‘Puthari’ to be celebrated in Kodagu today

“Puthari”, harvest festival, will be celebrated across Kodagu on Wednesday.

The festival marks bringing home the new paddy crop from the fields, symbolic of welcome to Goddess Lakshmi, who is the presiding deity of wealth.

Puttari/Huttari 2008

A festival primarily confined to Kodavas in the past, is now being celebrated by other communities also in the district.

The festival takes place on the full moon day.

Men, women and children go to the paddy field in the evening and bring home paddy sheaves.

Women carry “taliyakki bolakk”, a bronze tray with rice, betel leaves, arecanut and a lamp. Firecrackers are burst to add to the merriment.

In villages, people gather at a particular spot and leave to their respective paddy fields. They return with paddy sheaves, chanting “Poli Poli Deva…..” (prayers seeking wealth, health and prosperity).

Paddy sheaves are then taken to the threshing yard, called as “kala” in Kodava, and tied to the post at the centre of the yard.

Strings of paddy sheaves, peepal, “kumbuli” and “keku” leaves, “irinjoli balli” and “achi nar” are tied at important locations such as the entrance of the house, doors, rooms, prayer hall, roofs, etc., as is the custom.

A unique pudding is made of coconut, sesamum, ginger, cardamom, and rice. It is placed on the peepal leaf and served among the family members in front of the “Nellakki”, the place of worship in homes. Dinner includes two special dishes, “tambittu” made of ripe bananas and roasted rice flour, and “kalinji”, sweet potato.

It is said that “Puthari” used to be celebrated for 11 days in the past, which, however, has been reduced to only to a few days now.

During these days, Kodavas in their traditional attire gather at the “mand” (a place of religious congregation) in their respective villages and present “Urukol”, ‘Nadkol’, ‘Devakol’ and other traditional dances.

-The Hindu

John, Medappa file nomination papers

Congress candidate T. John and S.G. Medappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party filed their nomination papers on Tuesday for the election to the Legislative Council from Kodagu constituency.

Janata Dal (S) leader M.C. Nanaiah, MLC, said the tie-up between the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) would pave the way for a new political development in the State soon. Replying to a question on several candidates filing nomination papers from the BJP, Mr. Nanaiah said if the BJP split in Kodagu and other parts of the State, it would be a boon to the people, who were frustrated by its “misrule”. KPCC general secretary Mittu Chengappa and Janata Dal (S) district unit office-bearers were present.

Addressing presspersons after filing his nomination papers, Mr. Medappa ruled out differences of opinion among the BJP leadership in Kodagu over his candidature. Asked why several other BJP workers, including Shuja Kushalappa, brother of Madikeri MLA, M.P. Appachu Ranjan, had filed nomination papers, Mr. Medappa said aspiring for the party ticket was common in a democracy.

He said that he enjoyed the support of Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly K.G. Bopaiah and Mr. Ranjan, apart from the electorate. However, the absence of Mr. Bopaiah, Mr. Ranjan and Sunil Subramani, brother of Mr. Ranjan, who tried for the party ticket, was conspicuous. He had served the zilla panchayat and as an MLC for 14 months. This would stand him in good stead to work for the development of the local bodies, especially the gram panchayats.

G.L. Nagaraj (BJP worker) and Kudiyara Muthappa too filed their papers on Tuesday. In all, eight candidates have filed 12 sets of nomination papers. S.P. Mahadevappa and H.S. Ashok, independents, have filed three sets of papers each, while Mr. John, Mr. Medappa, Mr. Shuja Kushalappa, C.P. Gopal, Mr. Nagaraj and Mr. Muthappa have filed one set each.

 -The Hindu