of the devotees and people who used to attend the annual festival.

In the same Varasare Bakyaar the Nyaya Panchayat used to be held. This judicial process was presided over by the Kuthyar Arasu (King) and the Patel of Kattingeri. People from nearly 60 villages would attend this Panchayat and get their grievances or litigations resolved.

The Shri Brahmalingeshwara temple observes other festivals as well known as Pancha Parvas: Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Feast of the New Corn (Koralu Parba), Navaratri, Dasara and Deepavali. In the month of December, Subramanya Shasti is celebrated. During the night Ranga Puja is performed. During the month of Shravan flower worship (Putha Puje) is conducted in the temple. In every month on the day of the Sankramana, bhajan programmes are arranged in the temple premises by the Brahmalingeshwara Bhajan Mandali, whose president is Mr. Devdas Hebbar.

Before the Land Reform Acts were enacted by the Karnataka Government in 1960s, the temple used to receive 60 muras of rice and 6 tins of oil as rent from it’s land. As the temple lost its land due to the land reform acts, the Trustees of the temple had to depend on the goodwill of the devotees for its maintenance and daily pujas. The devotees voluntarily donated Rs.1000 per day for 365 days and out of the interest of this total amount the expenses of the pujas are met.

Since around four hundred years, the temple has been administered by the Hebbar family. Presently, the Managing Trustee is Subraya Hebbar, father of Mr. Devdas Hebbar. Mr. Mohan Hebbar, who works on the District Collector’s office, is also one of the five Trustees of the temple.

The other important attraction of Kattingeri is the huge lake near the temple because of which the village has got its present name. Originally this lake was known as ‘Devara Kere’ (God’s Lake). The lake occupies an area of 5.78 acres and is a boon to the village as it never dries up and its water is used for agriculture and washing of animals. The Kattingeri Lake has its own natural beauty with flora and fauna. Verities of seasonal birds flock to this lake for food and shelter especially during the months of October, November and December. The lake is also home for different kinds of fish. Mr. Devdas Hebbar mentioned that he himself had introduced 8000 Tilapia, 1000 Katla and 1000 Common Corp in the lake at different times. The lotus plants and flowers at different locations add to the beauty of the lake. There is a small island like growth with rocks and bushes a little away from the bank of the lake. People from Kattingeri and Moodubelle can catch fish from the lake. Angling is permitted throughout the year. However, catching the fish by using net is restricted after the annual feast in the month of March.

During the Subramanya Shasti and annual festival, the devotees would take a dip in the lake and undertake rolling worship (madasthana) in front of the temple and have bath in the same lake after this ritual.

There are a number of legends and folk stories associated with the Kattingeri Lake. On the other side of the lake there is a rock which the villagers believe had miraculous powers. It is said that, many years ago poor people who had to get their daughters married and had no gold would go to the rock on the previous evening with a plate of fruits, coconut and flowers and keep the plate on the rock and pray for the boon of gold ornaments. Next morning they would find the necessary gold ornaments which they would use for the marriage. However, after the marriage they had to return the gold ornaments at the same place so that the next family in need would have it in similar manner. This boon seems to have come to an end when one selfish woman exchanged the nose-ring with artificial one.

Another interesting folk story about the lake is that at Podi Kambla where buffalo race used to take place on dry field, the pair of buffaloes belonging to the Patel family had to lead the other buffalo pairs. In one year the Patel did not have the pair of buffaloes and was very sad. He lamented for not having been able to provide the lead for the buffalo race and prayed so that he could have a pair. Surprisingly, on the day of the race a pair of buffaloes was found in his stable and the buffalo race could take place. However, when the buffaloes were taken to the lake for a wash, the handler of the Patel’s miraculous buffaloes exchanged one of them. According to the story, as a punishment for this act of cheating all the buffaloes that were taken to the lake mysteriously vanished. It is also believed that a small bronze chariot belonging to the temple which was taken for a wash in the lake had mysteriously sunk and is still believed to be entrenched in the bed of the lake.

Mr. Devdas Hebbar also mentioned that the world famous artist and painter, Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar (KK Hebbar) who had his house close to the lake used to play in this lake and collect clay for preparing various types of clay models.

