MANGALURU: Mutthappa, an avatar of Lord Shiva, revered as the God of the Southern Railways, will be celebrated by devotees at the railway colony behind Wenlock Hospital on the last three days of March. Most of the devotees in the city are railway employees, many of whom have origins in Kerala.
Along with a spread of 12 Kerala delicacies, the three-day Muttappa Kshetra Mahotsava will showcase bhootha kola-like Vellatam performances, where devotees can have darshan of the deity. It starts at 5 am on March 29 and ends by 12 noon on March 31.
Each day, akki payasam will be distributed as prasadam. “About 10,000 devotees are expected to participate,” said Thilaka, temple priest. I Babu, senior engineer of the railway mechanical department, recalled how worshiping Mutthappa was permitted in the Indian Railways during the British era, and permeated through many stations across the southern rail line in Kerala.
“When the railways were being established in the region, more than 100 years ago, Britishers were not able to build the Valapattanam bridge to lay the rail tracks, as the pillars would just collapse. Apart from Kerala, the deity is worshipped in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” he told TNIE. Kasargod Station has no temple because there is no one to maintain it, he added.