History of Madikeri Dasara
Madikeri Dasara has a history of over a hundred years. Madikeri Dasara is a ten-day celebration, which is beautified by four Karagas and ten Mantapas depicting killing of Asuras (demons) by Suras (Gods and Goddess). According to local folklore, it is defined that the people of Madikeri suffered from a disease many years ago. The king of Madikeri then decided to start Mariamma festival. Then on, the Mariamma festival is said to have been celebrated. The festival starts the day after Mahalaya Amavasya. Hence Dasara starts off with four Karagas.
Preparation of Madikeri Dasara
Preparation for Madikeri Dasara starts before three months. Most of the money for this celebration is collected from the people of Kodagu District. Each of these 10 Mantapa committee has 50 to 100 members. A Mantapa comprises idols of height 8 to 15 feet, which is set up at the front of a lighting board. It is the second-most famous Dasara festival in India after Mysore Dasara.
Occasion of Madikeri Dasara
There are 4 Mariamma Temples in the town: Dandina Mariamma, Kanchi Kamakshamma, Kundurumotte Sri Chowti Mariamma and Kote Mariamma. Each of these Mariamma Temples has Karaga, which starts on the first day of Navaratri. These four Karagas represent the "Shakthi Devathas" of the town. All the Temples will be decorated by Lights and the whole Madikeri looks more beautiful on these 10 days. Karaga means carrying of vessel on the shaved head which is filled with rice, 9 types of grains (navadhanya) Holi water and the vessel is decorated attractively.
First Day of Madikeri Dasara
On the first day of Madikeri Dasara, the priests of these four temples carry the tools required to build karaga on their head and make their way to a Place called Pampina Kere. The members of the Temple Committee also join this puja at Pampina Kere. A team of Volaga (a type of Band in Kodagu) will also accompany these Karagas. Volaga gives the people an indication that the Karaga is coming and also it gives a rhythm for the Karaga Dance. The priest who takes up the Karaga is dressed with Yellow coloured Kacche. Also the Priest's head is shaved. He holds a knife in one hand and a wooden stick on the other. These Priests start building Karaga by using Flowers like Jasmin, Kanakambara, Sevantige. After building the Karaga, there will be a pooja for these four Karagas. The temple priests take the Karaga on their head after this pooja and will go to many temples in Rathabeedi (street for chariots). At late night they will head towards their temples. Karaga dance is very attractive to watch. The people of Madikeri offer puja for all the Karagas. Till Ayudha Puja to the weapons, and household materials) these Karagas visit almost every home of Madikeri and take pujas.
|More Articles in Festivals of Karnataka (15)|