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07 May 2016

Sri Venkatramana Temple, Carstreet, Mangalore

Getting ready for the Abhishek, on the morning of the Car Festival
Today's post is 'hometown special', considering I've only been putting up stories on places from across the State and not put up anything based on Mangalore in a while.

Mangalore used to be a charming old town, with narrow lanes and streets. And then came development, and old tile houses made way for swanky new malls. And looking at the way things are going, one cannot predict where we're headed to. I'm not against development, but then it's equally important to make an active effort to retain the essence of each place.

One area in Mangalore that still partly is similar to what it used to be many many years ago is Carstreet. One can still find vendors selling traditional street snacks, sugar-cane juice being made in the hand-turned machines, old men sitting and gossiping under the Peepal tree ("ashvatha katte"). And standing at the head of it all, is Sri Venkatramana Temple. The yearly 'car festival' (kodial theru) held in the first quarter of the year is a grand affair, and culminates with 'vokkuli', similar to Holi.

The history and story behind the temple, which is as recent as 1804 AD,  goes thus: An ascetic carrying a sack, once visited Mangalore. He kept this sack in a wealthy businessman's shop for safe keeping, who was unaware of it's contents. However many days elapsed, but the ascetic did not return. After a few days, the businessman noticed smoke emanating from the room where the sack was kept. On rushing there, they found the fumes were actually coming out of the sack, and no other part of the room was damaged. The sack was opened to a shocking surprise- there lay idols of Lord Veera Venkatesha. With a lot of deliberation, it was decided that a temple will be consecrated. And thus the Sri Venkatramana Temple came into being.

In 2012, a mega renovation was undertaken, and some very pretty wood work was added around the sanctum sanctorum. Sharing a few photos taken then. (Please click on the photos to enlarge)

14 comments:

  1. Such intricate designs in wood. I hope it lasts long.
    Thanks for the story!

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    1. My thoughts exactly, considering the high humidity in Mangalore!

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  2. The stories always fascinate!
    Beautiful artisanship!
    Urbanisation is disturbing, yes.

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    Replies
    1. True, every place has a story to tell!

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  3. A beautiful Post.. One place in Bangalore which still retains its old culture even to date with many Temples around is Ulsoor area from Lido to Aadarsh inspite of Metro line thru' passing thru' the thickly populated area.. Thanks for sharing the Post about Managalore, Priyanka!

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    1. Thank you Sreedharji, hope the area remains that way and does not end up becoming like the rest of Bangalore..

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  4. Mangalore brings to mind Shilpa Shetty, Aishwariya Rai and the Arabian sea. Now I know it has beautiful temples also. Thank you for sharing. Hope some day I shall visit this town.

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    1. Haha, hope you do before it completely changes into something unrecognisable!

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  5. Art in woods... awesome... thanks for sharing

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  6. Realy amazing pictures and Awesome Art works....

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