It is said that so far there is no record of any one losing his or her life due to drowning in the lake though there had been incidents of drowning. The villagers say that not only human beings but even animals including dogs or cats have not lost their lives in the lake.

The Kattingeri Lake was de-silted and made deep in the year 1999 at the cost of around Rs. 4.5 lacs given as grant by the Udupi Zilla Panchayat. This year around Rs.10 lacs have been sanctioned for the improvement of the lake. The Moodubelle-Kattingeri road is being under construction which passes through the western bank of the Kattingeri Lake. The road, once constructed will proceed to Manibettu and onwards to Attinja and Shirva. According to Mr. Devdas Hebbar, once the road is completed the people of Kattingeri and Manibettu will have easy access to both Moodubelle and Shirva as transport buses will be introduced on this route.



In order to conserve water, the outlet of the lake is closed by a bund during the Kaveri Sankramana in the month of October. After erecting the bund the conserved water occupies an area of nearly 8 acres. Mr. Devdas Hebbar said that there are plans to develop the Kattingeri Lake as a place of leisure and recreation by having a narrow road around the lake and providing with concrete benches for the people to relax. By providing peddle and rowing boats an opportunity will be provided to people to have recreation and fun.

Thus, the Kattingeri village has a colourful past and a progressive future with the completion of the road connecting Moodubelle and Shirva and the development of the lake as mentioned by Mr. Devdas Hebbar. This would help in promoting local tourism, excursions by schools, colleges and associations as well as family picnics.


Comments on this Article
ASHOK HEBBAR. Katingeri, Chennai Wed, January-26-2022, 5:06
Had been to katingeri village on the 24th January 2022 Had the opportunity of meeting Mr Devdass hebbar and had the opportunity to see the temple and to know that my grandfather was born in this village I am K Ashok Hebbar son of late K Radha Krishna hebbar grandson of Late Dr K.P Rama hebbar
K Vikyat Hebbar, Mumbai Sun, October-24-2021, 7:53
Avery informative and useful info which still bonds our feelings for this village where my father and other elders of the Hebbar family were born.Deva is doing a good job and u have the privilege of meeting him whenever I visit this nostalgic village.His effort to maintain the sanctity and tradition of our temple is really appreciated.
Kattingere Ratnakar Shetty, Udupi Mon, April-2-2018, 5:04
Informative article.but I think I is kattingere and not kattingeri
Raj Kishore Hebber, Mangalore/Kerala Sun, December-16-2012, 8:12

Its nice to hear about the development at kattengeri and also like to thanks Mr.Davdas hebber for bring this issue to worldwide. As I have now planned to reach take a trip to kattrngrti. Then one more thing i want to know about my friend Mr.radhakrshnan hebber f/o. K. Raghunathan hebber.he was a medical practitier in kerala palaghat.it will be great if i get any information aboutd. my friend

