the ritual of throwing chickens !

kotturu_durgavva_dinesh_maneer_blog2016-9390Kotturu of Ballari district is one of the  historical place of Karnataka . Bikkimaradi  Durgavva temple is outside the town on the bank of a now-dried Kotturu lake. This temple has no known history. People who worship the Goddess here believe in a unique practice that has been performed since ages – throwing chickens to the chariot of the Goddess! No animal or bird is harmed (well, technically “not killed” )   in this fair and the whole fair itself happens only for 2-3 hrs.

 

On the afternoon of the day a small chariot is built by the villagers, mostly from wood and other natural materials before they decorate with colorful sarees and flowers.

kotturu_durgavva_dinesh_maneer_blog2016-9001The idol from the temple  goes to surrounding villages for procession  and is back during the evening when thousands of people are gathered already.  Families make sweets for goddess and offer to her inside the temple . When the villagers finally take the idol to the chariot the place is  crowded with nearly 15000 people! Devotees start throwing bananas and chickens once the flag bearer downs his flag. Obviously chickens fly a bit but land straight on to the people before they are caught by devotees again.  They take the prized  chicken home and foster till next year’s fair. It is a practice  whoever gets the chicken should throw  the same chicken  or any other chicken next year to the goddess . Hundreds of newly wed couples also visit this fair as it is a belief that seeing the goddess Durgavva  at the fair will keep them happy forever. The whole fair starts at afternoon 3 o clock and ends at sunset! After the fair is over families sit on the ground eat  the food they brought and go home.

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This is the one of the many  fairs of Karnataka  which has the rural flavour in its purest form. There are not many makeshift  shops that sell plastics or electronics.There are no  noises apart from murmuring of the people and the  beats of the percussion that accompany the Goddess. It is a belief that whoever wins the chicken in the fair , his village will  get no human or  animal diseases that year.

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the temple built with simple piling of stones while recently cement is used to plastering the top

 

 

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