द्रुग्गिणतैक्य: Concordance between Observed and Computed

I was at beautiful campus of Indian Institute of Science(IISc) in Benglauru beginning of February for conference on which reviewed Indic tradition in the areas of science and technology. I have traveled to Bengaluru so many times, but this was my first time at this historic and landmark institution and its sprawling green campus. The title of this blog says it all, in terms of the theme of the conference. Any talk of science and technology in ancient India has earned bad name. And there are reasons for it which related to unrealistic claims.

This conference was different in its approach. It focused on Computational Positivism philosophy which is, in short, establishing concordance between what is observed and what is computed. It explored this theme and approach which seems to be prevalent in Indic tradition, across many fields of science, including astronomy etc. This approach is different than what is found in Greek tradition which is more towards axiomatic approach. Computational positivism employs aspects of computational thinking. And this is where it gets interesting, for me, who has been in field of computers. Computational thinking often involves abstraction, automation, algorithmic approach. This aspect has been argued by Prof Roddam Narasimha who was to be at the conference to talk about it.

After Y Narahari’s inaugural address, Prof Roddam Narasimha spoke about the very theme of the conference. Prof N N Jha, spoke about Navya Nyaya(Indian Logic). Indian mathematics and astronomy was reviewed by Prod M D Srinivas. Prof Sunadara Rajan baffled audiences by going over Amarkosha’s documentation of plant semantics. Prof Iyengar explored probability aspects are employed in Indian classical music. I could not attend last two sessions on the first day. One them was by Navajyoti Singh who explored Jain mathematics and other was Shabdabodha aspects in computational linguistics by Amba Kulkarni.

The second day had few more interesting topics in fields of astronomy, Ayurveda, concepts of consciousness and self, aspects of computational thinking in India mathematics. The most interesting from my perspective was review of various propositions of claims of science and technology in ancient India and highlighting how can it be approached, by Prof Mayank Vahia. He also briefly covered evolution of science. The conference concluded with panel discussion on the current relevance of Indic perspectives in the field of science and technology, which I could not attend. The conference had also tutorials on different topics. The first part of the tutorial was a day before the actual conference began and second part was after the conference concluded. I wish I could have attended but I was not, especially one on Tantrasangraha/Yuktibhashya which are important treatise on Indian astronomy works, belonging to Kerala school mathematics.

The conference talks are recorded and can be found here for those who want to listen and learn.

Last couple of words on the venue itself. This venue of this conference was Faculty Hall in Main Building of IISc. The full size statue of Sir Jamsetji Tata is located right in front of this huge stone building. He funded the construction of building of IISc, upon request from Swami Viveknanda, as the history tells. The walks during lunch break inside the campus impresses anyone and was amazing experience. I would like ti visit this place again, whenever I get opportunity next.

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Jallary Natural Forest

Bengaluru is famous for its lakes and gardens. Both of them disappearing fast due to urbanization, and construction activities. Bengaluru is also fortunate to have urban forest area  which are managed by state government forest department. Bannerghatta National Park is one such example. There are many other smaller forest parks dotted at various parts across Bengaluru. One such park is Jallary Natural Forest.

This forest park is located near the place I usually stay with my folks during my Bengaluru trips. I make sure that I visit it at least once. This forest is also called Arekere Reserve Forest or Doresanipalya Forest. Arekere is a lake nearby. The forest now is mainly consists of Bamboo bushes and Eucalyptus(neelgiri) trees. It is said in the past it used to consists of Jallary trees(Lac tree. The Lac extract is used in making of ornaments). There are various trails inside one can take. One can spot various creatures, insects such as black colored centipedes alongside. There many ant hills as well, many be some of them are dead with no apparent activity. One can sport many butterflies as well.

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A little search on Internet provides some information about local interest on preserving this forest area and also efforts to bring its past glory. The forest, on one edge, has a environment management and policy institute as well(EMPRI), run under Government Of Karnataka. Do plan to visit the forest next time when you are in Bengaluru.

