Mangaluru, Oct 9: The nine-day Navaratri festival and Mangalore Dasara concluded on a vibrant note at Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatha Temple in Mangaluru last night.
Thousands of pilgrims and tourists thronged to witness the immersion procession of Ganapathi, Navadurga and Sharada, which is popular in the region as Mangaluru’s own Dasara. 13 idols of Sri Gokarnanatha Kshetra led the procession of cultural troupes, piliveshadaris and cultural tableaux.
However, the organisers missed the presence of founder of the event – B Janardhan Poojary—former Union minister, owing to ill health.
Taking note of the complaint from devotees, and tourists alike, that they missed seeing the grandeur of the Navadurgas – Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidhatri led up front by Lord Ganapathi and Goddess Sharada bringing up the rear – in the procession, the organisers tinkered with the procession order. The idols started leaving the Kshetra at 5.30pm in the above order.
Now into its 28th year, the procession brought to the fore newness, with Padua Friends recreating a slice of Mysuru Dasara with a tableau of ambari and Mysuru palace.
A 60 member Nasik band that had 30 women drummers set the tone for an overnight procession that saw tiger dancers aka ‘piliveshadaris’ from Manjalbail Friends, Kali Charan and Chilimbi Friends showcase their talent on trucks converted into tableaux, as they wound their way through city thoroughfares.
Tableaux organisers used run-of-the mill ideas to innovative with tableaux such as Brazilian dance, slaying of Kumbhakarna, glory of Anarkali and a tableau Team Young Tuluvas, that depicted the glorious heritage of Tulunadu. If the 45-member Kerala chende tableau transported the crowd temporarily to God’s Own Country, another tableau that depicted the culture of the Aghoris, gave one a glimpse of how these ascetic Shaiva sadhus lead their lives.
Barke Friends that fielded four tableaux including that of the Aghoris, had one exclusively for women piliveshadaris. Biruver Kudla recreated the magic of a girl from Kerala, whose dance as young Lord Krishna had captivated the social media, with nearly 20 girls recreating the same on the moving stage. The sight of 75 umbrellas at the head of the procession, with the rest of the tableau moving behind on the tastefully decorated street, made it a night to remember.
The procession that started at the temple proceeded through Mannagudda, Lady Hill Circle, Lalbagh, PVS Circle, Navabharath Circle, K S Rao Road, Hampankatta Road, Ganapathi High School Road, Car Street, Alake and returned to the temple at Kudroli in the early hours. The committee tinkered with the procession order to ensure that the idols of the Navadurgas and Sharada were immersed in the temple pushkarni before dawn the next day.