Siri Jatre Festival of Udupi
Udupi, is famously known as the temple town for its rich heritage and is know for many Jatres or Nelas. One of the most remarkable Jatre is Siri Jatre.
The whole festival surrounds around a myth dating back to 16th century. These famous stories are sung through Tulu Paddanas which are their folk songs and it has known to bring peace to many.
When does it happen?If you happen to visit the town in between months of February and May you can experience a great spiritual phenomenon- Siri Jathre or Siriaayana. On a full moon day Tulu people organize this ritual ever year.
It attracts around 10,000 people from across the world. Apart from the firm believers, the people who study the tribal rituals and cults, people who study history or folklore and some people who just want to enjoy the flowery procession and Tulu folk songs also flock to the festival.
Where to attend the Siri Jathre festivalSiri Jathre festival is held annually in these places:
- Hiriyadka near Manipal
- Nandalike in Karkala
- Kavattaru in Mangalore
- Nidgal in Ujire
Highlights of the festival
- The famous Siri festival begins with the worship of Sri Brahmalingeshwar, Naga and Siri Kumars and Brahmamandala. They are collectively known as the Siri Kumar brothers who are said to be the protecting figure of the people of Coastal District.
- On the day of Siri Jatre, women come from far-flung villages to offer their prayers and serve the God through Siri spirit. It is said that women are possessed by the Siri family spirits one by one and are healed from their problems. It is also said that the women attending the procession are generally from low castes and have suffered immense pain in their lives. Siri, the royal goddess help in relieving them of their pain eventually.
- The mass is followed by white saree clad female devotees with Pingara flowers in their hands singing Siri Paddanas with utter devotion.
- Young women who have been "possessed by spirits" are brought to the Siri festival. The investigations are led by Kumar who is generally the priest with the assistance of one or more of the Siris. The process normally involves getting the young woman into a state of trance or an agonized state and then inquiring into the identity of the spirit (presumably a Siri) and why it is giving trouble to the girl.
- The family promises to meet whatever demands the spirit might be making. The young woman is then required to return to the Siri festival annually. She is a medium for the spirit and joins the ranks of the other women as an adept.
- ‘Kanchila Seve' is an offering to the Siri Kumars at the temples
- The Pardhana Siri ritual takes place for few hours and the whole Jathre goes on for two days.
Witnessing the rituals will give you an inner strength.