बंगळूरूमधील कर्नाटक राज्योत्सव

कर्नाटक राज्य स्थापनेचा दिवस म्हणजे १ नोव्हेंबर आणि तो राज्योत्सव दिवस म्हणून राज्यभर साजरा होतो.  ह्या वर्षी कर्नाटक राज्य स्थापनेला ६० वर्षे झाली. मी त्या दिवशी योगायोगाने बंगळूरूमध्ये होतो, त्यामुळे मला कर्नाटकाच्या राजधानीत हा दिवस कसा साजरा केला गेला हे पाहायला मिळाले. त्याबद्दल येथे लिहतो आहे.

बेंगळुरूची परिस्थिती ही तशी थोडी मुंबईसारखी झाली आहे असे म्हण्याला हरकत नाही. मुंबईत जसे मराठी भाषेची, मराठी माणूस यांची गळचेपी कित्येक वर्षे झाली आहे, तसेच काहीसे बेंगळुरूचा बाबतीत गेल्या २५-३० वर्षात झाले आहे असे दिसून येईल. जसे जसे माहिती-तंत्रज्ञान क्षेत्र शहरात वाढू लागले तसे तसे शेजारील राज्यातून वेगवेगळे लोकं येऊन राहू लागले आणि त्यातून कन्नड भाषेची, स्थानिक कन्नड माणसाची गळचेपी सुरु झाली. हे सर्व सांगण्याचे कारण की ज्या तऱ्हेने शहरात स्थापना दिवस साजरा केला गेला ते सर्व पाहून त्यामागची ही पार्श्वभूमी आहे. तसेच नुकतेच घडलेले कावेरी पाणी वाटप प्रश्नाच्या संदर्भात घडलेल्या अप्रिय घटना, त्याच्याही आठवणी ताज्या होत्या. त्यामुळेही की काय, हा दिवस मोठ्या उत्साहात साजरा केला गेला.

सकाळी सकाळी आलेल्या इंग्रजी(The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Times of India) तसेच कन्नड(प्रजावाणी, विजय कर्नाटक) वर्तमानपत्रातून विविध लेख, इतिहास इत्यादी रकानेच्या रकाने भरून माहिती आली होती. तसेच दूरचित्रवाणी वाहिनांवर कन्नड भाषा, कर्नाटक राज्य यांची महती सांगणारी गाणी, चित्रपट यांची चालती होती. कन्नड चित्रपटसृष्टीमधील प्रसिद्ध नट राजकुमार यांची बरीच गाणी आणि चित्रपट ह्या विषयावर होती(राजकुमार ह्यांनी १९८० मधील कन्नड भाषेसाठी झालेल्या गोकाक आंदोलनात देखील सक्रीय सहभाग घेतला होता). बंगळूरू आकाशवाणीवर पुणे आकाशवाणी प्रमाणे दररोज सकाळी चिंतन हा कार्यक्रम प्रसारित होत असतो. कर्नाटक राज्योत्सावाच्या निमिताने त्या कार्यक्रमात विविध विचारवंत महिनाभर कर्नाटक राज्य, कन्नड भाषा, याबद्दल आपले विचार व्यक्त करताहेत. मी ऐन दिवाळीत बेंगळुरू मध्ये असल्यामुळे काही कन्नड मासिकांचे दिवाळी विशेषांक घेतले. त्यात देखील कर्नाटक राज्य एकीकरण चळवळीचे प्रयत्न, त्याचा इतिहास, आणि उत्तर कर्नाटकातील जनतेचा असलेला सहभाग याबद्दल सविस्तर सांगणाऱ्या खास पुरवण्या आलेल्या मला दिसल्या. कर्नाटक राज्य स्थापन करण्यासाठी झालेला लढा, एकीकरण समिती, त्याचा इतिहास याबद्दल देखील मी कधीतरी लिहीन. १९५६ साली जेव्हा राज्य अस्तित्वात आले, तेव्हा त्याचे नाव मैसुरू हेच कायम ठेवले होते. पण १९७३ मध्ये कर्नाटक असे नामकरण करण्यात आले, त्याबद्दलची माहिती आली होती.

