Kumbhashi, about nine kms to the south of Kundapur, is famous for its two Temples, namely, Mahalingeshwara and Anegudde Vinayaka. The name of the place is said to be derived from Kumbhasura who was slain here. Inscriptions mention this place as Kumbha-Kashi. It is one of the seven places of pilgrimage in the region called “Parashurama Srishti” or the creation of Saint Parashurama.
The Anegudde Vinayaka Temple situated on the hill attracts a large number of pilgrims. Important new activities in the area are started after a worship of this deity. The Temple of Mahalingeshwara is surrounded by a lake and poja is offered to a shallow pit in which “water from the Bhagirathi (Ganga)” is said to collect. The right side of the lake is called Surya-Pushkarini and the left-side the Chandra-Pushkarini. There are also shrines of Suryanarayana, Channakeshava and Lakshminarayana on the banks of the tank and a branch of the Sode Mutt.
Anegudde means elephant (Aane) hillock (Gudde) and it is the abode of the elephant god, Sri Vinayaka. Sri Vadiraja Yathi, in his Theertha Prabandha epic said that when drought hit this area sage Agasthya came here to perform yajna to please the rain god. The demon Kumbhasura tried to disrupt the yajna by troubling the sages performing the yajna. To rescue the sages Lord Ganesha blessed Bheema, the strongest among the Padavas, with a sword (Asi), using which Bheema killed the demon and facilitated the completion of the yajna.
The main sanctum sanctorum contains the majestic figure of Vinayaka resplendent in silver Armour, in standing posture. Of the four arms two are “varada hasta” indicating his inclination to grant boons. Two hands point to his feet, as a means to salvation. The Vinayaka here is said to be a swayambhu (emerged by himself) who manifested in Dwapara Yuga. What is striking is the very large head of the God with huge ears.
Tulabharam, a custom of offering to God valuables in weight equivalent of a person is frequently done in this Temple by devotees. Auspicious ceremonies like wedding, naming ceremony etc are also held here.
All around the shrine there are sculptural depictions from the Bhargava Purana. People from far off places come here to take blessings from Lord Vinayaka. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great splendor. Lunch is served to devotees as Prasadam. The Prasadam here, as in most Temples in coastal districts, is the Panchyagajjya, which is a mixture of dal, sugar, copra, milk and honey. Devotees arriving from distant places are offered food and shelter.
The sacred spot was called as Harihara Kshethra during Krutha Yuga, Madhukanana in Thretha Yuga and Gowthama in Dwapara Yuga. In Kali Yuga, it is famous as Kumbhashi, which is situated adjacent to NH 17 on way to Kundapur from Udupi and between Kota and Koteshwar. It was also called as Nagachala.
The Temple management is hereditary-oriented and presently K Lakshminarayana Upadhyaya and K Vishwambhara Upadhyaya are managing trustees and K Sooryanarayana Upadhyaya holds the position of the Dharmadarshi. The ancient Temple was renovated in 1985 and a new compound wall, main entrance, tower (Mahagopura), Yajna Mantap, dining hall, guest house, dormitory, water supply and others. In the year 2000, a massive dining hall was completed at a cost of Rs one crore, which also facilitates holding ceremonies. During the last 15 years (1985-2000), various developmental projects amounting to Rs 2.25 crores have been completed and the management also constructed a Temple office and Naivedya Pakashala at an expense of Rs 60 lakhs.
Pooja is performed thrice a day, namely, at 5 am, 1 pm and 8.30 pm. The Temple is open for devotees from 6 am to 9 am. A number of devotees throng this Temple on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday and on special occasions such as Sankramana, Sankashtahara Chaturthi and Ganesha Chowthi. The annual festival and Rathothsava is being held on Margashira Chaturthi every year. At least ten Saharsra Nalikera Ganayaga takes place here annually.
Other poojas offered to Lord Ganapathi include Sathya Ganapathi Vratha during a marriage or when their wishes are duly met with. Fruits, coconut, sugarcane, Modakam, Apoopa and Kadubu are offered to Lord Ganapathi as Naivedyam (offerings).
The Moolabimba is massive in size and exhibited in the form of an elephant. Only the trunk portion is clearly visible and the darshana of this deity is symbolic. It is not a sculpture and is not touched by a chisel or any other instrument to depict the shape.
As myths run, a devotee (Vishweshwara Upadhyaya) was living here, regularly worshipping Lord Ganesha. On day, a Brahmin Vatu (young boy) appeared in his dream and said that he was hungry. Taking Upadhyaya with him, the Vatu disappeared near a stone in Nagachala. Getting surprised by this unusual dream, he started off on the next morning in search of the spot, where the Brahmin boy disappeared in his dream. It was his usual path, which led to a pond, where he used to take his bath, bring sacred water for Abhishekam and collect flowers for worshipping Lord Ganesha.
Soon he found the same granite stone, which he witnessed in his dream and was covered by wild flowers giving it a divine appearance. Impressed by this sight, Upadhyaya hurriedly took his bath in the nearby pond and worshipped the deity and offered wild flowers and fruits. He continued to do so for a long time. One day, he saw a cow standing there pouring in milk from her udder on the deity. After this incidence, his devotion became stagnant and worshiped his God with more devotion. People generously donated land on which a straw hut was constructed to enable Upadhyaya to continue his worship. Thus started a new tradition of worship at Kumbhashi, which did not stop at any stage.
Anegudde Vinayaka Temple
N. H 17, Kumbhashi – 576222
Phone: 91 8254 761079