Sri Vithappa Fair: Bagalkot, Karnataka

Sri Vithappa Fair: Bagalkot, Karnataka

Time: September – October (Hindu month of Aswija)
Venue: Vithappa, Bagalkot, Karnataka State, India
Significance: Held in honor of Sri Vithappa
Highlights: Village fair and religious procession accompanied by drummers

Sri Vithappa fair is the popular fair held in the honor of the Vithappa deity in the village Vithappa. The first fair was held 200 years back since then the fair has become the regular practice and organized every year in the month of September or October or on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of Ashwija month.

The three day long fair is witnessed by 7 to 8 thousand people from adjoining areas. This fair has a religious and folk importance.

About Sri Vithappa Fair:

Karnataka has a multi-religious and a multi-cultural population. Hence a variety of festivals are held in the state. Karnataka like most of its southern neighbors has several temples which also account for a number of festivals being held each year. People of the village of Vithappa in Karnataka hold the Sri Vithappa fair in honor of the eponymous deity of the village. The fair, which is held for three days immediately after the traditional festival of Shigi Hunnive, attracts a large congregation of devotees from adjoining areas. As per the religious observations, a procession is taken out with devotees carrying the holy deity in a palanquin. The procession is accompanied by about 60 parties of drummers assembled from different parts of the state.

The fair is celebrated exclusively in one of the villages of Karnataka named Vithappa and is celebrated in honor of Sri Vithappa, considered as the eponymous idol of the village. The Shigi Hunnive is followed by Sri Vithappa Fair which is held for a period of three days and draws a large spectrum of devotees from adjacent areas.

Large processions are carried out and devotees shouldering the deity in a sanctum palanquin. Altogether there are sixty groups of drummers joining the processions. Animal sacrifices are made as a part of ritual ceremony. The funds that are collected from these sacrifices are used for the temple welfare. The fair is associated with a large number of spiritual beliefs. Formulation of milk into curd before the offerings is considered as omen by the devotees. The fair was first held two hundred years back and still it is conducted and people enjoy to the extreme. The fair is usually celebrated on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of Ashwija.

Celebrations:

The fair is organized with high festive spirits as the celebrations are marked by the grand procession with devotees carrying the holy deity in a palanquin. 60 parties of drummers from different parts of Karnataka also accompany the holy procession.

There is also trend of offering the sacrificed sheep before the deity which is later sold by the priest or pujari and the amount gained is credited to the temple funds.

There are many religious beliefs associated with the Sri Vithappa fair like turning of milk (brought for offering) into curd before offering to god is considered a good omen.

Another trait related with the fair is the collection of grains from bag kept in the temple by a person from Chunchanoor village during the fair. It is believed that if these grains are sowed into the farms then will result in rich yield for that very year.

How to reach Sri Vithappa Fair?

  • Nearest Railway Station: Bagalkot, Railway Station
  • Nearest Airport: Belgaum, 192 km airport
  • Road Transport: Badami is connected by road to Pattadakal (22 kms), Aihole (44 kms) and Hubli (110 kms). Karnataka State Transport Corporation buses ply from Badami to different major locations of the state.

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