Kodial Theru 2008
Report : Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi
Video courtesy : Nithin Rao, Kumblekar and Prakash Kamath, Kanthavar
Mangalore, Feb 18, 2008
The famous ‘Mangalore Car Festival’ or ‘Kodial Theru” was celebrated with gaiety and devotion on February 13, 2008.
Ratharohan or ascending the chariot was held at 6.00p.m., and the Grand Chariot was drawn little after mid night.
Idols of Lord Venkateshwara(Vishnu) and Goddess Padmavathi(Lakshmi) ascended the ‘Brahma Ratha’ or ‘Big Theru’ at Godhooli Lagnam in the evening at Temple Square in front of the Venkatramana Temple in Car Street.
Hundreds and thousands of devotees gathered at the temple square to hail this great event which is celebrated every year as the most auspicious day of the six day long festival.
This ‘Ratharohana’ signifies the marriage of Lord Venkatramana and Goddess Padmavathi considered being the holiest of the gods worshipped by the G.S.B Community in Mangalore. People stand patiently in queue to offer fruits and flowers to the deities at the theru. By midnight this ‘Brahma Ratha’ was pulled by devotees hailing the two deities with greetings.
This is indeed the ‘Big Teru’, popularly known as Kodial Theru’!
Including the Dhwajarohana Day on the 9th, five days of poojas and feast as prasadam for the devotees are offered. Thousands of people sit for three to four rounds to eat the delicious feast with ‘Daali Thove’ being the main attraction! Hundreds of volunteers serve these people with unusual energetic pace, cracking jokes as they serve. Even match making for young girls and boys take place silently during the festival.
Women and girls clad in lovely sarees or dresses, wearing beautiful gold ornaments and exotic flowers adorning their hair sitting on the steps of shops along Car Street are the main attraction for handsome guys with smart looks and Star appeal!
Food stalls around Temple Square and along Car Street sold Charmuri, Ice Cream, Cool Drinks and variety of Podis to the hungry and thirsty spectators! Taj Mahal CafÃ© in Car Street has been a significant land mark, serving hot snacks and addictive coffee almost round the clock during Theru!
Apart from evening feast, ‘Conji Feast’ or ‘Pejje Jevan’ is served in the mornings to all the people who normally come from different villages and towns surrounding Mangalore for the Festival. A variety of upkaries, chutnies, pickles, happolu, vodi and fried buttermilk soaked chillies are usually served with piping hot conji on plantain leaf.
The festival ended with Okuli or festival colours on Feb 14 when the deity is carried in a pallakki round the city while devotees danced in the streets, spraying coloured water on one another. The deity was bathed in Tank colony before taking back to resting place.