Mangalore to Dharmasthala| KT Hotel, Sowthadka, Interview with Shri Veerendra Heggade ji
Namaskar Friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host Harish Bali! Right now, we are standing outside the Mangalore railway station Today, we are going to Daramasthala, which is at a distance of 75 km from here. It will take us 2 hours to reach there if we go non-stop. So, let's go. I want to introduce Mr. Harish to you. Namaskar! Namaskar Sir! Welcome to Mangalore! Thank you! He is a professional tour guide.
He will accompany us to Dharamasthala. We will stay their overnight and return tomorrow. He is going to be our guide on this journey. If you want to take a bus from here, the ticket price is Rs. 73 per person... ...and the journey will take about 2 to 2.15 hours. We've travelled about 30 km from Mangalore.
Harish ji told me that we are standing right next to the "Narahari Parvat (mountain)". It is a historical place. We will trek from here onwards. From these stairs? Yes, from the stairs. During the Mahabharat era, it is believed that after the war was over, the Pandavas along with Shri Krishna...
...came to this place, built a pond here and took a dip in it, to seek forgiveness for sins they had committed. After the holy dip, they also worshipped Lord Sadashiv here. (Chanting Shlokas) As per local belief, people suffering from asthama, worship here and once their asthama is cured,... ...they donate a bundle of rope, like this, to the temple. The rope bundle is a sort of offering to this temple. This is called "Chakra Teerth" this one "Shankh Teerth." This place is in the shape of a Shankh or a conch shell. This pond is 80 feet deep.
It is that deep? Yes Sir We are atop a mountain right now. Yes Sir. From here we can see in the distance, there are other mountains, and lots of greenery around. There is a cool wind blowing.
The time is 10 am. I feel that if one comes here at 6.30 am or 7 o'clock,... ....this location would be unmatched at that time. You are right Sir. The 'Kallad' tea of this K.T. Hotel is very famous.
We've come from afar to taste the tea sold here. Welcome Sir! Thank you! First, we want to see how that tea is made and after that we will taste it. First, we take the decoction of tea! Like this! As you can see! We don't boil our tea powder.
We just add hot water to it. By powder, you mean tea powder! Yes! What if I don't mix it up in this glass with my spoon? This concoction will stay like this till the end of the day. That is the specialty of this tea. Okay. So, it won't mix on its own? Not at all! This tea is so famous that you can ask anyone in this whole region about K.T. Hotel...
...and they would know it. To enjoy this tea, we need to mix it up. You just passed hot water through the tea powder.... ...despite that the tea has a strong flavour. That is our specialty! Ma'am, like this tea is famous in the region and we liked it very much... ...is there a local food item here equally famous? (Kannada names of dishes!) So, can you get us one of those? I will get Pundi Gassi (rice dumplings in gravy) for you! That is quite famous! This dish is famous throughout Karnataka. More specifically South Karnataka Just like to mix rice and dal into a batter to steam idlis...
...this doesn't have dal in it, only rice! Rice batter is shaped into balls and steamed! And on top of that goes "Gassi", meaning spices. Yes! The masala in this dish is awesome! Really awesome! Besides, there is mild flavor of mustard seeds, coconut and coconut oil. Everything is mild! I've become a fan of Pundi Gassi! Let me mix this chana (chickpeas) with Poha (flattened and seasoned rice dish).
By the way, I've had a lot of poha so far. We also make poha regularly at home But I could never think that chana and poha could be mixed as well. I couldn't imagine that chana and poha could make such an awesome combination. So, you cooked the masala mix and added poha to it. Yes! And it also has a little bit of sugar in it! Really awesome! I can also see this red chili in it. But there is just the flavor of red chili, not its bite.
I've also heard about an Ayurvedic drink called "Kashaya" in Karnataka. Kashaya! Yes! You have that? We have that as well! They just told me an interesting fact - when I go to any Udupi restaurant in India... ...I can ask for Kashaya and it will be served to me. To show you guys, I've asked them to bring this Kashaya powder as well.
Here it is, in this bowl. First, I will taste a bit of this powder. It tastes of jeera (cumin), dhaniya (coriander), black pepper... Second thing, this is a packet of brand Madhu Kashaya powder.
