//A confluence of religious beliefs

A confluence of religious beliefs

Udyavara Maada, a temple in Kasaragod district, is known for promoting Hindu-Muslim unity for centuries, discovers Balakrishna Hosangadi.

Udyavara Daivas

Udyavara Daivas

Enkulegla shakarikarigla mayodu dino bheti ittandla Janakulena torikegad Ee bheti— (I and sheike- Muslim God secretly meet everyday. But this meeting will benefit the people) — these are the words of Udyavara Daivas before the Mosque where they stand to invite Muslims for the grand Jaathre (annual fest).

The inviting ceremony falls on Friday, two weeks before the Udyavara Jaathre. Daivas would arrive with bands and horns. Muslims who come to the Friday prayer listen to them and assure their co-operation.

Udyavara Maada (temple), in Kasaragod district, is known for promoting cordial relationship between Hindus and Muslims in the locality for many years.

On Friday, two weeks before the start of jaathre, gods of Maada udyavara visit the mosque (Savira Jamaat Masjid). People coming out after their prayer welcome the Gods. Daivas, who explain their warm relationship with muslim sheike, invite them to the jaathre toward the end. The Daivas appeal to the Muslim community, who come from the Bhandara Mane to join in the feast (the traditional storage-place of the gods' weapons and dresses) and wait until their Friday prayers are over.

The Muslims agree amongst themselves that they’d join hands with the Hindus in making the annual feast a grand success.

The warm words of the Daivas echo their goodwill. They seem keen to have their Muslim brethren with them during the feast.

The Festival of Arasu Manjishnaar Temple of Udyavara is also known as Udyaavara Bandi or Maadada Aayana. The temple is situated near the highway connecting Kasaragod and Mangalore. Thamma Daivada Maada and Anna Daivad Kotta (both Maada and Kotta are dwelling places of younger and elder Gods) are the two temples located in this place.

During the festival, Brahmins sit on the right side of the katte while Muslims take the left side. The flowers that come as dedication to the temple are distributed both to the Muslims and the Brahmins. Both Anna and Thamma Daivas of the temple have Bandi (Car Chariot) for their journey. The wooden chariots contain attractive wooden horses. Both Anna and Thamma Daivas are seated on these horses placed above their cars, especially made for the festival by the Vishwakarma community. The Bovi community (fishermen) in Udyavara and Someswara are being hired for driving the chariots.

Kutyali and Pathumma are believed to be two high spirits with Daivas. Legend has it that Anna and Thamma wanted to eat jaggery and had sent Mantri to the shop of Kutyali. who refused to give two pieces and asked to take a full pack of jaggery instead. This angered the Daivas and before the end of the Nema (ritual), Kutyali's wife drowned. Kutyaali, who rushed to protect her also drowned. But both win the affection of the Daivas.

“Udyavara Masjid has an 800-year-old history. It was a small mosque when Malik Dinar visited this place and a bigger structure was constructed later, under the leadership of Sufi Ajjamma. Ravindra Acharya, a local resident, says both the communities are working to renovate the temple and the masjid.

Deccan Herald, May 16, 2006