Nanjangud Rathotsava

Nanjangud Rathotsava

March 19, 2019

Nanjangud: The Temple Town of Nanjangud on the banks of River Kapila came alive with chants in praise of Lord Srikanteshwara by lakhs of devotees as the famous Dodda Jatre or the Panchamaharathotsava was held with traditional gaiety and fervour this morning. However, probably for the first time in the history of the famed event, the pulling of the main Gowthama Ratha was delayed for more than two hours as the ropes tied to the chariot snapped. The incident led to disappointment among devotees and they blamed officials for the lapse.

It may be recalled here that in 2015, the same chariot, weighing more than 120 tonnes and towering 95-ft, had veered off the road and got stuck in a ditch, spoiling the festive spirit. Every year, the temple town celebrates the car festival in March-April with as many as five chariots being pulled by lakhs of devotees around the temple.

This morning, thousands of devotees volunteered to pull the century-old wooden Gowthama Ratha carrying the main idol of Lord Srikanteshwara. All these years, devotees used to pull the main chariot around the temple after performing puja in the auspicious Meena Lagna between 7.15 am and 8 am. But this year, the chariot did not move when two of the ropes among the three tied to it snapped as the devotees were pulling the chariot.

Due to this, over 140 devotees, who were pulling the chariot, fell down and Assistant Executive Officer of the Temple Gangaiah sustained minor injuries in the incident. He was rushed to a private hospital.            

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The festival was delayed for more than two hours and soon, the temple authorities replaced the old ropes with new ropes (made from coconut fibre) brought from Mangaluru and summoned earth movers to the spot to move the chariot devotees. The rope was 19 inch thick and 110 m long.

Later, the devotees pulled the chariot with the help of earthmovers around the Car Street. All other four chariots — Lord Chandikeshwara, Subramanya and Goddess Parvathi (Ammanavaru) — followed the main chariot.

The pulling act which resumed at 9.20 am and the chariots returned to its original position around.11.35 am after covering a distance of 1.5 km. The District Administration blamed the Temple management for making poor preparations.

Tight Police security was deployed in the town and KSRTC operated special buses and Railways attached additional compartments to ease the rush. CCTV cameras were also in place to monitor the situation. In view of the huge congregation and soaring heat, voluntary groups had set up kiosks to distribute panaka, majjige other coolants to the public at 70 different places. Mass feeding was also organised by various organisations.       

Mysore Royal Family Member Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, MLA Harshavardhan, Assistant Commissioner Shivegowda, Superintendent of Police Amit Singh, Tahsildar Mahesh, Temple Executive Officer Kumaraswamy and others were present.


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