Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava at Kulshekar – Ganesh Chaturti

Every year, Kulshekar celebrates Ganesh Chaturti by organizing a Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava. As its name suggests, it is meant exclusively for the public. They install a huge idol of Lord Ganesha, decorate it beautifully with flowers and ornaments, and worship it with fruits, flowers, and sweets. After a few days, they take the idol in a colorful procession and immerse it in the Kudupu Temple pond.

This evening, we headed over to Kulshekar to watch them take Lord Ganesha in a procession. This procession is a lively and colorful affair that begins at Kulshekar, proceeds to Nanthoor, and then turns around to return to Kulshekar. It then passes Mangalore Dairy and Baithurli before finally stopping at Kudupu Temple. The devotees then immerse the idol in the Kudupu Temple pond.

Initially, it looks as if the procession comprises only a decorated open truck bearing the idol of Lord Ganesha. But several tiger dance bands and colorful tableaux join the procession as it moves slowly towards its destination.

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We reached Kulshekar at around 6:00 p.m., just in time to watch them place the huge idol in a beautifully decorated open truck. The crowds were so thick that even the mosquitoes couldn’t get in. The venue was literally a splash of colors, bright lights, loud music, drum beats, fireworks, decoration, and prayerful chants. We hung around and mingled with the crowd.

We watched a group of hefty devotees carry the huge idol of Lord Ganesha from its pedestal to the waiting open truck, which was decorated with colorful electric lights, lamps, and flowers. A group of temple musicians, playing a variety of instruments such as kombu, percussion instruments, and cymbals, accompanied them.

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When the idol was finally placed in the open truck, a brightly lit tableau passed us and stopped for some time, giving us the chance to listen to the music, watch the dancers, and enjoy the fireworks show.

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We couldn’t move much because of the huge crowds. Almost everybody wanted to take photos and videos. The venue literally throbbed with life and celebration. However, the crowds dispersed when the procession began moving slowly towards Nanthoor. This gave us the chance to give some attention to the charmuri stalls, the tables loaded with dishes of raw mangoes, sliced and smeared with salt and chilly powder, and the little toy shops.

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A stall distributing free laddoos was one of the highlights of the event. We collected ours and headed home, vowing to stay longer next year.

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