Andhra Pradesh

‘Ganga Jatara’ off to a colourful start

Childern dressed as ‘Bairagi’ take part in the annual folk festival, ‘Ganga Jatara’, in Tirupati on Wednesday. —Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar  

‘Ganga Jatara’, the folk festival of Tirupati, has always stood ahead in terms of content and character.

While the traditional midnight tom-tom (Chatimpu) was made on Tuesday, the festival began on a colourful note at the ancient Thathayagunta Gangamma temple situated in the heart of the city on Wednesday. According to local folklore, Gangamma is believed to be the younger sister of Lord Venkateswara, for which the TTD sends special gift from the Lord on his beloved sister’s birthday.

The special feature of the 10-day event is the way people dress up in costumes and guises, some of which are strikingly attractive and some terribly despicable.

It is rooted in the legend that Gangamma vows to avenge the insult by a Palegadu (local chieftain) who tries to outrage her modesty. The scared chieftain goes into hiding and comes out in different guises to escape his imminent death at her hands, an act which is depicted by the locals who dress up in weird attires.

‘Bairagi Vesham’ was observed on Wednesday when the locals, irrespective of gender and age, visited the temple by smearing a white paste made of ‘Namam kommu’ all over their body. The next two days see Thoti (black) and Banda (red) Veshams by smearing charcoal and kumkum. Scientifically, the smeared material is believed to act as a coolant on the body during the scorching sun.



The special feature of the 10-day event is the way people dress up in costumes and guises, some of which are strikingly attractive and some terribly despicable




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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 2:56:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ganga-jatara-off-to-a-colourful-start/article7178470.ece

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