eNarada, Bengaluru, Monday, October 22, 2018
Every year, on the last Monday of the month of Ashada, thousands of pilgrims, trekking enthusiasts, and others throng at the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple.
This temple situated at the base of the monolithic Nandi Hills, 4851 feet above sea level, located some 61 Kilometres from the megapolis, Bangalore in the state of Karnataka.
After worshipping at the temple, the pilgrims begin a 14-kilometer holy walk around the gigantic and scenic hillock. The circumambulation ends at the Bhoga Nandiswara temple.
The circumambulation around the Nandi Hills is considered by the locals as much holy and auspicious as circumambulation around the Kailasha Parvat in the Himalayas. The pradakshine ritual is an age-old religious practice performed around temples, deities of Gods and Goddesses and their sanctum-sanctorum, and holy trees.
This ritual of Nandi Hills first started in the year 1938 by the weaving community that lived in the plains around the Nandi Hills. They usually ran out of work during the month of Ashada because of the inclement weather and spent time in various religious and spiritual pursuits.
Some seers among the community of the weavers envisaged circumambulating the Nandi Hills, considered to be the abode of Nandi, one of Lord Shiva’s consorts.
Year after year the holy circumambulation has gained much popularity attracting ever more people. People come in for the event of their own accord and do not need any media propaganda.
Many of the city dwellers cherish this day for taking a break from their usual rut hectic city life and retreat to nature’s ravishing, bounteous scenery, greenery, and serenity.
As thousands march along the path, several cultural groups, dressed in gorgeous costumes, go bouncing along, dancing and singing. Different groups wearing their own unique ceremonial costumes to add colors to the procession; the pleasant sight encourage the walkers.
People sing devotional songs and chant mantras to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals and other traditional musical instruments rendering intense religious fervor that keeps people’s spirit high and their legs sprightly. Over the years the event has become a carnival of sorts.