The Hindu epic Mahabharata is enacted on those 18 days and the belief is that it rains on one of those days.

The Mahabharata calls the summer rains to this Krishnagiri village
news Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 18:28

While the rains flooded Chennai in December 2015, people in Krishnagiri claim that they were staring at a clear sky. And with a hot summer unfolding, the people in the district fear that it would be left dry and parched for water.

As a customary practice carried out every other year, this year too seven villages came together to organise an 18-day temple festival in hopes of getting “Madhavamazhai” which is the rain at the start of summer and is considered to be a blessing for the mango farmers.

The Hindu epic Mahabharata is enacted on those 18 days and the belief is that it rains on one of those days. 





Pachaippa, who is the Dharmakartha or the manager of the Bharathakovil at Thippanpalli village said, “On the third day after the commencement of the Bharatham play, on March 15, we had rains only in this Thippanpalli area, about 6 km from the main Krishnagiri town bus stand, which stayed dry as papad. The town did not have single drop of rain. That is the power of conducting this ritual.”

He said that there is no rule that it should be conducted every 2 years, it can be conducted every month too, provided people have the money to spend on organising it.

A 10-feet-long sand model of Duryodhana sat in the middle of the temple ground around which the audience sat. Some even brought their bedding, and camped on the ground to watch the play as it continued through the night.

On the last day of the play, hundreds of people gathered to get the blessings of the artists who play characters from the epic. There is a special craze for broom beatings from the person who plays the role of Duryodhana’s widow. The play ran on till late afternoon and the atmosphere was hot and intense with the crowd marking every important scene with cheers and fireworks.

But the festival has lost some of its lustre over the years. “Most people were into farming, but over the last 10 years, the rains have come down to such an extent that many people have left farming and found jobs in cities. Some of them have little money to spend on temple festivals to appease the rain gods,” said Pachiappa.

Kirubakaran, a farmer-turned-cab-driver said that this rain was important for the mango season setting in. “The dams are drying up. Though most farmers have borewells, rains are something mango growers really look forward to, which means a lot for the quality of mangoes,” he said.

Krishnagiri mangoes are known for the pulp content and over 70% of the yield is exported to Arab countries, which is a major source of income for the farmers.



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