Friday, June 04, 2010

Special Lunch

The Udupi Krishna Mutt is one of the famous temples of South India. The Lord has supposedly turned himself (180 deg) so that Kanakadasa (his ardent devotee) could see him. So unlike other temples where you enter the premises and you can see the idol, at Udupi you enter the temple and have to take half a round to see the idol.
This is not the only unique feature about this temple (photo of the temple complex on the left).

Saturdays are special in this temple. Though lunch is provided free on all days, there is a special tradition on Saturdays.
There is a big marble floored dining hall (bhojana shala - ಭೋಜನ ಶಾಲೆ ). People sit on the floor (no table meals). Plantain leaf (ಬಾಳೆ ಎಲೆ) or other kind of leaf (muttukada yele - ಮುತ್ತುಕದ ಎಲೆ ) is laid in front of you. Then the dishes (like rice, sambar, rasam ) are served on that. On Saturdays, it can be different. Devotees can opt, not to have any kind of leaf. Food is served directly on the floor. This is supposed to be very holy. People believe that their problems would get solved by doing that. This practice is particularly rampant during some special Hindu months like Shravana.

There is another variation to this in a near-by temple along the coastal region.
When the brahmins are eating their lunch in the temple, some non-brahmins come near the brahmins and take 3 morsel of food. It should be given in the same hand, which is used for eating. This is a kind of vow which they have undertaken to solve their problem.
And these are followed by people irrespective of their financial status or social status.

Unique practices flourish in India.


Collection said...

Thers a place where you eat food on the mud.
We still practice Sati.

Lost in thoughts said...

Sati - I doubt.

Baby Bedding said...

I like the most south indian meals.

Radha said...

i would say unique cum strange practices....