बंगळूरू मध्ये नातेवाईकांकडे आमचा मुक्काम असलेल्या गृहसंकुलात देखील कर्नाटक राज्योत्सावानिमित्ताने कार्यक्रम होता. सुरुवातीला झेंडा वंदन झाले(लाल आणि पिवळा रंग असलेल्या कर्नाटकाचा झेंडा), सभासदांनी, मुला-मुलींनी कर्नाटक राज्यगीत(‘जय भारत जननिया तनुजाते जाते’ हे कर्नाटक माते), आणि इतर राज्य-स्तुतीपर गाणी म्हटली. वातावरण एकूण भरून गेले होते. बऱ्याच जणांनी वेशदेखील त्याच रंगसंगती मध्ये परिधान केला होता.

संध्याकाळी बाहेर पडलो, तर ठिकठिकाणी, चौकाचौकात कर्नाटक माता म्हणजे भुवनेश्वरी देवीची प्रतिमेचे पूजन, फडफडता झेंडा, पताका यांनी सजवलेले मंडप दृष्टीस पडले. रस्त्यांवरील रिक्षा देखील ह्या निमित्ताने सजल्या होत्या. सरकारी कार्यक्रम तर होतेच(ज्यात भाषणे, कर्नाटक राज्य कला, संस्कृती, जानपद यांचे दर्शन देणारे कार्यक्रम), पण त्याच बरोबर प्रमुख आकर्षण म्हणजे राज्योत्सव प्रशस्ती पुरस्कार समाजातील विविध क्षेत्रातील व्यक्तींना त्यांच्या सेवेबद्दल दिला जातो. त्याचीदेखील माहिती ठिकठिकाणी आली होती. आम्ही नंतर जवळच असलेल्या मॉलमध्ये चर्चेत असलेला एक कन्नड सिनेमा पाहायला गेलो, ज्याचे नाव मुकुंद मुरारी, जो परेश रावळ अभिनित हिंदी सिनेमाची कन्नड आवृत्ती होती. तर मॉलमध्ये, सिनेमागृहात देखील राज्योत्सावानिमित्त सजावट दिसली. जाहिराती  दाखवणाऱ्या इलेक्ट्रोनिक फलकावर देखील कर्नाटक राज्योत्सव, राज्याचा नकाशा जो पिवळा आणि लाल रंगात दाखवला जातो, तसा आणि राज्यातील आजी माजी प्रसिद्ध व्यक्ती यांचे छायाचित्रे झळकत असलेली दिसली. दुसऱ्या दिवशी मी रेल्वेने चेन्नईला जाणार होतो, त्यामुळे रेल्वे स्टेशनवर गेलो असता, तेथेही मला कर्नाटक राज्याचा झेंडा झळकत असलेला दिसला. संपूर्ण नोव्हेंबर महिना राज्यभर काहीना काहीना कार्यक्रम ह्या निमित्ताने होत असतात. बेंगळुरच्या विधानसौधा भागात जावू नाही शकलो, पण तेथेही रोषणाई, सजावट असते.

महाराष्ट्रात मी अशा तऱ्हेने महाराष्ट्र दिन साजरा केलेला मला तरी दिसत नाही. आपापल्या सहकारी गृह्संकुलातून महाराष्ट्र दिन साजरा करायला काय हरकत आहे. मुंबई आणि इतर मोठ्या शहरातून मराठी भाषेची, मराठी संस्कृतीची गळचेपी होत असताना, त्याबद्दल जनजागृती करायला हा नक्कीच चांगला मार्ग आहे.

How to skin a giraffe?

Well, this blog is not about how to skin giraffe in literal sense! Absolutely not. This is about a play of the same name I had watched recently  at famous drama hotspot Ranga Shankara in Bengaluru during my recent visit to the city.

