Kukke Subramanya Temple, one of the seven Mukti Sthalas of Karnataka, is dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya. It is most famous for the Sarpa Samskara Pooja performed to get rid of Kala Sarpa Dosha. Also, the main idol of the temple shows Lord Subramanya standing above the Serpents, Vasuki and Shesha.
Kukke Subramanya Temple – Facts
|Deity||Lord Subramanya (Lord Karthikeya)|
|Best Time to Visit||October to March|
|Darshan Timings||6:00 AM to 8:00 PM|
|Poojas||Sarpa Samskara Pooja, Ashlesha Bali|
|Festivals||Ugadi, Ratholsavam, Mahashivratri|
The Kukke Subramanya Temple main entrance faces west. The pilgrims have to go around the sanctum to reach its entrance in the east. Also, the Garuda pillar is present between the sanctum and the portico entrance.
What are the timings of the Kukke Subramanya Temple?
The Kukke Subramanya Temple remains open daily between 06:00 AM to 08:00 PM. There is an afternoon break in the darshan from 01:30 PM to 03:00 PM. During this time, the devotees can take part in various poojas and sevas. Prasadam timings of the temple are from 12:30 pm to 01:30 pm.
Here are the timings of Kukke Subramanya Temple:
|Morning Darshan||6:00 AM||1:30 PM|
|Evening Darshan||3:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|Ushakala Pooja and Go-Pooja||5:30 AM||6:00 AM|
|Noon Pooja||10:00 AM||12:15 PM|
|Theertha Prasada||12:30 PM||1:30 PM|
|Anna Santharpane (Annadanam)||11:30 AM||2:00 PM|
|Hannukai Seva||3:30 PM||6:00 PM|
|Nisha Pooja||6:00 PM||7:45 PM|
What are the poojas and sevas performed at Kukke Subramanya Temple?
- Ashlesha Bali: It takes place at the Kukke Subramanya Temple in two slots – one at 7:00 AM and the other at 9:15 AM. Devotees also believe that the months of Shravan (June-July), Karthikai (November) and the Margashira are the most auspicious months to perform the pooja.
- Nagaprathishtha: This pooja relieves one from the curse of the Sarpa Dosha. It takes place in the Nagaprathishtha Mandapam in the outer quadrangle of the Kukke Subramanya Temple. The pooja can also take place on all days except on Ekadashi and fasting days.
- Mahapooja: All the poojas and rituals of the day take place for God on behalf of the devotee’s name.
- Panchamritha Abhishekam: The priests bathe the idol of God with the five Amrits (Panch Amrit) which are Milk, Ghee, Honey, Curd, and Sugar.
- Karthik Pooja: A special pooja, complete with the recital of hymns from the Karthik Purana and Lamp offerings, are done there for the God on behalf of the devotee.
- Sahasra Namarchana: The archana takes place by reciting His thousand names and praising him on behalf of the devotee.
- Satyanarayana Pooja: The pooja is for Lord Vishnu. It can take place on any day but it is extremely auspicious if one performs it on the eve of Chithra Pournami. This pooja also helps devotees attain peace, prosperity. It also removes obstacles and makes them free from negative thoughts. The pooja usually begins with Ganapathi Pooja and then the Navagraha Pooja.
- Besides these Sevas, one can also perform the Thulabharam Seva, Ear piercing, Choula (mundan), Nandadeepa for one month, Panchakkajaya, Naamkarana, and Vehicle Pooja.
Sarpa Samskara for Kalasarpa Dosha
The Sarpa Samskara Pooja is performed by the people who have Sarpa Dosha in their fortune. The Sarpadosha is a curse affecting a person who has knowingly or unknowingly harmed a Sarpa (snake or a serpent) in this birth or in the previous births.
Devotees believe that by performing poojas like the Sarpadosha and the Ashlesha Bali, one can relieve himself from the ill-effects of this curse. In the temple, the seva requires the devotee to stay for 2 days. In one seva, a maximum number of 4 persons can attend the pooja. The seva can take place on all days except Dasami, fasting days like the Ekadasis, Grahan, Shivaratri and during the temple festival.
