Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country participated in the Sharanabasaveshwar temple car festival here on Monday, commemorating the 190th death anniversary of the 19th century saint Sharanabasaveshwar and also the ‘peetharohana' of the eight ‘peethadipathi' Sharanabasavappa Appa.
A flower bedecked car carrying the idol of the saint was taken around the premises of the sprawling temple complex amidst religious chants and slogans praising saint Sharanabasaveshwar.
Prominent among those who witnessed the car festival included the former Supreme Court judge Shivaraj V. Patil, Allamprabhu Patil, MLC, and industrialists B.G. Patil and Basavaraj Bhimalli.
The car festival is one of the important religious and cultural events of the region. One of its features is that Muslims also take part in it in large numbers and observe fast as part of the tradition.
The Sharanabasaveshwar temple is a symbol of sacrifice and embodiment of service to the needy.
Saint Sharanabasaveshwar, who was on his way to Basavakalyan on a pilgrimage in 19th century, witnessed human suffering and deaths of thousands of people due to hunger in a famine.
The saint, who abandoned his pilgrimage to Basavakalyan, set new standards in serving the needy and started the concept ‘dasoha' (mass feeding).
On the day, people, who observe fast throughout the day, prepare sweet dishes in the evening.
Besides sharing the food among their friends and relatives, they also feed the poor.
The temple has over the time become a symbol of communal amity.
Muslims take part in large numbers in the festival
fast as part
of the festival