I picked up this weirdly named play to watch over the weekend. And I would say I enjoyed it. But don’t ask me the relation of the name of the play and story in it. I did not find any direct, to my best of knowledge. But let’s keep aside the name and focus on the story. The story is actually simple. It is about various attempts made for a marriage between daughter and sons of two kingdoms. The play was in English mainly, but it also used lot of other Indian languages. The presentation, stage, costume, multi-lingual narration, and also multi-modal live music makes it unique. The costume gave me a feeling of Greek era. The stage and props used for depicting various characters such as king, queen etc is very minimalist and innovative. Theater is a place where all such liberties can be taken, things can be denoted and told indirectly, and also lot of white spaces are left for interpretation by audience. This makes it very lively.

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The story also had an undercurrent which basically trying to get these two married for convenience and not because they genuinely like each other. This is a comment on the society’s attitude towards marriage of and for convenience, for other benefits. This used to be very common all over, include princely states of India during pre-Independence era. It seems that this play is inspired by 19th century play titled Leonce and Lena by German playwright George Buchner. Their Facebook page tells about this adaption. The adaption of German plays is not new to Indian theater, especially GRIPS theater which originated in Germany has grown in India, about which I have written here. It is adapted for presentation keeping the theme intact. The original play related details are on Wiki here. The names of the main characters are kept same which are Popo and Pipi.

The play starts with king’s monologue titled “I must think” where he gives various reasons as to why he must think for other people. This monologue comments on and points to the life of general people which is so monotonous, boring where they don’t have time to think what is good and bad for them. This consisted of absurd expressions and terms, with very interactive sense in it. Then play slowly elaborates the intentions of the king and the queen about the marriage, which both denounce and escape their respective residence to run away independently. The play then uses a modern dating show concept to bring them back, understand each other, and eventually make them like each other. At the end, both king and queen makes them marry by forging them, this throws the light on the mindset of the society.

The dating show and also the host of that show itself was impressive. The host interacts with audience in interesting way, to tickle them, and make them speak their mind. The other distinctive feature of this play was its music. The duo sitting on the stage at the rear side, had carried various musical instruments with them, Indian, western, and others as well. They playing them during the scenes added a different color to the play. All in all this 100 minute social satire was different experience which unfolded in front of us.

दोड्डाटा

गेल्या काही वर्षापासून सुदर्शन रंगमंच नावाचे प्रायोगिक नाटकांसाठी, इतर कलाप्रकारातील प्रयोगांसाठी पुण्यातील संस्था छान काम करते आहे. त्याच प्रकारची अजून एक संस्था म्हणजे आसक्त कलामंच. त्यांच्या ‘रिंगण’ ह्या अभिनव संकल्पनेतून त्यांनी कादंबरी अभिवचन, नाटकाचे अभिवाचन यासारखे उपक्रम राबवले आहेत. काल त्यांनी कर्नाटकातील दोड्डाटा ह्या लोकनाट्य प्रकारावर प्रकाश गरुड यांनी केलेल्या संशोधनाच्या निमित्ताने एक कार्यक्रम सादर केला. मी त्या कार्यक्रमाला हजर होतो,  त्याबद्दल थोडेसे. वर्तमानपत्रातील जाहिरात पाहून मला वाटले की दोड्डाटाचाच प्रयोग होणार आहे. कारण मी पूर्वी यक्षगान सारखे प्रयोग कन्नड संघाद्वारे आयोजित केलेल्या कार्यक्रमात पुण्यात पहिले आहेत. पण तेथे गेल्यावर समजले की प्रकाश गरुड यांच्या संशोधनावर कार्यक्रम आहे.

