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Madikeri Dasara - Second Famous Dasara Festival in India

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Madikeri Dasara - Second Famous Dasara Festival in India
Mysore Dasara takes the cake for its historical significance, the royalty involved, the sheer granduer and the kind of marketing that goes into making it world famous. Caprisoned elephants go in procession around the city. The main elephant carries a 750-kg gold throne in which an idol of Goddess Chamundi is placed. In front there are tableaux and artists showcasing folk dances from around the state. I hear it is very beautiful. It is so crowded, impossible to go near and have a look.

Madikeri Dasara is not so. It starts at night and the procession goes on till the next morning. There are ten floats/mantapas/tableaux like in the picture below. The idols are based on mythological stories and incidents. They are made by temples in Madikeri, are heavily lit with special effects and are accompanied by a band playing music and lots of people dancing.

The preparations go on for a couple of months. The Navarathri starts with a lot of enthusiasm in the air. The first picture is that of 'Karagas' , where idols are placed on the shaven head of men and taken around the town. There are only four of these, one each from the four temples of the Shakti Devathes. These men are to be under strict discipline as to their diet and personal hygiene. These Karagas are not to come face to face with each other during their walk around the town as that would bring bad luck. Also the idol is not placed on the ground anywhere except in the temple.

The procession starts in the late evening. There is an orchestra to entertain the crowds throughout the night. Madikeri Dasara gets lakhs of people every year.

Madikeri , the capital of coorg has one more additional tourist attraction with its natural beauty. Its Dasara or Vijayadashami , a 10 days festival, which is celebrated in the month of September or October. Madikeri Dasara has been celebrated from past 100 years. Here its its called as Janosthava:A festival which is organised, funded, by the people of Madikeri or Coorg.

Madikeri dasara you will not want to miss it. The festival starts of with Mariamma Karagas from four temples. These karagas start from a place kalled Pampina Kere. Priests from these four temples take the karagas on their head. These karagas visit every home of Madikeri and people give poja.

In the 10th day there will be a fantastic display of various historical stories of gods. There are mantaps from 10 temples. Each one has its own story display. Few snaps of the Mantaps have been put up below. These mantaps will travel through the Main street of the city whole night. These mantaps reach the temple again on the next day evening. Top 3 mantaps receive prices from the Madikeri Dasara commitee.

Madikeri Dasara comitee organises culture programs all 10 days. On the 10th day there will a orchestra whole night till 6 to 7 am next day. People from vaious places come here and enjoy whole night.. Over 1 Lakh people gather each year for this celebration.

Many years ago there was a Disease in Madikeri, which caused the people to suffer a lot. The Disease has spread all over Madikeri Town. The King of Madikeri decided to start Mariamma festival. Hence from that time onwards Mariamma festival is started. The festival starts the day after Mahalaya Amavasye. Hence Dasara starts of with four Karagas.

Karaga in Madikeri Dasara
There are 4 Mariamma Temples in the town:Dandina Mariamma, Kanchi Kamakshi, Kundurumotte Sri Chowti Mariamma and Kote Mariamma. Each of these Mariamma Temples has Karaga, which starts on the first day of Navaratri. These four Karagas represent the "Shakthi Devathas" of the town. All the Temples will be decorated by Lights and the whole Madikeri looks more beautiful on these 10 days.

On the first day of Navarathri, the priests of these four Temples carry the tools required to build karaga on their head and make their way to a Place called Pampina Kere. The members of the Temple Committee also join this puja at Pampina Kere. A team of Volaga (a type of Band in Kodagu ) will also accompany these Karagas. Volaga gives the people an indication that the Karaga is coming and also it gives a rhythm for the Karaga Dance. The priest who takes up the Karaga is dressed with Yellow coloured Kacche. Also the Priest's head is shaved. He holds a Knife in one hand and a Wooden stick (called as Bettha in Kannada) on the other. These Priests start build Karaga by using Flowers like Jasmin, Kanakambara, Sevantige etc. After building the Karaga, there will be a pooja for these four Karagas. The Temple Priests take the Karaga on their head after this pooja and head towards their Temples. Karaga dance is very nice to watch. The people of Madikeri give puja for all the Karagas. Till Aayudha Pooja, these Karagas visit almost every home of Madikeri and take pujas.

