The LTV monthly cultural visit was held on 18th January 2018 with Alexian, Lola, and Eugenie who work on the Sea Turtle Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture projects at FSL-India’s Centre for Experiential Living, Kundapur.
One of the programs at FSL-India is a cultural visit, where we take our regular volunteers to any cultural and historical places which are located in or around Kundapur.
So, in the morning around 08.45 am, the group met at CEL, Shetrakatte and Dinesh, Chief Coordinator of FSL-India explained the day’s plan to them. Then, they took the bus from Shetrakatte to Keradi. It took them 55 minutes to reach Keradi village. First, they went trekking for 4.5 kms to Moodugallu Cave Temple through thick forest, and it was like a small trek to reach that village.
The Keshavanatheswara temple is in the water cave in the midst of a thick forest, on top of the mountain. There is no history of when this temple was built, but the village people developed some construction work and a pathway to the temple. The Brahmin family performs pooja every day and feeds the fish with white rice which is donated by pilgrims and locals. Once a year, during New Moon Day (Amavasya) in December, there is a big festival which is called Yellamavasye Fair in the local language. Thousands of people gather to celebrate the festival and many religious programs are conducted there.
In the forest, they saw some black-faced monkeys and beautiful landscape, which was much appreciated by the volunteers. After a 1 hour walk, they reached the temple priest’s house and they welcomed the group with lemon juice and bananas. The volunteers introduced themselves and after that, one of the guests, Mr Mallesh took us to the Cave Temple of the main god, Keshavanatheswara.
The FSL-India group had to walk in the cave for 40 meters, through 2 feet of water full of catfish, which were nibbling our feet. Then they went to the main shrine and took “Darshana” of god Keshavanatheswara. Afterwards, they came out of the cave and sat down for 1 hour to relax and refresh our minds out of the city.
Next, they went to a Brahmin house for lunch. All the volunteers were very surprised because they served food on arecanut leaves and it was nice. They had an interesting interaction with the family about their life in the forest, the marriage system and the brahmin’s way of life.
It was surprising that they still don’t have electricity and mobile connections. During the night, many animals like the bison, wild boar, deer, fox, and cheetah enter their farm. The volunteers took photographs with the family and talked to the main priest about the problem of water for the wild animals. The FSL-India group returned to Keradi by the priest’s car and then took the bus to Shetrakatte.
The cultural visit was very good. It was very interesting and nice to interact with the Brahmin family and their cute baby. The trekking was good. The cave temple is good for relaxing. The food was nice. We had a good time and it was very interesting to be in the priest’s house and the cave temple. Thank you!