Kail Pold today

There are three main festivals in Kodagu, of which Kail Muhurtha (Kail Pold) is a significant one. Cauvery Sankramana and Huttari are the other two unique festivals of Coorg.

Kail Pold is celebrated as a festival of entertainment. ‘Kail’ means weapon and ‘Pold’ means worshipping. Hence, Kail Pold refers to Ayudha Pooja. Kodavas are basically agriculturists, but they are good hunters too. People used to make use of guns and swords for hunting. But during the farming season, i.e., in Simha Masa, they do not use weapons. They are kept in the ‘Kannikombare’ of the house. They are taken out once the agricultural activities are over, by worshipping them. ‘Thoku Poo’ is used for worshipping.

Once the weapons are brought out, it is leisure time for the yoke, plough, spade etc which are used until then. These equipment are washed and worshiped before storing. The bullocks used for ploughing are also bathed and worshiped. They are given a special payasam made of rice and jaggery.

Kadambittu and pork curry are special for Kail Muhurtha. Wine is also a major item in the menu. After a lavish lunch, all gather at the ‘mand’ of the village and announce the celebrations by shooting with a gun. Different competitions are held for people of various age categories. Tying a coconut to the top of a tree and shooting at it is one among the competitions.

When people assemble at the ‘mand’, youngsters honour their elders by touching their feet. They decide a time to go for hunting together.
However, these are all traditional activities which are disappearing due to modrn influence. Only elderly people participate in celebrations that too in village areas.

There is more emphasis on entertainment than on rituals. There are also differences in the dates when Kail Muhurtha is celebrated. It is celebrated on August 28 in Nalkunadu limits in Napoklu, while it is celebrated prior to this in some other areas. However, in most of the places, the festival is celebrated on September 3.

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