City to feel Karaga fervour tonight

Tryst with tradition

City to feel Karaga fervour tonight

Lokesh performs a ritual on the eve of Karaga in the City  on Sunday. DH PhotoThe Karaga carrier for this year, C M Lokesh will have the honour of carrying the statue of Draupadi on his head and go from door-to-door for 12 km around the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in the heart of the City.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the temple head priest and the Karaga bearer for nine years till 2007, M Abhimanyu said Karaga carriers bore the responsibility only after being trained by their family in priesthood for five years and more. Abhimanyu said the selection of the Karaga carriers is made in a democratic manner with the entire community conveying its choice of family to carry their goddess each year.

“Each year, the community leaders across the City, and beyond, in Kolar, Chikkaballapur and nearby areas hold a meeting to choose the family that will be give the responsibility of carrying the Karaga for the year,” said the head priest of the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple.

The leaders then meet in the temple to identify a person who has been trained in the art of priesthood. The Karaga carrier has to be married and should have a son.

For the lakh and a half Thigalas in Bangalore and surrounding areas, Karaga is the biggest festival. Said to be Kshatriyas from Tamil Nadu, the Thigalas have lived in Karnataka for long and served the Maharajas of Mysore.

The route

The Karaga will depart from Dharmaraya Swamy Sannidhi at midnight on Monday to Rama Seva Mandir - Cubbonpet, Venugopala Swamy Temple - Nagarathpet, Byreshwara Temple and Makkala Basavanna - Siddanna Lane,   Channarayaswamy Temple - Ganigarapet, Chamundeshwari Temple - Chickpet Main Road, Eshwara Temple - Avenue Road, Kote Anjaneya temple - Doddapet, then traversing across KR Market to visit Murahari Swamy Mata - Ranasinghpet, pass through Beeradevaragudi in Akkipet Main Road and later moves towards Aralepet on the way visiting the Muslim shrine (dargah), paying obeisance at the Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Dargah in Balepet, Balegaradi - Balepet and Annamma Devi Temple near Subedar Chatram Road (Majestic area).

On its return journey, the Karaga will visit Dharmaraya Swamy Temple on Kilari Road, Anjaneya temple in Yelahanka Gate, Tuppada Anjaneyagudi on Avenue Road and receive pooja at the Chowdeshwari temple, moving on to Kumbarpet Main Road, Gollarapet.
Later, in Thigalarapet, the Karaga will receive pooja in the houses of Veerakumaras and Gummata (Vegetable Market) near Cubbonpet.

By 6 am on Tuesday, the Karaga will be received by the chief priest at his house at Sunnakalpet and return to Dharmaraya Swamy Temple.

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