Sri Sharada Mahotsav is celebrated during Navaratri by the GSBâ€™s of Mangalore at the Acharya Math premises, which is situated inside the Sri Venkataramana Temple complex, Car Steet, Mangalore. This festival has been celebrated with religious fervour and devotion by our samaj bandhavas for the last 85 years. The 2007 Sri Sharada Mahotsav was the 85th year of the celebrations.
On the evening of the fourth day of Navaratri, the clay icon of the goddess is brought in a procession for installation at the Acharya Math premises.
At noon on the fifth day i.e panchami, the icon of the goddess is consecrated. Deepaalankaar and Rangapooja follow. The icon will then be open for public worship. Each day she will be decorated and adorned differently to show her different avatars.
Photos and videos of the Mahotsav are available at the SVT Temple website. However, I had clicked some photos during the years 2006 and 2007 exclusively of the visarjan program. I have made a slide show of them, which can be viewed at the widget/ link below.
Please put on your speakers when you play the show. I guarantee the effect will be different when the speakers are on.
Use this link if you are not able to see the video widget above:
Other communities immerse their Sri Sharada icons on Dashami i.e the 10th day of Dasara. Our communityâ€™s Sri Sharada Visarjan program is held on the 11th day i.e Ekadashi.
On the evening of Ekadashi, Sri Sharada, will be decorated with flowers and all her jewellery. Darshan can be had from 5.00 pm onwards. The procession from the temple commences at 8.00 pm. Unlike other icons which are carried on vehicles, our communityâ€™s Sharada is carried on the shoulders of eager GSB volunteers, throughout the 4-5 kms long procession. She will be preceded by many tableaux, which are the main attraction. The procession which starts from the Temple at about 8.00 pm passing through Mahamaya Temple Road, Dongerkery, New Chitra Talkies, Basavangudi and Car Street, culminates at Sri Mahamaya Temple pool in the early hours of the next day. At the poolside, Her gold ornaments will be carefully removed, meticulously accounted for and safely stored. Her icon will then be placed on a specially made raft and amidst singing of â€˜Vande Mataramâ€™, circumambulated round the pool and then immersed.
I urge our Samaj Bandhavas who have not witnessed the Mangalore Sri Sharada Mahotsav so far, to make it a point to visit Mangalore during this period especially during the Visarjana and witness one of the grandest spectacles organized by our community.
Inspired by the grandeur and success of our communityâ€™s Sri Sharada Mahotsava celebrations, other communities have also started celebrating this festival during recent years. As a result, a festive air prevails in the town of Mangalore during Navaratri. Thousands throng the streets during the immersion processions to see the tableaux and icons of Sri Sharada.
One more great article from Shri U. V. Kini: