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The Wish Fulfilling Temple

Ujire, a small town near Dharmasthala in the Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada district, an important junction for travellers in this region, is gifted with the bounties of nature with the Western Ghats and a lush green cover enriching the beauty of the place. The river and the waterfalls create an aura of heaven on earth. Untouched nature in all its splendour magnifies its gorgeous natural beauty. Blessed with a rich growth of flora and fauna, a pleasant climate and a serene environment, Ujire is heaven on earth.

Unknown to many, there is an incredible temple in this small town of Ujire. The Sadashiva Rudra Temple, commonly known as Surya Temple is a unique temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The place is just a few kilometres from Ujire. The temple is situated a bit outside the city, covered by the dense forest on all sides. Built with the traditional Mangalorean architecture, the temple has the typical tiled roof with a serene presence.

Rudra is praised as the mightiest of the mighty, the one who eradicates problems from their roots. Also worshipped as the most frightening one, Rudra is often revered as Sadashiva or Mahadeva. The temple in Ujire, being dedicated to Lord Shiva is thus named as the SadaShiva Rudra Temple.

There is an interesting story about the temple being known as the Surya temple. Many years ago, a woman used to live around this place. This woman used to cut grass for a living. One day, while cutting grass, her sickle hit a stone. She stood stunned at the place when she saw blood oozing out from. Scared, she turned as white as a sheet and started calling out to her son, shouting “Sureya”. From that day onwards, the place came to be known as ‘Sureya’ which gradually became ‘Suriya’ and eventually ‘Surya’. This is the place where Sadashiva had appeared and here, we can see two lingams adjacent to each other. People also believe that many years ago, a disciple of Shree Bhrigu Maharishi performed rigorous penance at this place. Lord Shiva and Parvati appeared before him and pleased with his devotion, turned into lingams there. These two lingams are still visible under the green trees at this place called ‘Manina Harake Bana’(Wish Forest).


 The inscription near the Nandeeshwara deity reveals that the temple has a very rich history and was built by the Banga Kings who ruled over this area in the 13th Century. There is a pond in between the temple and the place where Sadashiva had appeared and the two stones are still visible. Outside the temple, there is a ‘Naga Vana’ where only men can enter. The place is known to give an eerie feeling and those who enter claim to get goosebumps. The place emanates a positive energy which can be felt by all the devotees who throng the area.

The most important reason why people visit this temple is to make ‘sankalpa’. Devotees come to this temple with their wishes and pray for the fulfilment of these desires. What makes the temple unique is the offerings made here by devotees. A clay sculpture associated with the wish is offered to the deity before and after it is fulfilled. The clay offerings symbolize the never-ending materialistic desires of human beings. For example, if people want a job, then they offer clay sculptures of a chair and table, for curing eye ailments the sculpture of an eye is offered, for begetting children it is a cradle, while those wishing a car offer the sculpture of a car, etc. One can see a whole collection of different mud sculptures in the temple.

The sheer number of offerings in the temple gives an indication to the desire fulfilment that has taken place after offering prayers here. The offerings are usually made on Mondays along with a coconut and a kilogram of rice. After checking the clay models, the priest accepts the offerings on behalf of the deity and all the offerings are placed in a circular shaped pile at the place where Sadashiva appeared. There are a few potter families who are in charge of the temple committee and they make this clay available to all devotees who come form outside at the fulfilment of their desire. The clay models are environment friendly and dissolve when it rains. The shrine is located at Surya and is around 6 km from Ujire and 15 km from Dharmasthala.


 SadaShiva Rudra Temple, Ujire

Image Courtesy: Shyama Mohanty

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