Mrs.Poornima Bairethaya, Kattingeri Fri, July-23-2010, 9:46
Wonderful work. Thank you so much for showing our beautiful village to the world with nice snaps and great information. We are very thankful to you. Happy to be a part of this place.
Sr Mariola B.S., Kattigere/Collumbe Mon, May-10-2010, 7:08
Oh wonderful article and the pictures. I thank God for being born around this beautiful lake and had the opportunity to taste Fish from this lake. I am proud that Nature is taken care off and best wishes for the future plans. May this place invite many to worship the Creator God through creation.
Sudesh Hebbar, Bangalore Fri, April-9-2010, 9:28
This is such a great article; it answered a lot of questions about my ancestors. I am going to keep a copy of it and share it with many generations to come. I have more then one reason to visit Kattingeri now. Thank you all, for taking time and effort to do such a wonderful research.
K Rajesh hebbar, Palakkad, kerala Sun, March-28-2010, 12:52
Wonderfull to read about the place my ancestors come from.Thanks to Mr Devadas Hebbar for keeping the History of the Hebbars alive. And of course thanks to my uncle Prakash Hebbar for sending me this woderfull article. it is especially special for me to know that my grandfather Dr rama Hebbar was born in the house behind the Temple. Will defenitely come for a visit in the near future.
Prakash Hebbar, Kerala/Maryland USA Fri, March-26-2010, 10:44
Devdas, a million thanks for keeping the history of our family alive (my father was born in the house behind the temple). Had a wonderful time when we visited you. Regards Prakash
DEVADAS HEBBAR, KATTINGERI Wed, March-24-2010, 11:53
thank u mr victor d almeida for ur wonderful knowledge about k.k.hebbar his greate AWARDS.I AM PROUD OF YOU.
Victor D almeida, Moodubele/Bahrain Mon, March-22-2010, 4:07
Our Kattingeri village starts from the old Moodubelle post office, we are the part of Kattingeri but we never knew it had such a rich history like this. This is the birth place of the world famous artist and painting legend K.K.Hebbar[1911-1996]. Mr. Hebbar won many awards. The important one include gold medal from the Academy of Fine Arts, State Award, Lalithakala Akademi Award, Padma Shri,Padma Bhushan, Varna Shilpi K Venkatappa Award, honorary doctorate from Mysore University, Soviet Land Nehru Award, and the Kannada Award.he is the only one in Kattingeri who ever produced such great paintings , we all are proud of him , his great career and his best achievement on the national and international level.May God bless our village.
Prabhakara N Moolya, Hyderabad Sun, March-21-2010, 3:01
The article really explored an excellent tourism place in moodubelle after development of infrastructure facilities. Thanks
B Ramananda Rao, Kemmannu Sat, March-20-2010, 8:28
many many thanks to Bellevision team for publishing a detailed article on Kattingeri.I wish Mr Devadas hebbar all the best and a grand success in his effort to develope the sleepy village with great history into a place of tourism and generate lot of employment opportunity to the rural mass,under his able leadership,hats off to our dear Deva and his efficeint team
Kumar. H, Abu Dhabi Sat, March-20-2010, 1:22
A very well written article. Throughly enjoyed reading the developments about to happen in this beautiful place.Thanks to Devadas Hebbar s vision and efforts Kattingeri will soon become a place of prominence.All the very best, and I am lucky to be part of this beautiful place which I always refer as Gods own village.
ALWYN DANTHY, PERNAL/shirva Fri, March-19-2010, 5:21
Nice article about this village blessed with nature!s gifts.Congratulations to Mr.Devdas Hebbar Bellevision team to bring this information to the benefit of your fellow friends visitors around the Globe.I was fortunate to spend my childwood days in this beautiful village.I wish good luck to the people
Sr. Matilda Alva, Kattingeri / Uttar Pradesh Fri, March-19-2010, 3:09
Our Childhood we spent in Kattingeri and around this beautiful Lake is unforgettable. We feel really proud and fortunate to born and brought up in this village like Kattingeri. My sincere best wishes to Mr. Devdas Hebbar who is also our neighbour, for all his future plans towards upgrading this beautiful and nature preserved Lake.
devadas hebbar, kattingeri Thu, March-18-2010, 1:28
Many many thanks to all the belle vision readers.And also i am greatful to you for your wholehearted support in the development of Kattingeri Village. Thank you once again.
norbert, Kattingere / Mangalore Thu, March-18-2010, 10:18
Vow!! Incredible Dr Eugene!! Thank you a millions for brining out the history of our village. Indeed every name of a village has some history behind it!! Photos are brilliant.
Valerian Alva, Kattingeri Thu, March-18-2010, 4:45
I am fortunate to grow up in this beautiful place. The history of Kattingeri temple and lake is well known to everyone who is residing in Kattingeri village. Mr.Devdas Hebbar is having wonderful plans for this lake as he is work hard for it since last few years. I am sure with his visionary leadership, Kattingeri will become another "pilikula" in a few years
Manoj D souza, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, March-17-2010, 3:37
Hey Shashiprasad!!!! Good to see you on bellevision man. Please mail me on manojdsouza@hotmail.com
