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Traditional fervour marks Kalmeshwara Jatra

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Following tradition: A man performing the ‘kendadokuli’ ritual during Kalmeshwara Jatra Mahotsava at Beeravalli in Dharwad district on Tuesday.
Following tradition: A man performing the ‘kendadokuli’ ritual during Kalmeshwara Jatra Mahotsava at Beeravalli in Dharwad district on Tuesday.

Girish Pattanashetti

The unique feature of this jatra is the ‘kendadokuli’ ritual

BEERAVALLI (DHARWAD DT.): Kalmeshwara Jatra was celebrated with traditional fervour on the premises of the Kalmeshwara temple at Beeravalli village in Kalaghatagi taluk of Dharwad district on Tuesday.

The unique feature if this jatra is “kendadokuli”, wherein burning charcoal would be thrown around the temple premises amidst chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya”.

A display of fireworks indicated the beginning of the “kendadokuli” ritual. Chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” got louder as the designated time for the ritual approached.

As men carrying the village deities in palanquins stepped on a heap of burning charcoal, around 100 devotees, rushed towards them chanting “Om Namah Shivaya”. Soon, they collected the burning charcoal and started throwing it all over the temple premises.

People watched in awe as the ritual continued for nearly 20 minutes when the heads of the village declared that the celebrations were over by chanting “Hara Hara Mahadev”.

Legend has it that there were three deities (brothers) who had the same name (Kalmeshwara). These brothers had a difference of opinion and started living separately at Tavaragere, Yalavalahala and Beeravalli villages. But before separation, they decided to meet once in a year for the jatra. And it is said that Kalmeshwara of Biravalli held “kendadokuli” as part of the annual jatra.

According to researcher K.C. Malligawada, the Kalmeshwar temple was built in the 12th century and there were inscriptions stating that Kadamba King Govaladeva donated 100 acres of land for the temple.

People from Beeravalli, Tavaragere and Yalavalahala participate in the nightlong celebrations carrying the village deities in palanquins. As part of the jatra, a rathotsava will also be held around 4 a.m.

“This jatra is unique because nowhere the “kendadokuli” ritual is performed,” according to Kallappa Tirugodi (65) of Beeravalli.

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