There is a temple for Goddess Kabalamma, an incarnate of Goddess Parvathi in a village nearly seventy kilometers from Bangaluru. The name of the village is Kabalu in Kanakapura Taluk, Ramanagara district in Karnataka. This temple according to the folklore is for Goddess Kabalamma whose original temple exists atop a hill in Kabala hills in the same area as is believed.
As per one of the folklores, after annihilating demon Kumbeswara, Goddess Kabalamma rested in the the hill peak in a small temple in Kabalu. Since Goddess Kabalamma temple was on the hill top and one will have to trek it to reach the temple which was difficult for the elderly people in and around the surrounding villages, the Goddess after consulting divine bull Basaveshwara, decided to stay in a temple if constructed below the plains in the same village and continue to grant her graceful blessings to the devotees who sincerely pray her. She indicated her desire in the dreams of some of her devotees who after consulting the astrologers constructed another temple for Goddess Kabalamma which is the present temple in Kabalu so goes the lore.
Who is Goddess Kabalamma and what are her features? Goddess Kabalamma is incarnation of Goddess Parvathi emanated through Goddess Durga. She has a big Mustache though the Goddess is female and seen seated on an animal which is a mixture of a Mare (Female Horse) and a Bull which is the aspect of Divine bull Nandi Deva, also called Basaweswara. There is an interesting lore behind it.
As per the lore, once upon a time there lived a Demon called Kumbeswara, who was one of the brothers of Demon Mahishasura who was earlier slain by Goddess Durga. Demon Kumbeswara, cruel in all aspects like his brother ruled the world committing several atrocities and tormenting everyone including demi and semi gods even in Deva loga besides terrorizing humans in universe. The saints and sages were a troubled lot because of his atrocities and they could not perform any yagna or rituals in peace as any such things done anywhere would be prevented and Yagnasala (place where the rituals are performed) destroyed by the forces of Demon Kumbeswara whenever and whenever anyone attempted to perform them.
Even as his atrocities continued, the atrocities of Demon Kumbeswara could not be contained by any one. No power on earth could annihilate or even win over the demon because of the extraordinary boons that he had received earlier from the divine Trinities which had given him invincible powers. His life spot lay hidden inside the skull and as per the boons that he had received, he could be killed only if he is put into the fire by some divine force riding a peculiar animal which should be an amalgamation of two animals. Further the divine force should be neither male nor female and not even transgender, but consisting of male and female features. Even animals or birds can not kill him. The worried demi and semi gods rushed to Goddess Parvathi and after narrating their ordeal at the hands of the Demon, they sought her intervention and save them by annihilating the demon.
Once the divine with above features appeared, she asked the assembled saints and sages to go and start an yagna to annihilate the demon in the territory of demon Kumbeswara and assured them that she would guard the site till the yagna was completed. Happy sages agreed and began a yagna in one of the jungles under the territory of the demon. Hearing the news of the yagna, the demon Kumbeswara rushed there along with his army to destroy the site, but he could not enter the site as he had to face the ferocious army of the newly created divine who was standing at the entrance of the forest. In the fierce fight that ensued, the demon was severely injured and lifted by the divine force and thrown into the yagna fire. Instantly his skull exploded into pieces and he died. Thus the demon was annihilated by the new divine force. Since the divine killed the invincible demon by ensuring that the skull which hid the life of the demon exploded, she was named as Kabalamma. The word Kabala denotes human skull and amma the mother.
There is a bull in the temple which according to the villagers has been staying there since very long time. The Bull is considered to be the aspect of Lord Basaveshwara. There is a peculiar custom practiced here. It is believed that the blessing from the Bull is considered to be very auspicious and Goddess Kabalamma will grant the wishes only after the prayer is offered to the Basaweswara in the form of Bull sitting there. For this purpose those seeking favour from the Goddess Kabalamma are required to lay flat on the ground in front of the Bull and the Bull will cross over those lying in front of it. If the Bull crossed over, it is viewed that their prayer will be accepted and desire will be fulfilled by Goddess Kabalamma. Sometimes the Bull refuses to cross over and attempt to hit the devotee by his horn indicating that their intention is not good and the Goddess is unwilling to accept the prayer. The divine Bull is always seen carrying a bundle of currency notes on its horns which is the offering from the devotees seeking favour from the Lord. In the animal vehicle on which the devi is seated, the Mare (Female horse) is considered to be the aspect of the horse of Goddess Ashwarooda, the female deity who along with her strong horse force helped Goddess Tripurasundari to annihilate the demon Bandasura. The Bull is considered to be the carrier vehicle of Lord Shiva, the Nandi Deva.
The importance of the temple can be gauged by the fact that it is the only shrine of nearly 28 villages in the surrounding region. According to the villagers the goddess is very powerful and is believed to fulfill all their wishes when sincere prayer is offered. However the story of who built the Goddess Kabalamma temple on the hill top is not known. Some believe that the temple may have been built during the rule of Hoysala Kings who ruled during the period 1026- 1343. Similarly there is a temple in Uththarahalli in Bangalore where a temple for Goddess Kabalamma exists. The legend of the temple is not available though the pundit there told me that Goddess Kabalamma often come and stay there blessing her devotees.
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