Madikeri Dasara begins with Karaga procession

Madikeri Dasara begins with Karaga procession

‘Karagas’ of ‘Shaktidevata’, the four goddesses, being offered a puja at Pampinakere in Madikeri, as a mark of the commencement of Dasara celebrations on Wednesday.

The traditional Madikeri Dasara kickstarted, though in a sober way, on Wednesday.

As per the age old custom, Madikeri Dasara celebrations commenced by offering puja to the decked up ‘Karagas’ of four ‘Shaktidevata’ Goddesses - ‘Kanchi Kamakshiyamma’, ‘Kote Mariyamma’, ‘Kunduru Chowti Mariyamma’ and ‘Dandina Mariyamma’ at Pampinakere, in the presence of Dasara committee members, elected representatives and devotees.

Special prayers were offered to the deities, seeking protection from natural calamities.

After Karagotsava, a procession was taken out from Pampinakere to Chowdeshwari Temple, through A V School and Mahdevpet Road.

Hundreds of devotees stood beside the road to have a glimpse of the Karagas.

From Thursday, all the four Karagas will visit houses and the devotees will welcome the Goddesses by washing the feet of the persons who carry the Karaga, along with fulfilling their vows, as per the age old custom.

History of Karagotsava

Karagotsava, observed as a part of Navarathri celebrations in Madikeri, has an interesting background.

The religious leaders had sought a divine intervention when the whole district was affected with an epidemic. As per the suggestion of the priests, it was decided to carry out ‘Karaga puja’ to appease the four ‘Shaktidevata’ and accordingly, the spread of epidemic was contained. The tradition has been continuing ever since then.

However, Madikeri Dasara is being observed in a simple way, owing to the massive floods in the district.

No rejoicing

Though the state government has released a grant of Rs 50 lakh, people are in no mood to rejoice. No festivity is in the air, except the flexes and banners wishing people for Navarathri festivity.

As the fear of floods and landslides still haunts tourists, the district is likely to see poor footfall during the Madikeri Dasara celebrations.

The resort and homestay owners have been campaigning to promote tourism, after the recent floods had a cascading impact on the tourism sector.