So, you add black pepper powder, hot milk to it and make this drink. One cannot drink this powder mixed in just hot water? One needs to add this to hot milk only. Lovely! You mean, this drink is helpful also in our fight against Corona virus. Yes Sir! I feel that apart from the Ayurvedic benefit of drinking Kashaya... ...the health benefit.... ...one also feels satisfied after drinking it. I mean I wouldn't want to have anything else after this, I am enjoying it so much.
I mean this drink is healthy as well as tasty! Ma'am, is this packet easily available in the market? Yes, it is Rs. 105 for half kg of powder. It was a good experience coming here. I enjoyed it. Wow! This place is really lovely! Which river is this? Kapila river Sir! So much fish! This is nothing! If you go further, there are many more fish deeper into the river. It took us 1.5 hours to reach here!
The water looks so calm. Yes sir! And this is the hanging bridge atop the river. That hanging bridge is used by people to walk across the river. This bridge is used by vehicles. The time is 2.00 pm and this temple closes its doors at 12.30 pm. Tell me something about this place.
Right in front of this temple, you can see the "Kumaragiri" mountain There used to be a Shiva temple on top of that mountain. The temple priest told God that since he was old, he could not climb atop the mountain to reach the temple. He requested the God to come down from the mountain so that the priest could continue worshipping him.
The God is believed to have come down in the form of this Shila (rock). The name of this place, this village is "Shrishila." The name of this rock is also Shrishila, which became "Shishila" over the passage of time. One more interesting fact - Since Sage Kapil is believed to have meditated here...
...this river was named "Kapila" after him. So, this river is named after him? Right! How old is this temple? About 800 years old! The history of this temple is written here in Kannada language. The atmosphere around here is quite peaceful! Yes, very peaceful! The river is also flowing at a slow pace. It feels good to be here! This is Kapila river and the name of this fish species is "Mahaseer." So, only one variety of fish lives in this river? Yes! In the stretch of 4 km of river, you will find about 1 lakh fish. I agree! Where we are standing, I can see about 1000-2000 fish right here. Yes Sir! Probably! We've bought this Murmura (puffed rice), which we can feed to the fish.
You can pick some to feed as well. Alright Sir! Now look at how the fish will fight! Ohhho! Feed the smaller ones on that side! Smaller ones! So beautiful! It depends upon you, for how long you want to stand here and enjoy the view! Whether you want to do it for 30 min, an hour or four hours! It depends on you! Even from this height, I can see right down because the water is absolutely clear. And this Mahaseer fish, as he told us, there are a lakh of them in this 4 km stretch.
Too good! And look at this side, it is equally good view! Though the level of water is less right now, but even when it is more, you can still see through clearly. The river water is so clean! I was reading information on that board and it is written there.... ...that people can also get rid of all types of skin diseases after.... ....worshipping at the temple and feeding the fish. I really enjoyed visiting here. It felt really good! Now where will we go? Now we will go to a Ganpati Temple, 16 km from here at Southadka.
16 km you said? Yes Sir. We've reached Southadka. The deity, Lord Ganpati, resides in an open ground at this temple. That means there is no inner sanctum here. No, there isn't.
Harish ji and I talked to the temple priest in detail about this temple. Nobody knows the time since when Lord Ganpati has been established here. It is a belief that Lord Ganpati has been appearing in front of the devotees here since times immemorial.
There is no Garbha-Graha (inner sanctum) here. You can visit this temple and pray here any time during the day. As per local lore, while appearing before a local farmer, Lord Ganpati had asked for a temple.... ....to be built here, to such a height, that it should be visible from the city of Kashi. Another condition was that the temple should be constructed within 24 hours.
The temple priest told us about these conditions, which were practically impossible to fulfill. So, this is the reason why no inner sanctum has ever been constructed here till date. This temple attracts pilgrims from near and far. We bought a parchi (receipt) of Rs. 70 from the prasad counter. We received the traditional prasad- Avalakki Panchkajjaya from the hands of the priest himself. The prasad is "Avalakki", which means poha.
