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Sharanabasaveshwara Car Festival celebrated with fanfare

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Huge gathering: Thousands participate in the annual car festival of Sri Sharanabasaveshwara Temple in Gulbarga on Wednesday.
Huge gathering: Thousands participate in the annual car festival of Sri Sharanabasaveshwara Temple in Gulbarga on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

It commemorates the death anniversary of the reformer

GULBARGA: Tens of thousands of people witnessed the famous Sharanabasaveshwara Car Festival in the historic Sri Sharanabasaveshwara Temple premises in Gulbarga city on Wednesday evening.

As is the habit every year, the city witnessed sharp showers just before thousands of people jostled with each other to pull the flowered-bedecked car around the temple premises.

Prominent among those who witnessed the annual event was the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj Patil and other well-known personalities of the city. The people also witnessed the historic peetarohana of Eighth Peetathipathi of the Sharanabasaveshwar Samasthan Poojya Sharanabasavappa Appa, prior to the car festival.

Right from morning, the people began gathering from different parts of the district and State in the temple premises to witness the festival commemorating the 186th death anniversary (punyathithi) of 18th century saint and social reformer Sri Sharanabasaveshwar, who gave a new meaning to sacrifice and service to the needy.

Sri Sharanabasaveshwar’s immortal service to the suffering humanity, during the worst-ever famine in the 18th century which saw several thousands perishing, has given a new meaning to the culture of “Dasoha” (feeding the needy). The temple, which has a wide following throughout the State, in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, still continues the practice of Dasoha and the embers in the kitchen of the temple is kept alive throughout the year to feed the hungry.

During the famine, Sri Sharanabasaveshwar used to visit the rich and affluent to collect foodgrains for the gruel centres established throughout the city to feed millions. This had won him many admirers and even today, a portion of the harvest of the foodgrains is kept aside for the temple for Dasoha by the farmers in the region.

The aesthetically-constructed Sharanabasaveshwar Temple and the city wore a festive look. The people fasted the entire day and after the festival, they prepared sweets and other savouries and shared it with their friends and relatives, as is the custom.

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