The annual Festival
The night before the day of Mesha Sankramana the Temple gatway and
entrance are decorated with ornamental arches. Uthsavanga, Ankura,
Aropana (offering sprouted grains to the deity) Uthsava Bali (ceremonial
circumambulation of the idol) take place.
The Temple flag is hoisted on Mesha Sankramana. That begins the
proceedings of the annual festival, an eight –day-long celebration on a
grand scale. The flag gets hoisted in the presence of the festival
procession party. The priest of Kodamanithaya deity connected with the
Temple and the Temple officials. After the flag has been hoisted there
is another round of Darshana Bali with the presiding Deity and the
Kodamanithaya deity facing each other. Then the midday worship is
solemnized. The deity is then placed in front of the heap of rice
(Palla), the Palla Pooja is performed and large number of devotees are
fed santarpana) At 7.30 in the evening the Bali repeats; Asthavadana (a
series of eight aural services offered to the deity) is performed in the
Vasantha Mantapa. After the Bali terminates in the sanctum the evening
Pooja and Santharpana take place. Finally the customary nightly Bali is
From the day of flag –hoisting to the day of the day Rathothsava (car
festival –the ceremonial pulling by devotees of the car bearing the
deity) I.e. all the seven days, the festival of the presiding deity is
celebrated with Bali punctually at 7.30 in the evening. Various kinds of
drums and blowing instruments accompany the Bali and there are many
rounds each characterized by the playing of particular instruments.
After the Kshetrapala pooja prasada is distributed to all. The deity is
taken round the shrine first in the silver car and then in the palanquin
along the Temple Yard. The palanquin round is a specially of the annual
festival of this Temple, during which various services in the form of
ritual of Veda, Oral and instrumental music, dance and Yakashagana are
performed by scholars and artists from far and near. Their number
determines the number of rounds which keeps increasing year by year.
Every day the Ashthavadhana service I offered to the deity in the
Vasantha Mantap. After the termination of the Bali the nightly Mahapooja
This is the first day of the solar year. Because the temple follows
the solar colander this is the first day of the year for the Temple too.
On the day of Mesha Sankramana, the day of the spring equinox, after
the evening Pooja a special ritual is observed. The new almanac along
with rice, a coconut, a mirror and ornaments is placed on the plate and
worshipped. At dawn the auspicious presence of this plate is ritually
visited first thing after the Yugadi Bali. It is believed to be a most
happy omen that ensures happiness and prosperity for the whole year So
is it prayed After the nightly Bali the new almanac is read out and
analyzed with a view to taking stock of what the planetary positions and
movements hold for the year.
On the third day, after the nightly Bali inside the shrine, the
deity, seated in the smaller chariot called chandramandala, is taken in a
procession to Jalakadakatte, a spot half a kilometer to the east of the
Temple. This is a convention. On the way, the deity is worshipped on
the platforms or spots decorated with arches and wreaths by the
devotees. Since the procession is taken eastwards it is called
Festival of the Silver Chariot (Rajatha Rathothsava)
This takes place on the fifth day. The deity is seated in the silver
chariot drawn in the car street by devotees. Various art troupes
participate in this procession with their performances.
This is the reverse of the eastward procession and takes place on the
sixth day. After the midday Mahapooja on that day a special Bhoga Seva
is offered to Brhama.
After the Mahapooja at 10.00 in the morning of the seventh day the
Bali set off. After the customary Pumpata and Udku (musical instruments
played by percussion) rounds the deity is taken into the car street. The
grand Rathothsava (Chariot festival) follows. This popularly referred
to in the local dialects the festival of the bigger chariot (Dodda
Theru–Brahma Ratha). After the ascendance of the deity to the chariot
the Ratha Hoovina Pooja (worship with flowers) is offered and the
chariot is drawn by devotees up to the specific place near the
shanbogh-house in the car street, worshipped there and returns. The
deity is then brought down from the chariot and worshipped at the
designated spots specially made up for the occasion. The deity, after
this, is brought into the Temple premises for the next round of
circumambulation, along the outer yard, characterized by the beating of
drums all beaten together and to a single rhythm (called the Chende
round after the name of the musical instrument played by percussion).
Prasada is distributed; the processional idol (Bali Murthi) is
worshipped and dinner is served. In the evening there is the usual Bali
marked by the silver chariot round and the palanquin round offered as
service. As per the convention the Radha Krishna characters of all four
Yakshagana troupes take part in the palanquin round. After the
termination of the Bali inside the shrine Mahapooja is performed, food
served and the devotee retire for the day then follows a unique kind of
Bali called the Bhutha Bali. It is unique in that only a selected few
(the selection being determined by convention) can participate in it
unlike in all other Bali on all other days which are open to all
devotees. Other are prohibited to participate. The Prasada distributed
after this Bali an exclusive privilege of the personnel of the Temple.
The deity is then reposed in bed of flowers offered as gift by devotees
and the door closed. (Shayana-Kavata Bhandana).
