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On the ninth day of the Navratri celebrations, Ayudha Pooja is celebrated in Karnataka, where all the instruments of the household or shop are gathered together in one place and consecrated before the patron deity. This practice was carried out since the time of kings, briefly stopped during the British rule, and was reintroduced by the Wodeyars of Mysore.
The practice of anointing instruments is believed to have originated during the Kurukshethra war, when Arjuna placed his weapons in the Shami tree before using them in the war. He won the war after doing this, and so people do the same to their household objects believing that it holds great significance to their prosperity and success.
People in Karnataka apply turmeric and vermillion on household objects Image credit: wikimedia commons
During the time of the kings, weapons were gathered in one place, mounted on a royal elephant and taken to the patron temple. Here they would be rubbed with turmeric and vermillion, placed in the sanctum for a day, and retrieved on the last day of the Dasara festival. Even today, at the Mysore Palace, this is the practice. The palace weapons are taken to the nearby Chamundeshwari temple, where they are sanctified. They are brought back the next day and worshipped while they are hung on the palace walls. This is significant to the fact that the demon Mahishasura was slain with weapons blessed by goddess Chamundeshwari.
Offering prayers for books is believed to promote success in the acquisition of knowledge and wealth Image credit: wikimedia commons
In the villages of Karnataka, the sanctification process begins with the sacrifice of sheep. The blood of the animal is smeared on instruments that are imperative to livelihood, like bullock carts, farm equipment and so on. In the cities, vehicles, devices, and are prayed for and blessed, to express gratitude for their working. Ayudha Pooja is always observed the day before the final day of celebration, Vijayadashmi.
Keywords: Ayudha Pooja, Navratri, Dasara, Mysore, Karnataka, Vijayadashmi
Golden Chariot is a luxury train that runs in most parts of South India, as part of Karnataka Tourism. Originally dubbed 'Palace on Wheels', this venture began when an MoU was signed between the state tourism department and the Indian Railways.
This luxury train service began officially, in 2008. It took 900 layouts to design, and 200 carpenters working on the cabins. It currently has 44 cabins in 11 coaches, which are themed after the 11 dynasties of Karnataka, namely Hoysala, Kadamba, Rashtrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bahamani, Adil Shahi, Sangama, Satavahana, Yadukula, and Vijayanagara.
The Golden Chariot was awarded Asia's Leading Luxury Train at the World Travel Awards Image source: wikimedia commons
The train is painted golden and purple, with the emblem of an elephant-headed lion, which is a mythical animal. The colours signify the elegance and golden jubilee of the state of Karnataka. It is named after the historical Stone Chariot in Hampi. It was inaugurated with a ceremonial flag given by President Prathiba Patil on its maiden voyage from Bangalore to Goa.
The train has all the facilities a five-star ambiance would have. There is live television, wi-fi, USB enables devices, spas, gyms, and air conditioning. The hospitality services are handled by Mapple Group, which runs a hotel and resorts chain.The voyage covers parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa. It lasts for two weeks on a fixed itinerary
The voyage covers parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa. It lasts for two weeks on a fixed itinerary. Image source: wikimedia commons
The voyage covers parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa. It lasts for two weeks on a fixed itinerary. Jewels of the South, Pride of Karnataka, and Glimpses of Karnataka are the three sub-journey packages available. Once on the train, South India becomes accessible through world class amenities which offer the best possible travel experience. The Golden Chariot usually arrives and departs from Yeshwanthpur Railway Station in Bengaluru.
Keywords: Golden Chariot, Karnataka Tourism, Train, Luxury
While superstition and many other such beliefs emerged in the heyday of developmental changes in Bangalore, the evolution of such a gruesome urban legend is rather strange.
In the span of two years, when 11 people went missing from nearby villages in the Pavagada, Yadgir, Raichur areas, at first people believed that perhaps it was the doing of the spirits or witches, or maybe it was an unfortunate coincidence.
Sometime later, more people began to go missing, and this was unexplained. The people set up a search party, and they discovered skulls of the dead in a neat trail. There was no flesh on these bones at all. Superstitions took root once again and people assumed that supernatural beings were at work.
Wolves were believed to have killed many people from the village Image source: Wikimedia Commons
When the disappearances continued, they noticed that only girls began to disappear. They put together a canine search team, which led them to the mouth of an open cave. There were skulls around. The people immediately names hyenas and werewolves, but the disappearances never stopped. Finally, they decided that perhaps the region had been inhabited by wolves, who carried away smaller-sized humans for food. Despite further efforts, the actual source of the deaths has not been found out.
The region was also known for black magic, and it still is the hotbed of the black arts. When the police noticed that there was silence associated with the disappearances, and no one saw any evidence of wolves, they decided to go with the possibility that these deaths were happening as a result of human sacrifices by those who indulged in black magic. But they have not been successful in tracking the real murdered. The case resurfaced in 2005 and 2013 and still remains a mystery.
Keywords: Wolves, Black magic, Pavagada, Urban Legend
In the early nineties, when Bengaluru was still a growing urban city, when streetlights were not a common occurrence, and when most roads were still not asphalted, the urban legend of a witch began to make the rounds.
A female presence was perceived in some parts of the city, perhaps real, perhaps imaginary, who roamed in search of her lost husband. She would come outside residences and call out. By the time the resident came out, she would either disappear or they would. It was believed that a large number of missing people had been lured into the clutches of this woman.
Back then, beggars would come from the house to house, asking for food or alms. They too would use a similar voice to call out to the people inside. Those who wanted to help would find themselves in a quandary because there was the threat of going missing. At the same time, they would be guilty of ignoring the helpless.
They came up with a way to avoid the unnecessary dilemma. They scribbled the words 'Naale Ba' on all their walls and doorposts. A Kannada phrase that means 'Come tomorrow', served as a talisman against the powers of the witch. She would come to the door, read the writing, and go away. If she verbally called out to the residents, and they shouted 'Naale Ba', she would go away. If the person still remained, it was understood that they were not witches.
Over the years, this phrase has grown into a mundane saying. People use it in daily conversation and do not recall this incident. Walls that bore this phrase no longer exist, or have been painted over. In some parts of the state, April 1 is celebrated as Naale Ba day, which brings up the question of the reality of this legend. Nonetheless, if someone in Bengaluru tells you to come tomorrow, you know what they mean. Bollywood borrowed this concept for its recent horror-comedy flick Stree.
Keywords: Stree, Naale Ba, Urban Legend, Witches, Bengaluru