मला महाराष्ट्र आणि कर्नाटकतील भाषेचे अनुबंध, कलेतील अनुबंध, तसेच एकूणच संस्कृतीमधील अनुबंध याबद्दल आस्था आहे. मी माझ्या ब्लॉग वर त्याबद्दल बरेच लिहिले आहे. रहमत तरीकेरी यांनी लिहिलेले अमीरबाई कर्नाटकी या गतकाळातील गायिकेचे कन्नडमधील चरित्र मी मराठीत आणले. वि भा देशपांडे, नाडकर्णी या नाट्य-अभ्यासकांनी नाट्य-क्षेत्रामधील या देवाणघेवाणीबद्दल बरेच लिहिले आहे. मी स्वतः काही कन्नड नाटकं कर्नाटकात पहिली आहेत. दोड्डाटा(Doddata) याचा शब्दश: अर्थ आहे मोठा खेळ. म्हणजेच छोटा खेळ असला पाहिजे आणि तो आहे, त्याला म्हणतात सण्णाटा(Sannata). तसेच बयलाटा, म्हणजे उघड्यावरील खेळ(outdoor performance). दोड्डाटाला आणखी एक प्रती शव्द आहे तो म्हणजे हिरेआटा. हिरे म्हणजे थोरला. आणखी एक कलाप्रकार म्हणजे कृष्ण पारिजात, जो प्रामुख्याने बेळगाव जिल्ह्यात प्रसिद्ध आहे.

प्रकाश गरुड हे गरुड सदाशिवराव यांचे नातू आहेत. गरुड सदाशिवराव हे सुरुवातीच्या काळातील कन्नड नाट्यक्षेत्रातील, म्हणजे कंपनी थिएटर काळातील एक मोठे नाव. त्यामुळे नाट्यकलेचा वारसा त्यांना मिळाला. प्रकाश गरुड आणि त्यांची पत्नी रजनी यांनी कन्नड नाट्यक्षेत्रात बरेच काम केले आहे. धारवाड मध्ये कळसूत्री बाहुल्यांच्या खेळाशी संबंधित संस्था ते चालवतात. त्यांना IFA(India Foundation for Arts) कडून दोड्डाटा वर संशोधन करायला त्यांना मिळाले. ह्या लोककलाप्रकारांच्या  इतिहासावर आधी बरेच काम झाले आहे. गेल्या २०० वर्षात दोड्डाटा हा कलाप्रकार उगम पावला. प्रकाश गरुड यांना रस होता तो आता काय परिस्थिती आहे हे पाहण्यात, तसेच त्यांचा विकास का खुंटला आहे हे जाणण्यात. त्यात त्यांनी उत्तर कर्नाटकातील विविध भागात जाऊन त्यांनी, सध्या हयात असलेल्या कलाकारांच्या मुलाखती घेतल्या, त्यांचे त्यांचे काही कार्यक्रम रेकॉर्ड केले. ते त्यांनी प्रेक्षकांना कार्यक्रमादरम्यान दाखवले. त्यांना दिसले असे की दोड्डाटा असो, किंवा इतर कलाप्रकार असोत, त्यांना आजच्या युगात उतरती कळा लागली आहे. यक्षगान हा कलाप्रकार जसा शिवराम कारंत यांच्या प्रयत्नांमुळे जिवंत राहिला, तसे येथे होत असतना दिसत नाही. ह्या लोककला प्रकारातील कलाकार अशिक्षित, किवा खालच्या वर्गातून आलेले असत. आपली शेतीसारखी आणि इतर काम करता करता थोडे फार ही कला शिकून, ते ही सादर करत. पुढची पिढी तयार करण्याचे प्रयत्न खुपच तोकडे आहेत असे दिसले.

