Hindus, Muslims celebrate 'Kondotsava'

Religious harmony

‘Kondotsava’ of Maramma temple was celebrated with religious fervour at Talawadi in Chamarajanagar district, on Thursday.DH PHOTO

Thousands of devotees from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka participated in the festival on Thursday, including people from 50 villages from Talawadi Firkha and also from Erode, Coimbatore and other places.

The unique feature of the festival is the popular kondotsava being celebrated right in the front of a mosque on the main road where the temple is situated. Adjacent to the wall is Venugopal temple which was built during the time of Tipu Sultan.

Though the festival is a perfect picture of harmony, there were clashes involving the utsav around four decades ago. Discussions were held among the leaders of various communities, who arrived at a consensus to ensure no untoward incidents occur at the time of the festival. Three temples are situated at the same place but the loud speakers are used during the jatra. The Muslims also took part in the festival. Procession of Maramma is usually being held a day earlier to the kondotsava, which was accompanied with chandimela, goravara kunitha, veeragase, veeradevara kunitha and other folk troupes. The residents of the village do not prepare any fried items or non-vegetarian food during the festival.

Moreover, in case of death of any villager the body should not be brought into the village. This is followed by all the communities even today. Each community takes responsibility in celebrating the festival. While one arranges firewood, other takes care of the preparation.

Similarly decoration of the deity and the ratha, bringing flowers, new pots for naivedya, setting up pandals, are also being shared.

Earlier, more than 20 to 30 people were jumping over fire and since there were several incidents of injuries, only one person is permitted to participate in kondotsava. Now, Shivanna has been participating in the kondotsava since the past five years.

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