Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cobra Village - Nagenahalli

Nagenahalli is a village near Santhebennur, panchayat town in the Davangere district of the Karnataka state. This village is situated about 50km from Davangere. It is village that unfolds surprising picture of cobras. People who enter the village will have no fear of death from cobra bites. Cobras are seen in almost all the houses. People living in this village have no fear of snake bites. Name of the village itself means, The Cobra Village. Co-existence of cobras and the villagers is an amazing factor. Also can be called as a challenge for modern day science.

Many times people get bitten by the poisonous cobra. But they never go to a doctor for treatment. Nothing happens to them unless they cross the borders of this village. If after a cobra bite person leaves the village, death is inevitable. So, people never go out of the village at that time. They leave the snake near the mantapam(burial place) of Yateeshwara swamy, when a snake bites.

Whoever gets bitten by a cobra, first visits the nearby Lord Hanuman temple. Takes the holy water called theertham and stays at the temple for that day and until next morning. Besides this, they are no special medications or first aid treatments.

Yateeshwara swamy was a Sadhu(or saint). The Sadhu was a Lord Hanuman devotee. He always went house to house and begged for food. He used to stay at the Hanuman Temple. The curse of Yateeshwara swamy is the reason why people do not die when a cobra bites, in this particular village.

The story of the Sadhu Yateeshwara swamy is interesting. He went begging one day, to the nearby village. He found a newborn baby amongst the bushes. It was a boy. The Sadhu was moved by the sight. He could not leave the child alone. He took the child and brought up with utmost affection.

One day, when the Sadhu was out, begging for food, the 12 year old boy was bit by a cobra. When Sadhu returned to the place, he saw the dead body of the boy. He was filled with anger and grief. He had powers gained through meditation. He stood up to curse Nagendra, Lord of the Snake Kingdom. When he was about to curse the entire snake family, Nagendra appeared before him. He begged Yateeshwara to spare the snake family and not to curse them. Also promised to restore life into the child’s body.

Then, Sadhu reduced the curse just to make the snake poison ineffective and when they are only within Nagenahalli village limits. Nagendra agreed to this and returned to Naglok(kingdom of snakes). Sadhu marked the village limits with 4 stones in all the four directions. All 4 stones have inscriptions on it, written by the Sadhu himself. To this day, due to the curse, cobra poison becomes ineffective when they stay within village limits.

The exact period of existence of Yateeshwara swamy in this village, is not yet clear. He made a rule that people living in this village should never consume non-veg food and never kill snakes. If they do so knowingly, then they would face dire consequences. This story has been passed on from generation to generation.

There are more than 70 houses in the village. Snakes are seen moving around like pets of the villagers. Large number of poisonous cobras is found here. People who visit the village can see cobras moving along the houses, paddy fields, gardens, bushes etc. Neither the humans staying at the village nor the cobras are scared of each other. It is a very peaceful co-existence. When a snake dies, villagers do the last rites as per Hindu customs because they consider cobra as a Brahmin( a person belonging to upper caste).

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Close encounter of Dosa and divine Cobra

Dosa, the unfortunate autorickshaw driver

Dosa was a bold autorickshaw driver residing near Channapatna (city famous for wooden toys). Channapatna is a small city located 60km south-west of Bangalore, Karnataka state, India, on the Bangalore-Mysore state highway.

Dosa had come across two serpents dancing amidst the lush green fields, when he went to meet his friend, in a nearby village. The area was very close to one of his friends house. He was waiting to meet his friend there. But three women who came there insisted him to kill those playing cobras. The women thought that the cobras were a threat to the cattle and sheep which came there for grazing. Dosa was a very strong minded person. He never thought of killing the cobras as they did no harm to him or anybody standing nearby.

After sometime, his friend came to that place. He saw the two mating snakes. Once again, he too started forcing Dosa to kill the cobras. Now, Dosa couldn't reject his friend's request. He killed one of the serpents but the other one disappeared without leaving any clue of its whereabouts. He dug up the nearby hole through which it tried to escape. But after he had dug up for a few inches, he could see nothing. Hole had ended up there.

Dosa forgot the incident. But after a span of two months, one fine morning when he woke up, he couldn't see anything around him. Dosa and his house members where shocked. He went to most of the reputed hospitals in and around Bangalore. Treatments done by eye surgeons went in vain. One of the doctors also conducted the eye operation. But it was of no use. Doctors blamed Dosa himself, saying that he was just acting like a blind.

Dosa saw cobras...cobras and only cobras attacking him in his dreams, by day and by night. One of the cobras had a golden glow. It jumped and attacked him like a moving rocket. This repeated more than hundred times. Another cobra had human like eyes. But it attacked only once in his dream. These experiences where horrible.

Now, Dosa had no way, but to go in search of astrologers and temples which he hoped could do something better. After sometime, one of the astrologers told him about the mistake he did by killing a divine serpent. But it was too late and nothing could be done. He still continued going to the holy shrines to get rid of the problem. But it was not fruitful in anyway. Meanwhile, Dosa's only son died. His father was bed ridden because of a stroke. He too died after a few days. Only his wife, mother and himself were left. At this time two children were born. Both were boys. But Dosa was not lucky enough to see his children.

His friend who requested Dosa to kill the Cobras also died after he became mentally retarded. Women who insisted where not left either. One of them died because of a cobra bite. Another women was totally into a huge loss. She lost all her sheep. All the sheep died for no reason. Her life became miserable. The third woman was full of debts in her chit fund business and had to flee from her place.

Now, Dosa is waiting for a person who can miraculously heal his blindness and bring light into his life.

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