15 May, 2021

The Leftover God

A temple’s demeaning ‘leftovers’ ritual has all sides frothing

The Leftover God

Eat, Pray, Roll Over...

  • During the three-day Champa Shasti festival, Shivalli Brahmins are served meals at the Kukke Subramanya temple of Karnataka
  • Once the meal is over, Dalits, backwards and people from the local tribes are allowed to roll on the leftovers
  • The belief is the ritual will cure the ‘devotees’ of ailments
  • The ritual has got a lot of flak from progressive groups
  • The state department that administers temples allowed the ritual, adding to the controversy


The annual Champa Shasti festival held over November and December at the Kukke Subramanya temple in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka has an unusual tradition. On all three days, the Shivalli Brahmins are served a multi-course meal in seclusion in the temple precincts. And after they are through, instead of clearing the spread plantain leaves on which the food’s served, Dalits, backwards and local tribespeople are...

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