Cultural programs
The city Dasara Committee organises cultural programs all the 10 days. The first 7 days the programs will be there at Kauveri Kalaskhetra. Rest three days the programs are conducted at a Stage near Raja Seat. On the day of Vijayadashami, there will an orchestra from night 9 p.m. till morning 6 a.m. The program concludes with the price distribution cermoney for the top 3 Mantapas.

Procession of Mantapas
Another main attraction of Madikeri Dasara is the Procession of Mantapas from 10 Temples. The procession starts in the Night of Vijayadashami. Each Mantapa is of height about 21 to 25 feet. Studio setting is also done for these Mantapas. There will a Band set in front of every Mantap for the youth to dance. Whole Night Lakhs of people will be away from their houses to watch this procession. Each of these Mantapa depict the historical stories of Hindu Mythology. The Idols in the mantap are given movements to match the story. Top Three best decorated Mantapas will be given prizes from the city Dasara committee.

The man behind Madikeri Dasara:
People with dreams and visions try to bring changes in society. But their activities will be valued only belatedly. The origin and development of Madikeri Dasara celebration is closely linked with Bheem Singh, a Rajasthani, who came to Madikeri and settled down here.

Bheem Singh was the prime mover of the first Dasara mantapa procession. He made the first mantapa on tractor by making wooden pallets as mantapa.
Bheem Singh’s forefathers had migrated from Rajasthan and settled in Mysore. Later they shifted to Madikeri. Bheem Singh’s father Arjun Singh settled down in Madikeri to earn a livehood. Bheem Singh, inspired by his father, a god fearing person, learnt the art carving klols of deities.

Bheem Singh’s daughter Sharadha Bhai says: “My father used to spend from his pocket and take the idols on his head and go from the house to another.”

Sharadha Bhai also recalls that in 1958 and after there were only four mantapas. Bheem Singh’s mantapa was second after the mantapa of Sri Rama Mandira. The other two were those of Dechoor Rama Mandira and Balaka Rama Mandira. She also recalls that the sanctity attached to Dasara celebration is in fact even today.

Bheem Singh’s grandson Ravi Kumar Singh, a PWD contractor, says: “Compared to those days, today’s Dasara can be termed a hi-tech Dasara when one looks at the way it has grown over the years.” He also recalled that when the site for his house was identified it was told that it was having a temple like structure. Hence he thought of building a temple there called Raghu Rama Mandira.

Ravi Kumar recalled the efforts of Bheem Singh in bringing toy makers from Mysore and the use of tractor to carry the idols. The first such idol was that of Sri Chamundeshwari and it was carried on a tractor in 1958. This was appreciated by the deputy commissioner of Coorg I C Subbaiah who gave an award to appreciation. The saga of Madikeri Dasara will not be complete without remembering Bheem Singh’s Contributions.

Have a look at the video of Madikeri Dasara 2009:

Madikeri Dasara Snaps:

Madikeri Dasara - Second Famous Dasara Festival in India
Madikeri Dasara - Second Famous Dasara Festival in India
Madikeri Dasara - Second Famous Dasara Festival in India

For More Details Contact:
Madikeri Town Dasara Committee(R)
City Muncipal Council Office.

Phone: 08272-220653
Mobile: 9448017674, 9480220050.

1 comment:

  1. Its not the Second most attractive Dasara Festival in India but it is the FIRST most attractive Dasara Festival in India. Its because that Mysore Dasara is sponsored by the government but Madikeri Dasara is sponsored by the people of Madikeri. Even though there is natural calamities in Karnataka, Mysore Dasara will gain over crores but Madikeri Dasara only gets Rs.50 Lakhs to celebrate the festival!! So, we should say that Madikeri Dasara is the number 1 as its by the people, for the people and of the people.......on behalf of Madikeri People : WELCOME TO ALL THE TOURISTS AND MADIKERI DASARA LOVERS...come and be the part of most attractive festival of Madikeri