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Tuljapur




Page: 19/22

Hindu Books > Temples And Legends of India > Temples And Legends Of Maharastra > Tuljapur

General View of the Temple, Tuljapur Page18

The Vijayadashmi attracts the biggest fair of the year. Early morning that day a palanquin is brought before the temple. This palanquin is brought all the way from Nagar and Bbingar by the members of the Teli community. The leader of the bearers goes in the shrine, cuts his small finger and applies a tilak' of blood on the forehead of the goddess, the afternoon puja being a grand alamkara mahapuja. But the focus of all attention is the evening procession of Simmollanghan, the traditional crossing of the boundaries. The devi is placed in the palanquin brought to her in the morning, The rush is so terrific and so many people try to push forward to touch the palanquin that as a precautionary measure yards of cloth are wound round the image to protect it from any possible harm. A deafening noise ensues from the combined efforts of several bands of musicians that employ such vociferous instruments as nagara, tasha, sambal, karna and shinga. Cheers of Ude, Ude' vie with the instruments, and it is difficult to say which was louder. Numberless torches are set alight. Large quantities of kumkum powder are thrown on or towards the palanquin.

Every face is soon powdered red. The sight and the entire atmosphere is memorable. The bands blaring out, the thunder of Ude, the smoky torches crackling out and the red dust, all create an effect at once unusual and exciting. The route of the procession is not too long, the usual path of circuniambulation being followed. The procession comes to a halt near the huge banyan tree where the palanquin is rested for some time. People try to reach the deity so as to present to the devi the customary gold', the leaves of the Shami tree. It is not before midnight that the tumul tous chhabina returns to the shrine, On return, the devi, who is naturally tired after meeting so many thousands of her devotees, during the past ten days, is taken out of the palanquin and placed on the bed-stead brought by the Bhingar devotees with them. This is the beginning of the second period of Nidra-rest, noted earlier, thereby Marking the end of the biggest festival of this shrine.




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