त्यांनी दोड्डाटा आणि सण्णाटा यातील फरक देखील स्पष्ट केला. वापरले जाणारे संगीत, वेशभूषा, यात तो फरक आहे. भक्ती पंथांच्या(जसे कि वैष्णव, शैव, लिंगायत) प्रभावामुळे सादर होणारे विषय कसे आले याबद्दल त्यांनी विवेचन केले. ते म्हणाले की स्वातंत्र्यापूर्वी उत्तर कर्नाटकात महाराष्ट्रातील सत्ताधाऱ्यांची(जसे की पेशवे आणि त्यांचे सरदार, त्यानंतरचे संस्थानिक) होती. त्यांनी ह्या कलेला विशेष उत्तेजन दिले नाही. थोडाफार आश्रय मिळायचा तो गावातील जमीनदार लोकांकडून. आता कुळे आणि जमिनदारी नष्ट झाली असल्यामुळे तोही आश्रय खुंटीत झाला. तसेच त्यांनी असेही एक निरीक्षण नोंदवले की आधुनिक काळातील ज्या नाटकांनी(उदा. हयवदन, जोकुरस्वामी इत्यादी) लोककलेचे फॉर्म वापरले, ते मुख्यत: यक्षगानाच्या स्वरूपाचे होते. त्यामुळे देखील दोड्डाटा आणि सण्णाटा या लोककलेचे मुख्य प्रवाहात येणे म्हणावे तसे झाले नाही.

त्यांचे सादरीकरण इंग्रजी मध्ये होते. शेवटी अजित जोशी यांनी त्यांची छोटेखानी मुलाखत घेतली. एका प्रश्नाला उत्तर देताना त्यांनी रामायणापेक्षा महाभारतावर ह्या लोकनाट्यांचे विषय का बेतले असतात हे विषद केले. प्रकाश गरुड यांनी सादर केलेला विषय महत्वाचा होता, संशोधन आणि दस्तऐवजीकरण देखील महत्वाचे आहे, पण ते म्हणावे तेवेढे प्रभावी पणे प्रेक्षकांपर्यंत पोहचले नाहे असे जाणवत राहिले. भाषेची अडचण असावी असे वाटले. रजनी गरुड यांना तर त्यांचे अनुभव कथन करायला अवकाश मिळालाच नाही. काही वर्षांपूर्वी बेंगळुरू येथे गेलो असता, जानपदा लोका(Janpada Loka) नावाचे, कर्नाटका जानपदा परिषत्तु ह्या संस्थेचे, लोककला संग्रहालय पाहायला गेलो होतो, तेथे विविध कर्नाटकातील विविध लोककलाप्रकार, त्यांचा इतिहास, हे पहायला आणि अनुभवायला मिळाले होते, त्याची ह्या निमित्ताने आठवण झाली. कर्नाटकात साजत होणारा मैसुरू दसरा महोत्सवात विविध जिल्ह्यांची संस्कृती दाखवणारी जम्बो सवारी(Jumbo Savari) नावाची मिरवणूक असते. त्यात बऱ्याचदा दोड्डाटा आणि सण्णाटा आणि इतर कलाप्रकारांचे सादरीकरण असते. आशा एवढीच आहे, ते कलाप्रकार फक्त संग्रहालय आणि अश्या मिरवणुकीतुनच फक्त दिसू नयेत!

Narahimha Tirth

A day trip to Mulbagal

Every time I go to Bengaluru, I try to live the city to its fullest, to what it has to offer. There are so many different facets, from the language, culture, sheer travel perspective that one can explore. I have tried sharing those in the past here, and there are many things I have not written, due to sheer laziness. This time I decided to head out of the city for a quick excursion to a holy place called Mulbagal(or Mulubagilu), which is near Kolar, about 80 kilometers towards north-east from south Bengaluru where I was put up. In fact, this town is eastern end of state of Karnataka.

We started off early in the morning, from south Bengaluru, that weekend. Despite early morning of a Saturday, it took good 40 minutes to hit the highway from that famous hanging bridge near Whitefield area, which goes to Kolar and further. The road was nice there on. This highway is also called MBT Road, which is Madras Bombay Trunk Road. One of my favorites things to do while driving in and around Bengaluru is to tune into one of Kannada radio channels. This gives a good taste of finer nuances of Kannada language, which I am not entirely exposed, despite my mother tongue being Kannada, as I don’t live in Bengaluru. I have narrated my fondness to radio here.

