Hassan: It was an unusual Monday in Banavara, Arasikere taluk as not one but 157 Naga sadhus from the Himalayas arrived by train in the town at the invitation of the people, who had hoped their presence would end their dry spell. And to their delight, on the eve of the arrival of the Shaivite saints, who rarely leave their Himalayan abode, it rained buckets in Banavara Sunday evening.
The sadhus, striking in their appearance with their ash smeared naked bodies and heavily coiled matted hair, usually leave their Himalayan caves only for the Kumbh Mela in the north. And it was here that they were implored to visit Banavara, which has been suffering a drought for the fifth consecutive year, in the hope that their arrival would bring rain to the region. Members of organisations like the Venkatachala Avadootha Mandali, Prasanna, Sriharsha, Vidyadheesha and others went on a pilgrimage to Kumbha Mela this year and invited the sadhus to visit the town.
The holy men obliged and even predicted that their visit would bring rain, says an activist, Narayanswami. “Naga sadhus had told us that we would receive rain even before they arrrived and their prediction came true on Sunday, when it rained like it does in the Malnad,” he said.