8th April 2010: Karnataka Hinterland, India
So we set out to explore our roots and do a ‘Naag Pooja’ of our family deity. The ‘Naag Pooja'(=Naag means the snake deity) is a pooja where the past generations are worshipped and their blessings are sought for the well being of the present and future generations.
First Destination: Kumta
In Kumta, my grandfather’s cousin stays who had been taking care of the Mavinkurve deity for so long. The bhatmam who we met at Manki came with us to perform this holy ceremony. We also had an insight into how life is in a small town. Kumta is the education hub there as there are many schools and colleges. The bhatmam who accompanied us has sent both his daughters to Kumta to study.
Followed By: Mallapur
There is another Math at Mallapur so we made our way to Mallapur. There is a story of a bell at Mallapur. It is huge and when you ring it, the vibrations last for a long time, and sound line ‘Om’. So the story goes that one Swamiji wanted the bell shifted from Mallapur to Shirali. But he got a dream the following night that the bell was destined to stay there. And the bell stayed.
The bhatmam’s son at Mallapur also served us lunch, he is so cute. We played with him and sat on a swing there listening to his stories.
I’m Loving It: Food served on banana leaves has its own different taste!! Steel plates can never come close to that.
Next Destination Gokarn
The beach at Gokarn is in the shape of ‘om’ and is stunning when seen from a height. we visited Gokarn Math and had a special pooja of the Samadhis like in Mallapur and Shirali. Met an irage dog and a naughty cow who followed us into the Math and had to be shooed out.
Mavinkurve Island is located in the Sharawati river.
How to reach it?? Go into one lane after Honavar and before crossing the bridge to the banks of the river. Catch a boat and there it is.
The Sharawati river is sperb!! Its so placid and blue and clear. Our bhatmam who incidentally loves travelling, came with us to Mavinkurve as well. There are a lot of other islands in the Sharavati but i doubt if all of them are inhabited by humans.
Seeing a Syndicate Branch at Mavinkurve made me feel proud. It seems the land over there is marshy so we saw lot of rice planted. I learnt that one of the villagers could easily walk over the marshy land. i’m sure i’d fall, i’m a clumsy nut!!
Our ancestral land was far away, deep into the island and as sunset was approaching, we couldn’t explore. The temple there has one of the prettiest devis i have ever seen. and the island has an AC hall lol.
The bhatmam from the island invited us for ‘kasai’ which means a drink like masala milk. Nobody has much of tea there they all prefer kasai which is made with lot of garden herbs. While we were leaving the bhatmam from Mavinkurve asked our boat-driver to give us a longer ride so he took us through some islands and ahead below the freight train bridge. As it was dark by then, the river and islands looked mysterious and inviting and there was a certain glow about them.
After Mavinkurve, we made our way back home, totally connected with our roots and so proud to be an Amchi!!
our evening entertainment was always IPL as we had a set top box at Manki. Also, the Karnatak Govt faithfully cut power for 1 hour during the day, inexplicably at 7 at night. We felt bad for the students who had to study for their board exams as in Karnatak, board exams are in April.
Coming Up Next: The strip of wonder and more chronicles