Karwar: India is truly an incredible land. Culture and beliefs of people change every kilometer, leaving the world spellbound.
India is also a land of religions and with religions come a set of beliefs and practices. Over the millennia, the races have evolved and found their own set of ways to appease God Almighty. While some induce pain, some go on fast, while some sing hymns in praise of Gods, some dance in ecstasy. However, standing apart is a temple in Kumta of Uttara Kannada district where the faithful dip their hands in hot oil to pick 'vadas'.
This, they do to complete the vows when their prayers are answered.
The annual fair of Kamakshi Devi temple here attracts thousands of devotees. During this annual fair, the ritual of devotees fishing out vadas from hot oil hogs the limelight.
The temple is visited mainly by Gaud Sarawath Brahmin community members. As the beautiful idol of the presiding goddess is decked up for the occasion with lavish ornaments and clothes and as prayers and rituals are performed, large number of faithful, on the other hand start taking out fried vadas from large wok kept in front of the sanctum sanctorum. No laddles and no spoons, it's just their hands and invincible faith in Goddess.
As the devotees line up to perform this miraculous vow, the temple priest first smears some oil on their hands and prepares them for the task.
The locals believe that there are some strict rules that the devotees have to follow if they have vowed to perform this ritual. Any deviation from those rules means the devotee has earned the wrath of the Goddess and the anger shows up while fishing out the vadas. For those who observe the discipline and please the Devi, she guards them as they dip their hands into the oil.