What is the significance of the Kukke Subramanya Temple?
The significance of the Kukke Subramanya is that it is among the seven Mukti Sthalas in Karnataka. The other six are Udupi, Kollur, Kumbhashi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayanan, and Gokarna. These places are together the Parashurama Kshetras. Devotees also believe that the land of these Temples belonged to Parashurama from the sea.
A cluster of Lingas called as the “Kukke Lingas” is in the northern corner of the Kukke Subramanya Temple. There is a conflict with respect to the history and the origin of the prefix “Kukke” before the Lingas and Lord Subrahmanya.
According to some people, that the word Kukke meaning Basket in Kannada is there because, in ancient times, devotees worshipped these Lingas together in a basket. However, some other explanations put forward are Kukke derives from the old Sanskrit word “Kukshi” which means Cave. Also, some people believe that Vasuki, the serpent installed these Lingas initially in a cave.
Shrines for Lord Bhairava, Lakshmi Narasimha, Lord Ganapathi, and Umamaheshwara are also there around the Kukke Subramanya Temple Complex.
Ancient scriptures like the Subrahmanya Mahatmaya mention that Lord Subrahmanya installed Shiva Lingas in three locations around the Kukke Subramanya Temple. Several Gods and Goddesses followed him and installed small Lingas as a mark of respect to Lord Shiva. As time went by, people collected all these Lingas and kept them inside the Kukke Subramanya Temple for worship.
Kukke Subramanya Temple in the Satya Yuga
The Kukke Subramanya Temple and its surroundings have played vital roles in various Yugas of the Hindu calendar. Some people also believe that in the Satya Yuga (first of the four Yugas), Lord Subrahmanya was anointed as the Senapati of the demigods on the banks of the stream Dhara.
In the Treta Yuga, Lord Parashurama visited the temple and the stream to absolve himself of the sins of eliminating the Kshatriya race twenty one times. In the Dvapara Yuga, Samba, son of Lord Krishna came here and bathed in the water of the Dhara to relieve himself from leprosy.
The Kukke Subramanya Temple is also extremely significant to the followers of Lord Vishnu. The Kashikatte Ganapathi idol is just 250 meters away from the temple. Also, devotees believe that Sage Narada himself installed it. Devotees also believe that the Pandavas arrived at the Kukke Subramanya Temple and paid their respects to the Lord.
On the south-eastern side of the Kukke Subramanya Temple Complex, a shrine for Samputa Narasingha is also there. Devotees believe Sri Madhavacharya established the shrine. Some also believe that when Sri Madhavacharya visited Badrinath, he met Ved Vyas (one of the seven immortals believed to be still roaming the Earth).
Ved Vyas then gave him eight Saligrama Shilas (they are fossilized stones, each representing Lord Vishnu). Six of the Shilas are worshiped in the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple.
Apart from these Shilas, he was also given a Narasimha Saligrama which is believed to be so powerful that, if uncovered will destroy the three worlds. Sri Madhavacharya put this Narasimha Saligrama along with 22 Laxminarayana Shilas and five of the Saligrama Shilas inside a box (Samputa) and established it inside the shrine. The Box or the Samputa is worshiped to date.
Relief from Sarpa Dosha
Thousands of pilgrims visit the Kukke Subramanya Temple to perform the Ashlesha Bali Pooja and the Sarpa Dosha Pooja from all over the country. Lord Subrahmanya is the protector from the Kaalsarpa dosha and the Sarpa Dosha.
It is believed that people whose lives have been affected by the Sarpa Dosha should offer Sarpa Samskara Pooja at Kukke Subramanya Temple as it will relieve one from long-suffering ailments, infertility, and blindness. It is believed that by taking a dip in the Kumaradhara Theertha, one can obtain the cure for severe skin diseases like Leprosy.
What is the history of the Kukke Subramanya Temple?
