eNarada,Sowthadka (Kokkada), February 1, 2017
Devotees are thronging in huge numbers to witness the special Moodappa Seve at the Sowthadka temple near Dharamasthala.
Moodappa Seve is very prominent and it involves covering the Mahaganapathi statue with Appa and sugarcane as it has been a tradition here for the devotees to offer prayers to Mahaganapathi in the form of “Appa (or Appam)”, Sowthadka’s famous prasad.
In fact, people come from very far just to taste this Prasadam as the Sowthadka’s Appam is one of the tastiest prasadams and distributed after Appam is offered as ‘naivedya’ to the deity. Many other ‘sevas’ are offered at the temple including the ‘Avalakki panchakajjaya seva’ (a delicious mixture of beaten rice, jaggery, coconut, honey and banana). The laddu prasada too shouldn’t be given a miss. It has also become a custom for the devotees to share the avalakki panchakajjaya seva prasadam with cattle found near the temple premises.
Sowthadka Mahaganapati temple which is nestled in the lap of Western Ghats is one of the picturesque and powerful temples in Karnataka. The story of the temple goes thus; nearly eight centuries ago, the temple was administered by a local royal family and was destroyed in the war. The idol of Ganesha, worshipped in this temple, was found by a cow herd that carried this idol with devotion to the current place of worship and placed it under a huge tree. Everyday, they offered Ganesha with tender cucumber as naivedya, performed prayers, chanted bhajans. Since then, the place got the name-Sowthadka (Sowthe in Kannada means cucumber and Adka meant a vast plain).
Sowthadka is a pilgrimage centre located at a distance of three kilometres from Kokkada in Belthangadi Taluk of Dakshina Kannada district, 16 kilometres from Dharmasthala and 35 kilometres of Kukke Subramanya. The uniqueness of the place is that Lord Maha Ganapathi is out in the open field without a ‘Garbha gudi’ (sanctum sanctorum) and temple structure. It is surrounded by lush greenery and is open round the clock for offering prayers. The temple is decorated with lot of bells mainly offered by worshippers.