Hindu cultural events of Malayalis are catching up in Bangalore

published on July 5, 2014

Though a cultural minority in a mega city like Bangalore, it is heartening to know that Malayali Hindus do their bit to strengthen and propagate our culture here. Being from a state which is heavily infested by three major anti Hindu forces, the Islamists, Evangelists and Communists, Kerala Hindus have to work very hard to preserve their culture. Fortunately the divinity is guiding them to take few steps in this direction. KNSS and SNDP have good presence in Karnataka, especially in Bangalore city. Every year, Onam is celebrated in a grand manner. It includes cultural events, Pookkalam (flower decoration) competetions, Sadya (tradtional feast) and family get-togethers. Just few weeks inadvance, Onam sales melas are organized just to make sure that all the essential items for the festival are available with the families. Most of the Malayali organizations have their own Malayalam bulletins also in which organizational matters are discussed.

Occasionally spiritual and religious events are also organized. One such program happening now is the classes on Vishnu Sahasranamam chanting. Amrita TV’s Sandya Deepam fame Smt Priya R Pai is conducting the classes which are highly appreciated by the participants. The classes happen twice a month. On Second Saturdays and Sundays. The plan is to train maximum participants and conduct a Samooha Parayanam (group recital) of the holy text by 108 devotees at Melpathur auditorium, Guruvayur by early next year. Devotees of all ages are participating with great enthusiasm and is busy preparing for this event. The venue of the classes is the KNSS service center in RT Nagar, Bangalore. As the whole text of Sahasranamam is structured homogeneously, interested people can still join this and easily get in sync with the rest of the group.

Pithru Tharpanam (Karikitaka Vavu Bali) is a big event in Bangalore. Malayalis assemble in thousands to participate in this ritual. One of the popular venues for this is Ulsoor lake area where NSS groups and SNDP make arangements for Hindus to perform this important ritual. Ramayana Masam have become a regular event in the month of Karkitakam. (July – August)

Sree Krishna Jayanthi celebrations are fast catching up in Bangalore. Though there is not much presence of Balagokulam here, the celebrations are much like what happens in Kerala. Last year, there were shobha yatras atleast in 3 places and a total of around 1000 people including hundreds of kids, participated in them. This year the number is expected to grow. Sreekrishna Jayanthi is on September 15th Monday.

Hindu leaders and spiritual masters make occasional visits to Bangalore and lead Satsangs. Last year Srimati Sasikala teacher had attended few functions. Swami Chidanandapuri participated in the celebrations of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. This year too there will be a weeklong Satsang by Swamiji in August from 10th to 16th. Sri Nochur Venkataraman is a familiar name in the spiritual circles of Bangalore.

There are about 40 Ayyappan temples in Bangalore. Most of the temples managed by Malayalis organize Bhagvatha Sapthaham every year. Jalahalli Ayyappan temple is the biggest of them, where daily Annadanam (free food) is given to hundreds of devotees all 365 days. This temple has got a well organized library, an auditorium and a school. There are temples for Chakkulathu Kavu Devi and Attukal Devi in Bangalore. Ponkala (offering of cooked rice) is gaining popularity by every passing year. Those who can not personally particpate in the corresponding events in Kerala, now get the chance to celebrate it from Bangalore. The relatively new Parassinikkadavu Muthappan Madappura introduces the peculiar rituals of that North Kerala temple to those devotees who are not familiar with that.

Many events take place in the arena of arts and culture also. Uthishta’s Kathakali Sandhya has become a regular annual event which is lead by none other than the maestro Padmasree Kalamandalam Gopi. The artists from Kerala are thrilled to see the growing number of Kathakali enthusiasts. Nowadays more than 500 people assemble to watch this classical art form.

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