Sunday, December 5, 2010
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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