The Granite Capital of Tulu Nadu
Tulu Nadu – a place renowned for its DIVINITY, for its Authentic Stone Structures AND most of all a MIND BOGGLING “Spirit dance”
Want to know what a place with an abundance of granite holds for you?
A brief intro about Tulu Nadu:
Tulu Culture is one of the oldest Dravidian Cultures in Southern India. Ethnic Tulus reside within two southern states. Manglore, Udupi & Kasargod in Kerala form the ethnic Tulu Nadu, where the major language spoken is Tulu.
My fascination & Cultural roots led me here. And so It Begins…
Only two things matter the most when you are in Tulu Nadu – First their yearly festivities and second the Bhoot kola. With my family I visit karkala once a year, we stay for not more than three days. Karkala is a district within Udupi. Being a tourist hub, it has a mystical and religious significance. Karkala is two hours away from Udupi station. If you’re someone who has never seen Udupi and wants to stay there, I suggest you visit the Udupi Math.
Massive crowd of Krishna devotees emerge here every year. If you’re fond of southern food this is for you!!. Cuisine here include Benne dosa, Masala dosa, Goli Baji, Paisam, Rasam known throughout Udupi city. Covered with butter, Benne dosa would be a perfect forte for your meal!
Local busses charge minimal, and conveniently help you reach any place. Every 10 minutes a bus arrives. Between Udupi and Karkala lies a small Smart city “Manipal”. Famous for its Engineering College. Don’t forget to backpack the quirky Hills of Manipal.
Karkala has a fascinating history and a mysterious geography that makes it a gem and an attractive place to go once in lifetime. I haven’t yet come to the most unique part of this place. First, I will spread some light on the spots you definitely need to check out, lastly my unique place.
If you’re a casual sightseer who has a craving for local artwork and veggies you should see the the market road (pen).
Within the historic town lies the monolithic single rock-cut 20 feet high statue of Gomteshwara, or Bahubali as known in the Jain Tradition. It is a spectacle in itself. This one stands second to the Statue at Sharavanbelgola in Hassan District. A maha-abhishek is offered to the statue once a year. This ancient piece of structure won’t let you leave karkala, such is its charm.
Various Jain Basadis (temples) are situated here, one of them is very sought for, the Chaturmukha Basadi which stems all thirteen tirtankars of Jina.
And a place such metallic isn’t going to be a cool one. The crazy part about Karkala is whatever you eat here gets digested pretty quick. Village side, people wakeup early 6 have their breakfast then go to work, guess what they need to have food again at 11 because of the hot temperature surrounding the area.
Moments away from the main market,
We find two temples facing each other, a hanuman temple and a ram temple. Here comes the mystical part which I am excited to share since the inception. The Hanuman idol is believed to be growing inch by inch every year causing the temple to burst open, it is something even scientists can’t explain.
The idol is believed to be self-created. A crown is placed on its head, since then its growth has stopped and a new cenotaph is build there. Both shrines are visited every year by hundreds of devotees!. Known as ‘The statute that grows’, in a literal sense it makes you believe that some mysteries are okay to live with if they aren’t decoded !
Dwelling deep into the Interiors, lies Attur Church. Annual fests are held here glooming the entire area with bright ceremonial pomp. Attur church is believed to contain a mysterious stone which can be lifted only with true faith. Sounds like King Arthur’s magical sword?. Not even ten people could lift the stone if their faith isn’t firm. At times, few people have managed to hold it with no help! Marvelous isn’t it?
There is more to rapture your thoughts, this isn’t the end!
Few miles ahead of Attur Church lies a very ancient temple “Sri Umamaheshwar” presumed to be a thousand years old. On the month of January every year natives celebrate a local folkdance known as “Kola”. In Kannadiga they call it “Yakshagana” which is similar to “Kola”. In a layman’s term kola is basically spirit dance. Recent years saw a rise in traction for this event.
Bhoot Kola is commemorated by a group who makeup themselves to look like honorofic-ferocious spirits who dance upon local folk theme. Their appearance could make any regular traveller shit scared. “Dharmadaiva” is a tulu term for a kola spirit. Legends say these spirits awaken only on days when the “Kola” takes place.
Kola is a spiritual gathering which takes places throughout Tulu Nadu.
Daiva mystically possesses the hosts body who then after dance for a specific set of time. They foresee the future happenings and spill their visions to the locals. Daiva’s part in severe conditions, they do stunts that common people cannot, as they are adaptable and hardened men.
In a Nutshell Karkala is a hub for voyagers who wander for the quest of discreet locations.
Image Courtesy : https://www.instagram.com/dharmadaiva_dharmachavadi/
Inforgraphics : locals helped me a lot, although I visit Karkala every year :p