Kudupu Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple: Temples of Mangaluru

This temple, situated in Kudupu village, is well-known for serpent worship in Mangalore. It is dedicated to Lord Anantha Padmanabha, another name by which Lord Vishnu is known. The main deity Lord Anantha Padmanabha is facing towards the west. The Naga Bana (literally meaning the forest of serpents) though situated in eastern part of the temple it is also facing towards west.

The temple at Kudupu also houses a holy pond “Bhadra Saraswathi Thirtha” which is situated left side of the temple.
A small shrine dedicated to sub-deity Jarandaya can be found opposite to the temple. Goddess Shree Devi, Lord Mahaganapathi, Lord Subramanya, Jaya and Vijaya are main sub-deities of the temple. The shrines of Ayyappa and Navagraha along with Valmika Mantapa are located outside the temple.

Annual festival Shashti, which falls in December is a famous religious ceremony. It is celebrated here with great devotion. Nagarapanchami, a worship of sacrificing the milk to Lord Naga is another festival is celebrated which attracts a large number of devotees.

Kudupu Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple has a great history. Once there was a Brahmin vedic scholar called ‘Kedar’ who was very orthodox, kind and religious follower. But he was extremely worried of not having a child. Thinking of that the blessing of Saint is ultimate resort for having a child he wandered everywhere searching one such saint. Finally his search fructified when he came in contact with one such holy Saint called ‘Shringa Muni’ near a small river ‘Bhadra Saraswathi Thirtha’ in midst of a big forest. He prostrated before a saint and placed his reason for worries. Hearing this, a saint told him to stay there and start meditating to Lord Subramanya who would fulfill your wishes. Saint also detailed him about the holiness of that place and the river.

Accepting the advice of the saint, Kedar started precise penance regarding Lord Subramanya with great devotion which continued for many years. Due to his intensive penance, a sort of heat was created in the surrounding and it spread everywhere even up to heaven. Devatas, humans, animals found very hard for sustaining. Anxious about his penance, Devatas went to see Lord Brahma and explained about the situations.

Thinking of that Lord Mahavishnu only could restore the problem, Lord Brahma accompanied by Devatas met him and detailed him with all about the situation. Hearing this Lord Mahavishnu said that Kedar is meditating regarding Lord Subramanya and only he could give remedy to this problem. Lord Mahavishnu promised Brahma and Devatas that he will meet Subramanya and accordingly he met him and told that Kedar is meditating upon him with a single desire of having a child that could be fulfilled by him only. He also asked Lord Subramanya to appear before Kedar and bless him with a child. But Lord Subramanya told that there is no child in the fate of Kedar and he is eligible only for salvation. But on the request of Lord Mahavishnu, Subramanya appeared before Kedar and blessed him with children. Kedar is so happy and expecting a child he settled near that Bhadra Thirtha River itself duly meditating and worshiping Lord Subramanya.

After some day wife of Kedar saw a serpent laying eggs and thought even snakes have good fortune of having children and worried too much about her fate comparing to that serpent. Year passed and Kedar’s wife became pregnant and couple becomes very happy expecting a child. But after nine months, to their and everybody’s surprise Kedar’s wife delivered three eggs which was more looking like serpent eggs. Devatas thought these eggs are nothing but an incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu, Lord Mahashesha and Lord Subramanya and became very happy. But Kedar was not happy. Even after rigorous penance if God blessed him with these eggs as children it is nothing but fate and a result of past action. That time he heard a divine voice coming from ether saying that these eggs are nothing but an incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu, Lord Mahashesha and Lord Subramanya for the sake of betterment of the world. It also realized him that he does not have further children and advised him to erect the eggs secretly at the place where he did penance upon Lord Subramanya. It blessed a place and River as a holy spot and whoever takes bath in the river will be blessed with children and freed from all sickness and sin. A divine voice also advised him to stay in that holy place worshiping Lord Anantha Padmanabha (another name of Lord Mahavishnu) and blessed him with salvation at the end of his life.

Hearing this voice Kedar became so happy and he kept those eggs in a basket weaved with forest creeps called Kudupu in local language and kept secretly in the place where he meditated upon Lord Subramanya. He spent his rest of life meditating upon Lord Anantha Padmanabha and attained salvation at the end of his life. Now in that place an anthill was grown and the place is well known as Shree Kshetra Kudupu. A small river called Bhadra Saraswathi Thirtha resides near the temple itself.

Legend regarding construction of the temple; Once a King named Shurasena did some wrong action and the sin caused by the act humiliated him very much and he lost his peace of mind. He asked different Vedic scholars, priests for the remedy of how to come out of this sin. But Brahmin Vedic scholars told him to cut down his hands himself, as the very cause of the sin was his hands only and advised him to worship upon Lord Mahavishnu. King accepted the advice and did accordingly. He made two golden arms and adorned it in place of his lost hands. But even though of his atonement, he was very much worried about his lost hands. One day while he was a hunting animal in wild along with his army men he reached the holy and peaceful spot of Bhadra Saraswathi Thirtha. He was very much impressed by the peaceful atmosphere of the surrounding of the Bhadra Thirtha. He was surprised by seeing the relics of pooja done near Thirtha. Meantime he remembered the advice given by Brahmin Vedic Scholars about the worship to be made to Lord Mahavishnu. Then he settled there and started to worship Lord Mahavishnu. As he intensely worshipped, Lord Mahavishnu appeared before him and inquired about his wants. King requested for restoration of his lost arms. By hearing this Lord Mahavishnu told him to build one temple within a day itself and his arms will be replaced as soon as construction of temple completes.King Shurasena became very happy and become ready to construct a temple within a day. All the sculptors, architects got in construction work. The work even continued in night and the dawn was nearing while the temple was almost all in finishing stage except the ornamental top portion of the sanctum. Early morning an ethereal divine voice came from the sky advising to stop the construction work as and where it is. King looked at his shoulder and alas!! his arms became, as it was earlier to the complete restoration. King settled there and spent his rest of the life ardently worshipping upon Lord Mahavishnu. Even today the temple does not have ‘Muguli’ (ornamental top portion on the sanctum).

About Ajith Kamath 4 Articles
A dental student at Manipal College of Dental Sciences and Administrator and founder at Hungry Forever.