Kukke saw the abundance of nature’s beauty, Subramanya’s village is located in Taluk kadaba in Dakshina Kannada with a sanctity that one can boast in very few places. The temple is situated in the middle of the city. Nature manifests in all its hidden beauty in the rivers, forests and mountains that surround the temples. It is about 105 km from Mangalore and is easily accessible by train, bus or taxi. Subramanya was called Kukke Pattana in the past. In ‘Shankara Vijaya’, Anandagiri believes that Sri Shankaracharya camped here for a few days during his religious campaign (Digvijay). This place was called ‘Bhaje Kukke Lingam’ by Shankaracharya in his ‘Subrahmanya Bhujangpreta Stotram’. Sri Subrahmanyakshetra is brilliantly described in the ‘Teerthakshetra Mahimipurana’ chapter of Sahyadrika Khanda included in the Sanatamkumar Samhita of the Skanda Purana. The area lies on the banks of the ‘Dhara’ river, which rises from the Kumara Mountains and continues towards the western sea.
Pilgrims visiting the temple must cross the Kumaradhara River and take a holy dip in the river before entering the temple to see the Lord.
Devotees enter the courtyard through the back door and turn around the deity. Between the sanctuary and the entrance to the portico is a silver-covered Garuda pillar. Devotees revolve around this pillar. This pillar is believed to have been enchanted and installed to protect devotees, who live within, from the poisonous flames emanating from Vasuki’s breath. Beyond the pillar is the outer room, the inner room, and then the Sanctorum of Sri Subrahmanyam. There is a pedestal in the centre of the sanctum sanctorum. On the upper floor is the deity of Sri Subrahmanya and the deity of Vasuki, and on some lower floors is the deity of Sesha. These deities are worshipped daily. The temple is slowly growing in popularity, due to its religious significance and importance.
According to one belief, after killing the demonic rulers Tharaka, Shurapadmasura and his followers in a battle, Lord Shankamukh along with his brother Ganesha and others reached Mount Kumara. He was received by Indra and his followers. Indra, overjoyed, prayed to Lord Kumara Swamy to accept and marry his daughter Devasena, to which Prabhu agreed. A divine marriage took place on Margashira Shudra Shashthi in Kumara festival. Deities like Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and many other deities gathered for Shanmukh marriages and coronation ceremonies, for which water from various holy rivers was brought. With these Mahabhisheka waters, it fell to form a river which later became popularly known as Kumaradhara. The great king Shiva devotee and serpent Vasuki had been doing penance for years in the Bilavadara caves of Kukke Subrahmanya to avoid the attack of Garuda. After Lord Shiva’s protection, Shanmuka appeared to Vasuki and blessed him to remain at this place as his supreme devotee forever. Therefore, the worship offered to Vasuki or Nagaraja is nothing but worship to Lord Subrahmanya.
Originally this temple was consecrated by the Moroja family who are Brahmins of Stanika Tulu. Sthanika was the fortress Kukke Subrahmanya of the Tulu Brahmins, the chief priest and tantric of the temple until 1845, when his guru, the spiritual leader Padma Siddhanta, was a disciple of Sringeri Jagadguru Peetam. Madhvas (Shivalis) built a stray dog adjoining the temple.
Kukke Subrahmanya Temple Dress Code:
For Men: White Pancha, Dhoti/ Normal Pant or Jeans Pant. No Vest or shirt allowed.
For Female: Saree with blouse/ Punjabi Dress with Dupatta / Chudidhar with Dupatta/ Half saree.
Free meals is available at the temple for the devotees, daily afternoon and evening.
How to reach Kukke Temple?
The nearest railway station is at Subrahmanya Road which is 12.4 km from Kukke Temple. Temple is easily reachable from this place.
KSRTC operates direct buses from Bengaluru, Mysore and Mangalore to Kukke Temple
The nearest international airport is at Mangalore which is 113 km away