Rima D souza, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, March-17-2010, 3:19
Very informative article and great pictures. Its amazing that the place has such a great history but very few people are aware of it. Thank you Dr Eugene for the wonderful article.
Sathish Nayak, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, March-17-2010, 12:15
wowwww..wht a nice pic gud artical....
Alfred Vincent Monis, Bantakal/Kingdom of Bahrain Wed, March-17-2010, 10:52
Dear Dr. D Souza/Mr.Anil, beautiful picture and great article from Dr.D Souza as usual.Please write more more articles from our villages with pictures.
Avith Lobo, Moodubelle/Qatar Wed, March-17-2010, 10:01
Very informative article.Thanks to Mr.Eugene,Mr.Anil and Mr.Devdas Hebbar for giving readers a comprehensive history about Kattingeri.
Shashiprasad, Ankudur-Moodubelle Wed, March-17-2010, 9:36
Thanks a lot for the article. I am Happy to hear that some development works to be launched around the lake to promote Tourism. Please make the lake surroundings Plastic Free zone. Most of the Indian tourist places are victims of littering. I feel by taking an effective action at the beginning would keep the place beautiful for longer period of time.
John L., Moodubelle Wed, March-17-2010, 7:55
Very informative article which will definitely flock public to visit this area once the development takes pace. Hope local authorities will take appropriate action soon. Aprreciate Mr.Hebbar, Dr. Eugine and the our great friend Mr. Anil Alva.
Joseph Martis, Kattingery Wed, March-17-2010, 6:43
Thank you very much for nice pictures and article of my home village where i had been born and brought up.I remember those my childhood days memories about the temple, Lake(Kattidhina Kere)and Varasare Bakyaar, we use to play, do swimming and Fishing in the lake. Annual feast of Varasare was really an entatainment during our childhood.Devdas, we are all proud of you and happy to know about your plans for the development of the lake. God bless you and all your plans to be successsful and i am sure in the future we can see our kattingery as picnic spot. Thanks for Anil and Eugene. jmj
Louis Alva, Kattingeri Wed, March-17-2010, 6:27
Last week when we had met Mr. Devdas Hebbar in Kattingeri, he had explained us about the future planning’s of this beautiful kattingeri lake, were we use to play, swim, catch fish in this lake when we were small. I wish pray this dream project will come to reality very soon and all the surrounding area local or visitors people who are now going away to relax when they come for holidays, will be forced to visit this beautiful picnic spot and its surrounding beautiful nature. Thank you Dr. Eugene for the wonderful report and Mr. Anil for the beautiful eye capturing pictures.
pams, moodubelle / mukammar / bahrain Wed, March-17-2010, 5:05
Lovely pictures... thank you bellevision.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Wed, March-17-2010, 3:21
Excellent photography and article. I m proud of my home village which is full of green. Pleased to learn about the plans for development and landscaping of lake area with roads and boat rides and concreate benches to enjoy the beauty of the lake. May it be a reality at the earliest...thus a natural picnic spot!
Ashok Hebbar, Kattingeri/Fujairah Wed, March-17-2010, 2:00
Thank you very much for Bellevision Team , giving informations about kattingeri and its history to the world. I am very proud to be born in this beatiful place. and I remember all my childhood memories aroound the temple environment and I really miss now. And devanna thank you very much for taking interst in all developments of kattingeri and belle.I hope bellevision will cover the temple festival programes.
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Wed, March-17-2010, 1:45
We usually go to outstations for a holiday or picnic, without actually knowing we have more beautiful places in our own village. Thank you Dr. Eugene and Mr. Anil for exploring this magnificent scenic beauty. It is nice to know about the plans to develop the Kattingeri Lake as a place of leisure and recreation. The plans explained by Mr. Devdas Hebbar are fantastic. If these plans materialize it will surely be a great opportunity for the people to have recreation and this will also take Moodubelle a step forward in the development. We are really fortunate to have good leaders who have foresight. With the developments we have seen in the recent years, surely these plans will materialize soon.
prince, podikambla/dubai Wed, March-17-2010, 1:28
Nice and imfomative article,good photos,feel nice to see the nature.Thanks Dr eugine and Anil for the article.
Jerome D Sa, Bethsaida, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, March-17-2010, 12:46
It is a well compiled article by the Bellevision Team and Thank you. The pictures are amazing and did bring back all my childhood memories, where once I used to go fishing in the same lake. Never knew Kattingari had a rich history as this. Proud to be born in this beautiful place.
simon.castelino, devaragudde/ kalmady /jeddaha Tue, March-16-2010, 8:48
Iam very happy to see the beauty of the nature of devarakere kattengeri thank you Dr Eugene Dsouza - bellevison team
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