Pooja to weapons in 'Royal' style

Pooja to weapons in 'Royal' style


Nothing much has changed in the more than six-century-old practices of the Wadiyars. Even though a few of it has been scaled down over the years, the scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, still maintains the essence of the Dasara. One such, is the Ayudha pooja--offering prayers to the weapons.

The legacy that has been handed down to the last royal (26th), since the pattabhisheka was performed and Wadiyar ascended the golden throne in the presence of his mother, after his father Jayachamaraja Wadiyar passed away in 1974), he meticulously plans each and every day of the Dasara celebrations with the same religious fervour and devotion that his forefathers had done.

The last Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar used to offer pooja from a special mantap to all the weapons, the animals and a fleet of Rolls Royce cars on the day of the Ayudha pooja, recalled superintendent of the Jagan Mohan Palace M G Narasimhan, who was witness to the royal splendour, as a child,  speaking to City Herald.

Continuing with this tradition, the present Wadiyar, begins the pooja at the Kalyana Mantap inside the palace premises (where all the royal weddings have been held), in front of the painting of the Rama performing Ayudha pooja.

An ayudha board is placed before the painting where the important swords like the pattada katti, ivory handle dagger, jade handle dagger and even broom sticks can be seen. Wadiyar comes in the resplendent durbar dress and offers pooja to these weapons.

Earlier, to this the sardars and other ursu gentlemen bring the arms from the Kannadi Thotty to the Kalayn mantap with the kattige deevatige in attendance.
These along with pattada katti with scaboard, six swords with scabbards, four swords with scabbards, two daggers, khas mohar and other arms are lead from the Kalyana Mantap to the golden palanquin carriage kept ready at the Ane Bagilu, which will be taken to the Sri Someswaraswamy temple where the pooja to the arms are done,  he said.

The procession returns to the palace mantap, where Wadiyar offers pooja to the State sword and other weapons.

He will then be accompanied by the Hale Paiki (the personal bodyguards) who in the earlier days would sport huge twirling moustaches which could hold a lemon each, said Narasimhan and added that they were even given moustache allowance. However, these days, the Hale Paiki wear artificial moustaches.

The procession then starts from the Kalyana mantap to the Sawari Thotti (as referred to by the locals but the real name is Madan Vilas Thotti) with the chowri bearer carrying priceless stones, following Waidyar.

A special mantap is erected from where he conducts all the rituals associated with the ayudha pooja.

The palace elephants, horses, camels and the cows all march in a procession and he offers flowers to all of them, even as the Police English band keeps playing lilting tunes.
There were many horse draw carriages and elephants carrying howdahs, besides the majestic white pattada kudare (horse) on which Jayachamaraja Wadiyar would sit and go round the palace receiving the salute from the regiments with the band playing. reminisced Narasimhan.

The twelve cars with all the top end models like the BMW X5, BMW 7, series, BMW 5 seris, Benz, Endeavour, Elantra, Scorpio to name a few, carry the special registration number 1953 (the year of birth of Wadiyar), are brought in line inside the Sawari thotti. As the cars are driven inside, the drivers switch off the engine, and the cars are pushed to where Wadiyar is standing and he offers pooja to all of them.

All the while the chanting of the mantras by the Brahmins are going on and Wadiyar with just a nod of his head and movement of the eyes, performs the pooja.

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