BELLARY: About 10 lakh devotees from all parts of the State and some neighbouring States congregated at Mylara, a pilgrim centre in Hadagali taluk, Bellary district, for the annual “Karnikotsava” (prophecy) on Monday. The designated “gorava,” standing on top of a ten-ft bow, also prophesied what to expect in the coming year: “Muthina rashi kashtapattitale parakh”, and let himself down from that height to be caught by the devotees below, another tradition. Mylara jatra is one of the biggest fairs in north Karnataka and is celebrated every year at the local temple dedicated to Shiva in his form as Mailari, the patron deity of the Kuruba community.
The “gorava”, a follower of Mylara Lingeshwara wearing a traditional overcoat of wool and headgear traditionally fasts for the 11 days of the jatra before prophesising on the penultimate day. Mylara is situated in the south-western corner of Hadagali taluk of the district, and is situated two km from Tungabhadra river and about 40 km from Hadagali town.
The term “goruva” refers to men and women who have taken a special vow and dress in the traditional overcoat and headgear, and beat a damroo shouting “Elukoti.. Elukoti.. Elukoti,” the number of Goravas Mailara, armed with a bow and arrows, took to battle a demon, Mallasura and his brother.