Temples Around Mangalore: Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Perdoor

Perdoor Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple

Ananthapadmanabha Temple situated at Perdoor, around 22 km from Udupi, devotees throng the temples with banana offerings, an offering that is unique to this temple. The most ardent devotees of Lord Ananthapadmanabha have found peace by just offering bananas to the Lord. The temple with an ancient history attracts a large number of devotees from Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Chikmagalur and neighbouring districts. Constructed in the principles of Vaastu Shastra, the temple is built amidst thick forests and rivers. Today, it boasts of a flourishing township. The deity is in a standing position, with the hood of the serpent over the head and a padma on the navel.

Perdoor Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple
Perdoor Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple

In bygone days the temple was considered to be one of the richest in the district as it was built on 1000-1200 acres of land. The temple soon came to be recognised as a royal temple as the kings of Barkur patronised it. The Sural royal family, who were great devotees of this God, gave away special offerings like gold, copper vessels, pans, evidence of which can be seen in the temple even today. Records show that the temple property extended as far as the Karkala taluk and Shimoga district. Some documents show that the entire village was offered as seva to the temple for the purpose of Nandadeepa. However, as per the laws of the state, the temple land went in favour of its tenants. The temple and its activities are now dependent on the offerings and seva by the devotees.

Once Rama asked his brother, Laxman, which memories he cherished most in his life and which he wished to relive again. Laxman replied, the days that he spent in the lush green forests, drinking crystal clear water and eating fresh fruits were the memories he cherished most. On hearing this Rama replied: “Let your wish come true. In kaliyug, let the two of us live amidst woods, accepting bananas from devotees and blessing them.”

This is how bananas came to be offered to Lord Ananthapadmanabha at Perdoor. And legend has it that Seetha, who would not leave Rama, lives in Padmasarovar.

Krishna Sharma, a Brahmin who was a great devout, was dedicated to Lord Ananthapadmanabha. Once, the Lord appeared in his dreams and told him: “`Towards the east, there is a vast place surrounded by rivers. Go there and find peace.” As the dreams continued to repeat, he decided to follow the instructions of the Lord.

During his journey, he saw a cow letting milk over an ant hill even as a ferocious tigress was seen playing with her cubs nearby. He immediately knew that this was the place that the Lord had in mind, as there was no fear among the inhabitants. The bewildered Brahmin rushed back shouting: “per undu, per undu” (there is milk). The expression stuck becoming Perurndoor and finally Perdoor with the passage of time.

As per the instructions of the Lord, he brought a black stone for the idol from Nellikaru, when a trader selling bananas passed him by. After walking a little further, the trader felt that the banana bunch had become heavier. He found that he could not travel any further. As the Brahmin offered his prayers to the Lord, the load became lighter. That is how bananas came to be considered the Lord’s favourite in this temple. At the spot where the tiger and the cow were sighted, the deity of Lord Ananthapadmanabha was consecrated.

Offerings to the Lord
The hoovina pooje (flower puja) is a special puja done in the temple. On the specified day, the temple is bedecked with flowers including the sanctum sanctorum and the deity. The dodda ranga pooje here is also unique to this temple. When children are afflicted with disease, distraught parents offer kanchala and tulabhara to appease the Lord. The child is bathed in the night on the eve of the Tulabhara day. He dons new clothes and is made to sit in front of a sheaf of bananas. The child is expected to fast and made to stay awake the night and pray to the Almighty.

The next morning, Kanchala Bali is performed where the child, his family and relatives go in a procession carrying lamps. Next comes the Tulabhara where the child is weighed against bananas, rice or coconut as per the wishes of the parents.

Sankramana celebrations

On the day of Sankramana, the puja starts at five in the morning. If nine poojas are held on any given day, during Sankramana, twelve special pujas are offered. Devotees offer rice, flowers and even vegetables to the Lord. There is a belief that if the devotees observe 12 sankramanas, the Lord will grant their wishe. That the devotees keep coming even after observing 12 Sankramanas for new favours is a different matter.

The temple history has it that Lord Ananthapadmanabha is fond of Yakshagana. The Yakshagana Mandali (troupe) of the temple has the distinction of being more than 200 years old.

The annual utsav of the temple is held from March 12 to March 19 with traditional pomp and gaiety. The Perdoor utsav draws devotees from all corners of the state. Chariots are drawn around the temple premises in a procession.


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