Kotturu 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.
The 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.
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.