Mulbagal is famous for Sripadraya(or Sripadaraja) Mutt and Narsimha Tirtha. It also is famous as second capital of famous Vijaynagar empire of 16th century. Our visit was mainly for these two places. There are other tourists attractions which we did not plan, but one may find more about them here on Wiki. Sripadaraya is part of linage of Madhwacharya, who founded Dwaita philosophy(which is one among  Vedanta or Uttar Mimamsa philosophy systems. Please refer my blog here on this topic.). My family being ardent follower of Madhwacharya, a visit to this holy place was due to for long time. Sripadaraya is also known for his contribution to  Haridasa, which is a Bhakti movement in Karnataka. I am a fan of Haridasa literature.

The monastery complex has shrines of Sripadaraya and his disciples, temple of Narsihma(in fact Yognarsimha), temple of Anjaneya. It also has pond(also called pushkarani) called Narsimha Teerth which has a shrine at the center. I also noticed a colony of bird around that central shrine, but could not recognize the birds unfortunately(They did not seem like bats though, which is what one would usually find at such a place which is not quite easily accessible by humans. I have seen many of them during my trekking days in Sahyadri range, especially on the ceilings of the caves). We attended prayers, and also participated in feast after the prayers. I also was lucky to find a book which is a volume produced during National Haridasa Literature Conference in 2012 organized by the monastery. I hope sometime to also get hold of Dasa Sahitya volumes produced  Project Dasa Sahitya by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD). Their volumes are result of research and compilation of sources of scattered Haridasa literature.

Anyways, this trip reminded me of a trip to Kolar which near Mulbagal which I had taken way back during my maiden trip to Bengaluru in 1992. Kolar is famous for now abandoned gold mine/fields. That trip was in a state transport bus. Bengaluru and its outskirts has grown so much. I guess it has started showing its effect on this garden city. I read other days that it recorded a hottest day in the history of the city. I had outlined state of lakes in Bengaluru amidst this concrete jungle. Hope things change before that damage is irreparable. Also,  if you are interested in reading more about my other Bengaluru explorations, feel free to refer this page.

Don’t forget to share your experience and thoughts!

Dasara Doll Festival(Bombe Habba)

Mysore Dasara(called Nadahabba in Karnataka) is very famous and known for its grandeur and jumbo savari(elephant procession) which is held at Mysore Palace. The other specialty of Dasara festival as celebrated in and around Bengaluru and Mysore(Mysuru) is display of dolls at homes and outside, and tradition of inviting neighbors for viewing. I had heard about this since last few years. Though I have not seen celebrated in this way in other parts of Karnataka, especially, region I from, which is Bijapur, northern Karnataka.

My long wish of traveling to Bengaluru and Mysuru during Dasara time got fulfilled this time. But my another wish of Mysore Palace during festival still pending, as I did not have time for it this time. Doll displays caught my eyes, starting from airport and few other places in the city. I wanted to quickly share those images here and also introduce this festival here.

Bombe Habba

Doll Arrangement at Bengaluru Airport

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Bombe Habba

At the street side near Ramkrishna Mutt in Bengaluru

There is enough information available on the Internet on the history and details on the way it is observed. You may look here for example-I don’t need to repeat it here.

But one thing, I must say, it reminded my of my childhood memories of Ganpati Festival in Maharashtra. Every home in Maharashtra installs Ganpati idols and decorates the area. As children, we would make trips to each home, all 10 days of the festival, and look at the decorations and appreciate. Though there was no formal awards for best decoration etc, the environment was similar and each house would do its best to decorate in best possible manner. That tradition seems have lost since last 15-20 years for whatever reasons, I hardly see anything like that. Hope the same does not happen to Bombe Habba.

Talking of diversity and specialties of Dasara festival, let me conclude by mentioning that I learnt during my flight back to Pune, that state of Chattisgarh(rather district of Bastar) celebrates Dasara for 75 days. Now that is definitely special!