According to history, a vivid description of the Kukke Subramanya Temple is there in the chapter ‘Sahyadrikhanda’ in Skanda Puranam. As per the Puranas, the Subrahmanya Kshetra is on the banks of the River Dhara. The place Subrahmanya was famous as Kukke Pattanna in ancient times.
In the scriptures of “Shankara Vijaya”, Anandagiri also mentions that Sri Adi Shankaracharya visited the place and has referred the place as “Bhaje Kukke Lingam” in his work “Subrahmanya Bhujangaprayata Stotram”.
The legend of Kukke Subramanya Temple
The legend of the origins of the Kukke Subramanya Temple is there in detail in the Skanda Puranam. The snake king Vasuki was hiding in the cave called Biladvara (located near the temple) to escape from Garuda who was hunting for snakes to satisfy his hunger. Vasuki was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Garuda spotted Vasuki and started attacking it viciously.
The great Sage Kashyapa Muni then intervened and instructed Garuda to go to the Ramanaka islands (present-day Fiji) to hunt for snakes. He also requested Vasuki to pray to Lord Shiva for protection. After his penance, Lord Shiva appeared to Vasuki and informed him that in the next Kalpa, his son Karthikeya (Subrahmanya) will come and reside there to bless and protect them.
Eventually in the next Kalpa, after killing the demon Tarakasura, Lord Subrahmanya along with his brother Lord Ganesha arrived in Kumara Parvatha. Lord Indra received them with good wishes. He offered Lord Subrahmanya a marriage proposal with his daughter Devasena. The Lord agreed and the divine marriage took place on the Kumara Parvatha mountain.
Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma attended the marriage on Margashira Shuddha Shasthi. Vasuki, the serpent was also present at the ceremony. Lord Subrahmanya gave him his darshan and promised to stay with them for their protection.
Another version of the story
There is another version of the story present behind the origin of the Kukke Subramanya Temple. Devotees also believe that once an argument happened between Katru and Vinatha, wives of Sage Kashyapa. They decided that the loser of the argument will become the slave of the winner. Katru lost the argument and along with her snake children, became a servant of Vinatha.
Garuda, Vinatha’s son harassed the snake children and wanted to harm Vasuki. Vasuki requested lord Shiva to help him. Lord Shiva then asked Lord Subrahmanya to protect the snakes from Garuda. Lord Subrahmanya arrived at the place and gave refuge to the snakes from Garuda. On the insistence of the snakes, he took abode here among the snakes.
As per another legend, after killing the demon Tarakasura in the battle, Lord Subrahmanya washed his sword in the adjoining water stream ‘Dhara’. Henceforth, the stream became famous as the Kumaradhara.
What is the dress code for the Kukke Subramanya Temple?
The Kukke Subramanya Temple administration requests the male devotees to remove their shirts and vests before entering the temple premises. Clothes such as coats, hats, turbans, bermudas, and shorts, and lungi are not allowed inside the temple. Women are requested to dress decently.
What are the festivals celebrated at Kukke Subramanya Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Kukke Subramanya temple are:
- Champashashti Mahothsavam: The Kukke Subramanya Temple Ratha Yatra takes place during the month of Karthika Margashira. Devotees decorate the idol of Lord Subrahmanya and take out a procession around the streets of Subrahmanya. They take the Lord around in different Vahanas like Sheshavahana, Ashwa Vahana, Mayura Vahana, and finally the Brahma Ratha on the Maharathotsavam day. The temple also celebrates the Laksha Deepotsavam, where devotees light a lakh Deepams and worship them. The temple also distributes the Moola Mrithike Prasadam to the devotees on these days.
- Makara Sankranti: The festival signifies the beginning of the harvest season. People pray for a bountiful harvest on the day. In the Kukke Subramanya Temple, the Kukke Lingas are taken out of the sanctum and are taken around the town in a procession.
- Mesha Sankranama: The festival falls on the day when the Sun enters the zodiac Mesha (Aries). It represents the spring equinox. The festival occurs in the month of April. Several poojas and bhajans are performed for god on the day.
