Annual Festivities in the Shri Mahaganapati Temple of Pernankila

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Report and Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 09 April 2010: On 1st April 2010, the annual festivities in the Shri Mahaganapati Temple of Pernankila were held with great devotion and enthusiasm with thousands of devotees and villagers participating in the religious and cultural functions.

The famous Shri Mahalingeshwara Shri Mahaganapati temple is situated in the village of Pernankila to the southeast of Udupi. During the Ganesh Chaturthi thousands of devotees throng to this temple. Being situated in the rural set up, Pernankila can be approached by devotees from three directions-from Alevoor through Marne (one km from Marne), from Parkala through Patla (two kms from Patla) and from Hiriadka through Onthibette(eight kms from Onthibette).

There is a curious legend about the Shri Mahaganapati temple at Pernankila. It is believed that while a low caste farmer named Perna, ploughing his land miraculously the image of Shri Mahaganapati stuck to the ploughshare. This resulted in a piece of the head of the idol being chipped off.

During the night, while sleeping, Perna had a dream in which he was instructed to dig at two different places-in the field where the idol had hit his plough and near the Shiva temple. When Perna went and did as instructed in the dream and dug the field, he found the place empty. Later, he proceeded to the vicinity of the temple where he dug a hole and found the idol of Shri Mahaganapati installed itself (svaymbhu) in the pond with its head just showing above. From that time the village came to be known as Perna-ankila, ‘ankila’ meaning ‘plough’ and the village became famous for the miraculous idol of Shri Mahaganapati.

Along with Shri Mahaganapati, the temple also is the abode of Shri Mahalingeshwara. According to an inscription in the temple, it is believed that the temple is very old and was built during the period of the Alupara dynasty by one of the Alupara queens. However, it is difficult to read the entire inscription to know about the history of the temple.

Since five to six years, free food to the needy is being served in the temple whose advantage is taken by around hundred people on the first three days of the week and around fifty on the next four days.

Special poojas and celebrations are held during the Ganesh Chaturthi during which nearly 2000 devotees visit the temple and participate in the meal (annasantarpane) that is served on that day. Besides religious functions, cultural events are also organised on the Ganesh Chaturthi day in the temple.

During Meena in the month of March-April, on the full moon day the festivities start with the hoisting of the temple flag and Rathotsava is also organised on that day. On Tuesdays, that too if Sankashti falls on that day, the number of devotees visiting the temple increases manifold.

It is believed that the Pernankila Shri Mahaganapati is fond of appams prepared out of rice, coconut, ghee and jaggery. On the Ganesh Chaturthi day nearly one quintal rice is used to prepare 50,000 appams and distribute among the devotees. Every month nearly 70,000 appams are prepared and distributed as ‘prasad’ to the devotees who visit the temple.

Like every year this year also the celebrations were held on 1st April 2010. There were many special poojas on that day followed by ‘Mahapooje’ and ‘Ratharohana’ at 12 noon. This was followed by ‘annasantarpane’ to a large number of devotees who were present.

In the night at around 8.15 pm there was Rathotsava to the accompaniment of music and chande beat carrying the idol of Shri Mahaganapati. The festivities continued throughout the night with poojas, bhoota bali and ‘shayanotsava’.

On the evening of 1st April 2010, between 6 and 8 pm Mrs. Madhavi S. Bhat Pernankila presented Karnataka Classical Music to the accompaniment of violin by Mrs. Sharmila K. Rao, mridanga by Mr. Shreesha. From 8 to 11pm the Bhargavi Dance Group of Udupi presented “Bhavayoga Nrutya Vaividya”.


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