The prasad is prepared by mixing poha with ghee and gud (jaggery). This place is called Southadka. The literal meaning of Southadka is 'cucumber field.' This place used to be known for growing cucumbers, which continues till date. We felt good visiting this place. We've paid obeisance to Lord Ganpati already.
Now we are leaving here for Dharamasthala. Dharamasthala is just 16 km from here. As per a ritual, one needs to take a dip in the Nethravati river before visiting the temple. So, I will see you now after taking a dip and reaching the temple. We reached here at 5.30 pm. First of all, we went inside the temple and saw the temple deity, Lord Shiva.
Besides, the temple also has the statues of his followers, Gana Shree Annappa Swamy and four Dharma Devtas. It was a matter of chance that the evening aarti began right when we were here. So, we could also be a part of the aarti. It felt so good! For your information, to visit this temple, you need to put on a dhoti (unstiched cloth) like this. I am talking about males.
After dressing up like this, you can go inside and visit the temple. Post our Darshanas of Lord Manjunath Swamy, We got chance to meet Shri Veerendra Heggade ji. He heads this institution- Dharmadhikari Nextup - You will hear him talking about this institution.
You are inside the Dharmasthala Kshetra (premises) right now. The highlight of this premises is the Shiv Linga, known as Manjunath Swamy. So, by that effect, this premises belongs to Shri Manjunath Swamy.
Here, we put a lot of emphasis on purity of human speech (Vachan). Therefore, before you utter something, you need to think hard about it. If you talk or think something bad, there are chances of that thought coming true here. Similarly, if you pledge to do something for the lord, you have to do it. There is no other way.
This is the main feature of this Kshetra. There is a Kannada saying that means "what you say has to be done too." A large number of devotees are followers of this temple and they visit here on special occasions. There are multiple rituals and customs carried out for Dharma. The first one is "Anna Daan" (offering food) The temple has the facility of Anna Daan for whoever is interested.
There is also a large hall where devotees can have food comfortably. Vidya Daan (offering free education)! The temple contributes to the running of several schools, colleges and institutions. Then there is Medical Daan, where you can contribute to the running of....
....the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunath Medical University. The temple also runs Engineering and Ayurveda colleges. The most significant among these is the "Abhay Daan." This means dispensing justice in matters of conflict. So, if a devotee has an issue with someone, he can come to the temple and... ...refer it to Shri Manjunath Swamy You mean 'dispensing justice'? Yes, justice. Our main job, on behalf of the God, is to resolve issues related to people's personal problems.
So, these are the different forms of Daan that take place here. In addition to these, the temple management also supervises the rural development in the area. In addition to these, the temple management also supervises the rural development in the area. In addition to these, the temple management also supervises the rural development in the area. We also run self-employment training institutes at an All-India level.
We believe in helping everyone who comes here asking for help. That is our job. Though we cannot reach everyone, but we try to do things to the best of our capability. This is the reason this temple is one of the highly regarded sites in the region.
People in Southern India believe that the temple is there to protect its devotees in all times. Thank you very much Sir! It is 6.30 pm. The temple langar (community kitchen) begins serving food at 7 pm. we will walk around in the temple premises for some more time. And after that, we will take you inside the langar hall.
We just came back from Annapoorna Hall after eating our prasad. Let me tell you about a few things that I noticed. First and foremost is the cleanliness of the hall. And the management system! Both aspects are awesome! I also requested the manager to show us the kitchen as well.
And we also noticed the same level of cleanliness and hygiene inside the kitchen as well. We ate the anna prasad. For prasad, there was sambhar, rasam, beans-coconut dish, plain rice and payasam.
We enjoyed the prasad very much. The time is 8.30 pm now and we have left the temple premises now. We will join you again once we reach our guest house, which is nearby. The Nethravati Guest House is near the temple, where we are staying tonight.
For tomorrow's programme, we plan to visit Surya Temple, Venoor and Moodbidri and... ...from there, we will go to Mangalore. Tomorrow's night stay will be in Mangalore. Tell us your views about today's episode. As always, I shall wait for your comments. Bye for now! Thanks for your time.