An amazing festival: Veerendra Heggade

via published on March 4, 2007

T’PURAM: ‘‘I am awed by this festival. It is really a wonder how they conduct such a huge festival with absolutely no confusion,’’ said an awestruck D Veerendra Heggade, head of Dharmasthala and Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala Sri Manjunath temple.

Veerendra Heggade was talking about the participation of devotees in the Attukal Pongala festival. He said that he was amazed by the discipline maintained by the lakhs of women participating in the festival.

Heggade had accompanied wife Hemavathy and daughter Maithry, who were offering pongala at Attukal on Saturday. Calling Attukal pongala a celebration of womanhood, he said that it was a rare festival where women from various walks of life come together with their devotion for Attukal Devi.

‘‘I think the Attukal pongala signifies how festivals have now gone beyond caste and creed discrimination. Earlier only people of the upper caste used to participate in such religious festivities. But here I see women from all sections of society coming together for the pongala.’’

Heggade, however, observed that the festival was not getting the kind of media attention it deserved. ‘‘The media has a duty to bring such festivals to the people of other states as well. But the national media is not giving Attukal pongala the sort of importance it deserves.’’

He said that he would take all possible initiative to give necessary publicity to Attukal pongala at his place. ‘‘I will publish articles about this great festival in our Manjunatheshwara temple magazine,’’ he said.

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