The ceremonial Immersion (Avabhritha)
The door of the sanctum is opened (Kavatodhaghatana) at 6.30 in the
morning on the eighth day and deity is offered the sixteen served
worship (Shodashopachara Pooja) which lasts about two hours. Witnessing
this unique worship is rare and holy privilege. The flowers offered by
the devotees the previous day and which made up the bed for the deity
are distributed as Prasada. The service of Thulabhara (weighing in the
balance) is offered next. Midday Mahapooja and dinner follow. At 6.00 pm
the Bali sets and the deity is taken in palanquin to Yekkaru (Thangadi)
2 km away from the Temple. Festival celebrations follow while returning
the deity receives worship at designated spots. Near the Negaragundi
platform the deity meets with the Kodamanithaya is Shibaroor. The deity
is brought in a grand procession to the car street. The nightly
Rathosthsava takes place with the deity borne in the flower decked big
chariot (Brahma Ratha) drawn in the car street. Then the deity is
brought down from the big chariot, taken in the Chandra Mandala (smaller
Chariot, to the lake of immersion at ajar and the ritual immersion in
the Nandini is solemnized. On returning the deity and the devotees are
treated to Agni-keli (a fire sport characterized by the throwing of
burning torches by two large groups at each other) and show of
fireworks. Having been worshipped in specific spots (Katte Pooja) the
deity, led by the Kodamanithaya, is taken in a palanquin into the Temple
for a shower round the outer yard. Thus the celebrations last the whole
night from 6.00 to 6.00. Finally the Temple flag is lowered.
On all these days of the annual festival religion-cultural programs
are held. Scholars and artists of national and even of international
fame participate in these.
Starting on the first day of the bright fortnight of Vaishaka (the
spring-month), the Vasantha Pooja is performed throughout the month.
Rites such as Bali and special worship in the Vasantha Mantapa take
place. The large quantities of flowers and fruits offered and sanctified
customarily are distributed among devotees. Devotees may offer the
spring pooja as service too.
The Bhoga Service:
On Vrishabha Sankramana Chamundi and the deities of her family are
propitiated with the Bhoga Service (a service characterized by
Pattanaje (The Tenth day of the second solar month)
On this day of the Vrishabha Month the last festival of the year is
celebrated with an Uthsava Bali. The tour of the six Yakshagana troupes
terminates on this day. On the following day the service performance by
these troupes on the six podiums set up for the occasion in the car
street constitutes the grand finale of the tour for the year after which
the troupes withdraw for the year.
On the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Shravana (The fifth loner
month) Nagara Panachami is celebrated in two Naga shrines of the
Temple. On behalf of the devotees and of the Temple special oblations
and worship (called Thambila) are ritually offered.
The whole of the Simha month (August-September fortnights) has been
considered holy in the Temple. On the Tuesday and Friday of the month
the throng of devotees is more than on other days on any of these
Fridays the number of flower–worship (Hoovina Pooja) vowed and offered
as service easily across 6000.
The Solar Rigupakarma
Upakarma (The ceremony of wearing a new holy thread) is observed in
the Temple in the Shravana Nakshathra (An asterism on the moon’s path)
of the Simha month under the stewardship of the Chief Priest of the
Sri Krishna Janmasthami
On the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the Simha month Krishna
Janmasthami is celebrated on a grand scale. Mosarakuduke (the ceremonial
folk sport of fetching down the earthen pot filled with curd and hung
on top of a pole smeared with oil) is celebrated in the premises of the
Gopalakrishna Katte (platform) in the evening of the following day. This
is followed by a Yakshagana performance during the night.
The festival of the spike of corn
In the Hastha Nakshathra accruing in the bright fortnight of the
Bhadrapada month this unique festival of celebration prosperity and
well-being is observed. Sharply at sunrise a bundle of spikes of corn is
worshipped and sanctified in the shrine. The villagers take these
spikes home in a ceremonial procession accompanied with the playing of
pipes, horns and drums. At home they worship them once again and tie
them on the lintels of doors and on the granary. At midday large numbers
of people drawn from all over the district are treated a new to a new
Sri Ganesh Chathurthi
This falls on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the
Bhadrapada month. A fire sacrifice for lord Ganesha and a special
worship at his shrine are performed in connection with this auspicious
day in order to propitiate the National Deity who is also looked upon as
the remover of hindrances and bestowed of success.
The Autmnal Navarathri (Shravanarathri)
On the first day of the bright fortnight of the Ashwini month starts
the nine day long Navarathri festival. At midday a fire sacrifice for
goddess chandika is offered as a vowed service; in the evening nine
Ranga Poojas and devotional recital bracketing the span of the nine
Poojas punctuate this celebration. The recital is a regular feature of
all the nine days.
On the fifth day of Navarathri a chandika fire sacrifice is performed
a midday on behalf of the Temple at night the Suvasini Pooja is
This is the ninth and the last day of the Navarathri. The Mother is
propitiated with Kadabu (rice cake cylindrical or globular in shape) a
single Rangapooja is offered on this day what with a majority of the
people of the area bringing their own arathi (a burning lamp of thick
cotton threads dipped in oil and placed on a platter) and the single
Pooja spanning a full three hours. After the Pooja terminates the racial
that constituted the highlight of the past nine days of celebration.
