Dasara at Mangalore is famous all over the world. Navarathri festival also called as Dasara in this region ( including tenth day – Vijayadashami). Celebrations of this festival are unique and different from that of other parts of India. Saraswathi Pooja or Sharada pooja is done at Mangalore city and some parts of South Kanara district.
Kudroli temple is the center of attraction during the Navarathri festival. The Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatheshwara Temple was built in Tamil nadu style in the year 1912 by Sri Narayana Guru. Gokarnanatha is the other name for Lord Shiva. The temple is 3km from the centre of Mangalore city. The temple has gopuram (tower like huge structure) decorated with murals of various gods and goddesses. Murals depict the scenes from Hindu epics and legends.
The Kudroli temple trust keeps the `Gangavatharana’ (Ganges water flowing from the crown of Lord Shiva) in operation for all 9 days during the Navarathri. The depiction has 4 colorful idols of Shiva 13 feet high with jet of water rushing towards the sky to a height of 100 feet. As the water from four sides reach their pinnacle they take shape of a Shivalingam. Color lights around the place add to the glory of the site.
Navarathri and Shivarathri are the two big festivals celebrated at this temple. The celebrations at the temple during Dasara is also popularly called as Mangalore Dasara.
Goddess Sharada and Navadurgas
The idol of Goddess Sharada Devi is installed at the centre and Navadurgas (9 incarnations) are placed on both sides of the magnificently decorated hall. The 9 goddesses Shaila Putri (consort of lord Shiva), Brahmacharini (gives the message of pure love to the world), Chandra Ghanta (establishes justice and wears a crescent moon on her head), Kushmaandini (provider of basic necessities), Skandamatha (gives the gift of differentiation of right from wrong), Kathyayini (persistently battles against evil and deceitful entities), Kaalarathri (who killed Rakthabeeja, a demon), Maha Gowri (liberates the world from evil forces) and Siddidhaathri (a treasure house of mystic powers) are invoked to bless the devotees who gather at this place.
Display of idols and procession
People flock to see the colourful idols of Navadurga displayed at the Kudroli temple. On the first day of Navarathri festival all the idols are displayed here. Later the Prathishtapana(installation) of these idols is done during an auspicious time.
Sharada idol is the main idol and it is the center of attraction here. The hall where the. idols are installed is illuminated with glowing decorative lights. People from all walks of life come to see this annual celebration. More than a million devotees visit the temple every year and the numbers rise constantly. Large scale mass feeding of Prasadam called Anna Santharpana takes place at the temple premises. Devotees coming from all over the country and abroad during the 9 days of Navarathri enjoy the feast.
On the final day, Vijayadshami, the Navadurga as well as Sharada idols are taken in a procession which is unique in its own way. Devotees and visitors line up on the roadside to watch the beautiful sight. Display of drummers and tall colorful umbrellas marks the beginning. Thousands of people join the magnificent religious procession and enjoy the whole night. Over 100 tableaux come from all over the Karnataka state and some also from the neighboring states. Mild showers of rain are common during the festival.
Sharada taken in a grand procession and finally the Visarjan is done
After the Visarjan pooja is done for the Sharada and other Navadurga idols, they are taken in a grand procession. This procession in turn attracts huge crowds from all over the city.
Tiger dance performed here during Navarathri is unique in its own way. They dance beautifully to the drum beats. They are also a part during the final procession.
People can see beautiful tableaux before these idols go in a procession. Streets of Mangalore are decorated with colourful lights. Celebrations of Vijayadashami here as well as in Mysore are very attractive to the visting tourists.
The procession ends near the temple and all the idols are taken to the water pool near the temple and drowned in an orderly manner. This is called as Visarjan of the idols.