Tragic love stories leave most people with a lump in the throat, more so if one or both lovers die. But three ghost “couples” got their happily ever after on December 29 when they were “married” at the Kudli Sri Janardhana Temple in Udupi district.

 

The temple has a tradition of solemnising the marriages of ghosts every new moon day (Amavasye), except during the month of Ashada. Local residents in parts of Coastal Karnataka believe that the untimely death of people (due to illness, accident or murder) before their marriage will create problems in the dead person’s family as they died unhappy. Local residents believe that the relatives of such dead people, who are of marriageable age, would be haunted.

 

On new moon days, the temple priests invoke such ghosts to conduct their marriages. The souls are summoned inside two coconuts that are then married by the priests in an attempt to pacify the unhappy spirits. These marriage rituals are common in Coastal Karnataka.

 

“Barakuru Kudli Janardhana Temple is renowned for funeral rituals. It is believed since centuries that funeral ceremonies done here will take the souls to ‘Sadgati.’ The marriages of ghosts are conducted every month on the new moon day,” said Ganapati Udupa, a temple priest.