The ritual offering of Kadabu is the special feature of the proceedings
of the day and also of the whole festival.
Cultural performances like classical music, Bharatha Natya and Yakshagana play take place on all the nine days.
This day is observed as Madhwa Jayanthi (the Birthday of the great
preceptor Madhwacharya). As part of the religious programmers debates
and talks by scholars on philosophical spiritual matters are held.
The fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of the Ashwin month is
celebrated in the Temple in a unique for. In connection with this
festive day oil is distributed among the poor in society in order to
enable them to have the oil bath, a customary ritual observed on the day
of Naraka Chathuradashi.
Deepavali – Bali Padya:
On the following new moon day Deepavali is observed with ritual: at
midday, chandika Havana by the members of the family of the priests of
the Temple and at night, Uthsava Bali which is a resumption after the
Bali was withdrawn for the year on the tenth day of the Vrishabha month
(This effectively means that the circuit of the ceremonial Bali ends
towards the onset of the rainy season and resumes well after the rains
are over) the next day is Bali Padya.
Form the first of the fortnight of the Karthika Month to the twelfth,
called the Uththana Dvadasi, Thulasi Pooja is observed every day after
the Mahapooja at night. In the evening of Dvadasi a special ritual
called Kshirabdhi (The Ocean of milk) is observed.
This falls on the fifth day of the dark fortnight of the Karthika
month. Uthsava Bali of the idol takes place and the idol is kept and
worshipped in an arbor overhung with vegetables, fruits and flowers and
designed by the members of the priestly family with the cooperation of
devotees from far and near.
The Bhajana (recital of devotional songs) that commences on the day
of Deepavali (the first Karthika) terminates on the twenty-fourth of the
month after 24 days of uninterrupted Bhajana service at the evenings.
This valediction (Mangalothsava) is a grand occasion what with many
Bhajana troupes from all over the district participating in it.
The Setting out of the Yakshagana Troupes:
A day will be fixed after the Deepothsava for the debut of the
Yakshagana shows of the year. On that day the six troupes of the Temple
(popularly and conventionally called the Dashavathara Melas) will each
put up their first performance on the five grand podiums made for the
occasion in the premises of the Temple. The tour proper for the year
starts on the next day to end on the tenth Vaishaka.
Starting on Dhanu Sankramana the midday Mahapooja is held at 7.00 in
the morning for period of a month. i,e. spanning the entire Dhanu Month.
Food (Santharpana) is served during this month immediately after the
Mahapooja in the morning.
The full moon day of the Magha month is the auspicious day Nandini
flowed as a stream. The memory of the event is celebrated with the
offering of special milk Payasa (a kind of sweet pudding) to the Mother
as a token of the earth’s gratitude for the blessing received.
In the evening a Yakshagana narrative Thala Maddale (the oral
rendering of a Yakshagana narrative with the verses of the narrative
sung to the accompaniment of the musical instruments of percussion and
explicated by artists each playing a role) is performed by senior
This literally means the worship in the zodiacal sign. The nine
planets are worshipped on the eve of the sun’s transition (sankramana)
from Aquarius (Kumbha) to Pisces (Meena).
The Navagrahadhana (worship of the nine planets) is ritually
solemnized in the morning with Bhajana. At noon the processional idol is
placed before the huge quantity of rice heaped (pyramidically or
conically) on a bed (popularly called Palla) of coconut leaves and
worshipped. It is a convention that the rice thus sanctified is served
to devotees as Prasada (a gratuity as blessing). In the evening a host
of rituals are observed the greater Ranga Pooja (the larger version of
the usual Ranga Pooja, larger both in terms of paraphernalia required
and of the duration of performance), Uthsava Bali and the round the
clock Bhajana, a specialty of the day. At sunrise the next morning the
Bhajana is rounded off with its Brahmarpana followed by the Mangala
Abhisheka with Coconut Water
The slayer of Arunasura, Bhramari, was a horrifying forms the gods
and the sages like Jabli despaired to see her. In order to tranquil and
propitiate her they got the Kalpavriksha brought down to earth and
offered her a ritual salutation with the water of its tender coconuts.
Pleased the Devi resumed her pleasant form. As such, tender coconut
Abhisheka (ablution) is a special service in the Temple. Drinking the
water of a tender coconut in the temple premises is prohibited.
Special service at the shrine
These include tender coconut water ablution, Chandika Yaga, Thrikala
Pooja, Silver chariot festival, Golden–Palanquin festival,
Brahmarathothsava etc. apart from these there are other services like
Swayamvara Pooja, Graha Shanthi (a rite to propitiate the nine heavenly
bodies), Durga Homa, various kinds of fire sacrifice and Mrithyunjaya
Homa. These are belter known as Prayschitha sacrifice and worships
(rituals of atonement).
The Temple makes provision and arrangements for the devotee to have
the occasional and ordained Theerthasnana believed to redeem him from
his sins and misfortunates.