The climate is salubrious.The weather is chilly.The day is a big day.2011’s Christmas Day.
The place I am referring to is the garden city of Bangalore in India.Be it for job opportunities,education,health facilities,parks and for tree-lined roads,cosmopolitan work culture and for many things Bangloreans are spoilt for choice.I also sucked into it.
Not attracted to the news paper advertisement jingles ‘Party for less”.
I in fact wanted to spend the Christmas day differently.
I made up my mind to go to “Banashankari-Hindu temple,situated in the southern part of Bangalore,on Kanakapura Road.
Banashankari or Vanashankari is made up of two Sanskrit words.
‘Vana’ in sanskrit means forest and Shankari means the consort of Shiva, parvati.
I understand that the original Banashankari Temple is located at Badami in Bijapur district.
It has a 250 year heritage.The idol of goddess Banashankari was brought to the city in 1915 from by a devotee Somanna Shetty.(Banashankari Amma Temple)
There are currently three temples of a similar nature.
one in Bangalore, the other two in Bijapur and Shimoga.
Worshiping the deity during inauspicious time (Ragukaalam)has its heritage in folklore as well.
I also gathered the folklore attached with.That is during Rahukal 3 women who were pativratas or sumangaleyaru came to the temple.
The pujari(temple priest) asked them to wait because puja would only be offered after Rahukal got over.
But the women insisted the priest to perform the puja right away.
After the puja when the priest came out with the prasadam the women had vanished.
It was believed that the women were Goddesses and since then the tradition of offering puja during Rahukal has been maintained.
The temple witnesses three major festivals – Banashankari Utsav (Sept), Dasara (Oct) and the temple’s anniversary celebrations (Dec – Jan)
The first ceremony, commemorating the birth anniversary of Banashankari Amma, is held on 13th September.
The second one is held as a celebration of the Dussehra festival, in October-November.
The third, and the last, ceremony is held in the last week of December or the first week of January, to mark the anniversary of the temple.
The temple now comes under the management and control of the Endowment Department of the Government of Karnataka.
Looking at all the arrangements made for queues to contain and streamline people, the temple seemed to take in lot of visitors.
The temple is kept neat and clean.
I returned back from the temple with my thoughts that definitely the cultural continuity a product and cause of the social consciousness that exists in India’s heritage map.
Call it conflict.
In a city where one lands to become a face of the crowd to join the techies population I wondered
how the customs, rituals and folklore continue to attract more number of people.
It forces us to think fresh.
To learn from it would be apt.
Here where do I record the echo of Boston to Bangalore slogan!!!