Dear readers,

Greeting of the festive season!

Last night I sat up until the wee hours of the morning, watching the conclusion of Mangaluru Dasara where the whole city came together to bid farewell to the Goddess. Every year, the Goddess, primarily Sharadha Devi, stays in the city with her devotees during the nine nights of Navarathri (Maha Navami). Each day, she is transformed by the skilled artists of the community to represent the different avatars of Durga, namely Nava Durga. (In many of the northern states of India, the festival of Dasara is celebrated as Durga Pooja as well.)

Here are some photographs from this year. Isn’t it amazing how the artists are able to transform the same idol each day to a completely new Avatar?

 

Day 1

 

Day 2: Mahalakshmi Alankar

 

Day 3: Narayani Alankar

 

Day 4: Durga Devi Alankar

 

Day 5: Narasimha Avatar

 

Day 6: Mahakali Avatar

 

Photo courtesy: All images taken from Facebook Page.

On the last day, dressed like a bride, laden with exquisite jewellery, a gorgeous silk saree, jasmine hairdo (Unique to this community) and a crescent moon on her temple, the Goddess is carried by a group of men on their shoulders and taken around the city for people to witness her grandeur and take her blessings. This year, however, owing to the pandemic, the procession was held only in and around the temple premises. The 98-year-old tradition is marked by men of all age groups dressing up and performing the infamous tiger dance. The air around the temple premises, car street is filled with pomp and joy.

Mangalore - TigerDance - Mangalore Travels - Holiday Packages, Car Rental,  Temple Tours, Activities & Tours
Tiger Dancers – Mangaluru

Many temples in Mangaluru celebrate Dasara by placing an idol of Sharada Devi in their premises and worshipping her for the nine festive days. Archarya Mutt, Venkataramana Temple, Car street is the last one to immerse the Goddess and conclude the festival for the city.

Owing to the pandemic, many like me, could not witness the immersion ceremony personally. But thanks to Youth of GSB, for the very first time the entire ceremony was broadcasted live on their Youtube and FB channels. With a feeling of nostalgia, people from around the world watched the celebrations in awe.

You too can catch the entire video here.

Here are some photographs that I had clicked a couple of years ago when I was in Mangaluru.

 

Last but not the least, a reminder that although this ceremony is mainly facilitated by the GSB community, we all finally belong to the ultimate Mother – Bharath Mata, is set by singing the National Song. A Spirit of patriotism and oneness runs through each individual as we call out “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” before the Goddess’s final immersion in the Mahamayi lake a few hours before dawn.

That is all I had for today. How does the Dasara festival in your city look like? Tell me in the comments below.


 

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Love,

Ashwini


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