Special Correspondent

Procession starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday from Gokarnanatheshwara temple

MANGALORE: Even as the city has begun to wear festive-look, tableaux are getting ready for the biggest Dasara procession in the town — that of Sri Gokarnanatha temple at Kudroli, here.

Artistes have been working for the last one month to put together the tableaux, although the actual mounting of the structures on vehicles began early this week. More than 60 tablueax are expected to take part this time.

Located in the heart of the city, the temple, bedecked with special lighting arrangements and flowers, attracts huge crowds during the Dasara. The procession of the idol of Goddess Sharada attracts large number of people. It lasts for almost 12 hours. While one of the tableaux will carry the idol of the deity, nine others will carry the idols of “Navadurgis” (nine divine forms of Goddess Durga — Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kalaratri, Mahagouri, and Siddidatri). The other tableaux will carry idols or pictures of Ganapathi, Adishakthi and Narayanaguru, a social reformer and a saint who constructed this temple in 1912.

The tableaux, to be brought by different organisations, will depict distinguished personalities and those reflecting traditions of the region and the State. One of them will have “Geethopadesha” while Devika Parameshwari from Bangalore is scheduled to perform Bharatanatya on one of the tableaux.

Although different religious institutions in the city conduct separate processions, the Kudroli temple attracts biggest crowds which is referred to as “Mangalore Dasara”. The route of the procession — Mannagudda, Lady Hill Circle, M.G. Road, Hampanakatta and Car Street — will be decorated with lights and arches.

According to temple sources, tableaux were not in use till 1995. Interior decorator Prakash Shet of Kodialbail, who prepared the “Prabhavali” for the idol of Sharadadevi, made the first tableau in that year. The number of tableaux has been increasing every year.