Right from the beginning of the year, members of the Kodava community eagerly await the arrival of October. After all, it is accompanied by one of the most sacred festivals in Coorg – Kaveri Sankramana. According to traditional beliefs, the festival symbolises Goddess Kaveri, the chief deity of the Kodavas, descending upon earth in the form of holy water or ‘tirtha’. Legend has it that this is how the River Kaveri, originating at Talakaveri in Kodagu, was born.
During this period, people from all over Karnataka gather to immerse themselves in the holy water. Such is the importance of the tirtha that it is collected in bottles and distributed in every home throughout the district. Pilgrims who visit Coorg specially to take part in the festivities also carry the water home, but not before paying last respects to their departed parent or spouse. A portion of this water is fed to those on their deathbed by family members who firmly believe that this will help them attain ‘moksha’, or salvation.
Celebrated in mid-October, the rituals honouring this festival in Karnataka usually span across two days. After taking a dip in the holy water on the first day, people worship Goddess Parvati and Goddess Kaveri, who is thought to be her incarnation. This ritual is called Kani Puje, or the worshipping of mother earth. To create a symbol of Goddess Kaveri, an oil lamp is placed on rice grains, which are spread across a bell-metal plate, and a vegetable is wrapped in red silk. This symbol is referred to as a ‘taliyatakki bolca’. It is embellished with flowers and jewellery, betel leaves, and areca nuts. Prayers are offered to this lamp by scattering grains of rice on it. This ritual is followed by a Kodava feast that is purely vegetarian.
Before Kaveri Sankramana, the festival of Kali Polud is celebrated in September, and the months of November and December bring with them the joyous occasion of Puttari. If you are planning to visit Coorg and witness its culture and traditions in an authentic environment, there is no better time than the end of the year to make the trip. You will be surrounded by the spirit of devoutness and an air of positivity that is difficult to find in other places.
To enjoy Coorg’s most important festival and relish the Kodava cuisine, book your stay at the Club Mahindra Madikeri resort or Virajpet resort, set amidst lavish green landscapes and aromatic coffee plantations. The Madikeri resort is designed to pamper guests by offering spacious and comfortable rooms as well as other modern amenities like a spa complex, two swimming pools, and a gymnasium. There are also in-house restaurants where you can treat yourself to the lip-smacking delicacies of Karnataka. What’s more, the resort also caters to the adventure-junkie in you by organising holiday activities like river rafting and coffee plantation tours.
Located about 35 kilometres from Madikeri, Club Mahindra’s Virajpet resort offers 1-bedroom suites as well as studio rooms to suit the needs of every kind of traveller. In this Coorg resort, you will find an impressive repertoire of amenities ranging from a spa and a bar to a swimming pool and restaurant. For entertainment, you can head out for plantation and bird-watching tours or go quad biking down a hilly terrain. Take a peek at the rave Club Mahindra reviews from other guests and members before you reserve your stay.