- Mahashivaratri: The festival occurs in February or March. It signifies the marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. Some also believe that this is the day when Lord Shiva absorbed the poison that turned him blue during the churning of Amrit episode in mythology. Devotees keep fast and also sing bhajans throughout the night and into the day. Special poojas take place for the Linga. Thousands of pilgrims from in and around Karnataka visit the shrine to receive blessings from the God themselves.
- Naag Panchami: The festival occurs on the fifth day of the full moon in the month of Shravan (June). The day is for the worshiping of the Nagas or serpents that are the lowest Loka of the Seven Lokas or realms of the universe. Devotees worship them for their blessings.
How to reach Kukke Subramanya Temple?
Here’s how to reach Kukke Subramanya Temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is the Bajpe International Airport at Mangalore at a distance of 120 km.
- Train: The nearest railway station is the Subrahmanya Road station at a distance of 12 km from the Temple.
- Road: KSRTC operates buses from all major cities and towns in Karnataka to Subramanya.
Where to stay near Kukke Subramanya Temple?
Kukke Subramanya Temple administration has several Guest Houses and Choultries that that one can book for a stay. The Guesthouses are Akshara, Ashlesha, Karthikeya Kripa, Kumara Kripa, Skanda Kripa, a choultry and a Temple Cottage. Besides these, several privately owned Lodges and Hotels operate out of the Subrahmanya town. They offer basic facilities and are very clean.
Where to eat nearby?
The Kukke Subramanya Temple provides Annadanam free of cost every afternoon and evening to all the devotees. Apart from that, several small hotels are available to the pilgrims. They mainly serve only vegetarian South Indian cuisine. Especially, alcohol and smoking must not take place around the temple premises.
What are some temples near Kukke Subramanya Temple?
Some of the temples near Kukke Subramanya Temple are:
- Sowthadka Shri Mahaganapathi Temple: The temple is for Lord Ganapathi. It is 3 km away from the town of Kokkada in the Dakshina Kannada district. The temple lies 35 km from the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple. In Kannada, “Southe” means Cucumber and “Adka” means a vast plain. The idol of Lord Ganapathi is without a Garbhagriha and is open for 24 hours.
- Somnatheshwara Temple: The temple is about 2.5 km from the temple, on the banks of the river Kumaradhara. The temple is for Lord Shiva. The Linga of Lord Shiva is at least 1000 years ago. The Subrahmanya Matha takes care of the administration.
- Sri Manjunatha Temple: The famous temple of Dharmasthala located along the banks of River Nethravathi is situated 55 km away from the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple. The main deity of the temple is Lord Manjunatha, another form of Lord Shiva. Also, along with Lord Shiva and Parvati, devotees also worship the Gods of Jainism Chandraprabha and others.
- Kollur Mookambika Temple: The famous and revered Sri Mookambikai Temple is in Kollur which is 150 km from Horanadu. The presiding deity is Goddess Mookambikai also known as Devi and in front of her idol, is a Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. Also, the Linga has two unequal parts. The Smaller right part represents Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and the larger Left part represents Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Five of the 12 jyotirlingas are in Maharashtra.
- Sringeri Sharada Peetham: The holy town of Sringeri is at a distance of about 93 km from Horanadu. The temple was the first of the four Ammaya Peetham established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. Sri Sharadamba believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati is the presiding deity of the temple.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kukke Subramanya Temple
Yes, the Kukke Subramanya Temple is open all 365 days of the year.
The entry to the Kukke Subramanya Temple is free of cost.
No. There is no facility for online darshan available.
No. There is no facility for specially-abled and senior citizens.
The summers in Subramanya starts from April and continue until June. The summers here can be very hot and dry. Temperatures during the daytime often go up to 45 º C.
In Subramanya, winters start in October and continue until March. The temperatures during this time range from around 20 º C to 28 º C. The weather during this time is slightly warm but pleasant.