Coastal Karnataka’s bond with Nepal

Updated - April 27, 2015 05:51 am IST

Published - April 27, 2015 12:00 am IST - Udupi:

There is a religious connection between coastal Karnataka and the Pashupatinath Temple at Kathmandu in Nepal. Priests from coastal Karnataka — including districts of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi — and Chikkamagaluru and Kasargod district in Kerala have been serving in the temple for about 300 years.

Raghavendra Bhat from Muchur village in Dakshina Kannada, who has been serving as the priest at the temple for the last six years, told The Hindu on Sunday that there were no records to show the exact period from when priests from India started serving at the Pashupatinath Temple.

Old tradition

“It is said that the tradition of priests from India serving at the temple in Nepal began during the times of Adwaita philosophy exponent Adi Shankaracharya. But it can be safely said that priests from coastal Karnataka have been serving at the temple for about 300 years. The earlier kings (of Nepal) had given full powers to the chief priest to recruit other priests from India,” he said. Mr. Bhat returned to Muchur village to attend a family function a few days back. He said all the four priests, including the chief priest from Coastal Karnataka serving at the temple, were safe.

“The chief priest, Ganesh Bhat from Hiliyana near Kundapur, the other three priests — Rama Karanth from Uppala near Kasargod district, Girish Bhat from Sirsi, and Narayan Bhat from Bhatkal, are all safe in Kathmandu. I spoke to one of the priests on a rather bad telephone line and he informed me that they are all safe,” Mr. Bhat said.

Priests from coastal districts, Chikkamagaluru, and Kasargod district in Kerala have been serving in the Pashupatinath Temple at Kathmandu for about 300 years

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