SLVT Hosdurg


Our scriptures ordain that in order to retain and increase the Divine energy or radiation, in a temple five rites are to be performed. They are Thapa, Japa, Utsava, Nithya pooja and Annadana. So utsavas or festivals are conducted not just for enjoyment. They are for the sanctity, divinity and prosperity of the temples as well as the devotees. Of the three types of utsavas, namely Ankuradi, Dhwajadi and Padahadi, the first type is considered the best. Most of our festivals are of the first type. While the Thapa, Japa and the nitya pooja are mainly the duties of the priests or Archakas, utsavas and Annadana require the samaj for their conduct. It is to be specially mentioned that all sections of the Samaj discharge their duties satisfactorily.

Until some years ago the governing body had been finding it very difficult to make both the ends meet in the matter of daily expenses. By the grace of God and our Preceptor, the condition has changed. A large number of devotees came forward with Sashwatha sevas by depositing a fixed amount, the accrued interest of which will suffice to meet the one day pooja expenses.

Similarly for conducting the festivals and Samaradhana the concerned families have created sufficient endowment. The devotees of Sri Lakshmi Venkatesh and Sri Mahamaya never grudge ear- marking a portion of their income to pay as Kanike or labhadaya to the temple every year. We can be proud of the fact that whatever is required for the temple is gladly donated by our Samaj members and no need arises to stretch our palm before others for help. Those who want to create endowments for any new Shashwatha Seva have to apply to the Governing Body in writing agreeing to deposit the necessary amount which would accrue the required amount of interest annually. The right to perform any existing Shashwath Seva will not be transferred to any one, without the consent of the family now enjoying the right.

About one hundred and fifty years ago when the temple was consecrated the condition of our community here was rather bad. Most of the people had to engage themselves in hard work to earn their living. Yet, they never grudged offering their mite to the temple and pooling together all the available resources the rites and rituals were regularly conducted even though on a modest scale. Sri Lakshmi Venkatesh was pleased with whatever was offered with true devotion. By the grace of God and the blessings of Gurus, the Samaj gradually improved and prospered and consequently the rituals and utsavas also increased and became grander. In course of time, those families who had sponsored the rituals etc., got the hereditary right to perform them. Today the right to conduct almost all festivals, samaradhanas etc. are vested in particular families who consider it a proud privilege.

Of the several annual festivals in the temple, Navarathri, Karthika Deepotsava, Ram Navami, Anantha Chathurdashi and the Moola Prathishta day Akshaya Tritiya, together known as Pancha Parvas, are the most important. With the beginning of a new Samvatsara on the Chandra Yugadi, a series of festivals and rituals begin. Vasantha Pooja starts from the Yugadi and continues till Vaishakh Pournami. Devotees attend this Vasantha Pooja in large numbers every day. 

The first of the Panchaparvas in the New Year is Ram Navami which is celebrated with great piety and grandeur. After the Mahapooja there is Bhoori- samaradhana which is a special feature of almost all G.S.B temples. The utsava Moorthi is taken in procession outside the temple to the town at night in Silver Pallakki when all along the route devotees offer holy Aarati and Kanike. Returning to the temple the procession perambulates the temple, the youngsters bearing the Pallakki, swaying the same in perfect rhythm to the tune of spirited chanting of bhajans, veda ghosha, vadya etc. The ritual concludes after rathri pooja and distribution of prasadam. On the Chaithra Pournami, Hanumad Jyayanti is celebrated with Hagalutsava.

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Akshaya Tritiya

The Third day of Vaishakh, which is known as Akshaya Tritiya is the Prathishta day of Sri Lakshmi Venkatesh Ashtothara Shatha Kalashabhisheka and Chandika Homa are the special rituals of the day. After Mahapooja there is bhoori Samaradhana. The Nagara Pradakshina of the Lord in Silver Lalki attracts huge crowds on the entire route. Devotees offer Kanike and Arathi. On the conclusion of this procession, the idol is driven in state on a beautifully decorated small chariot round the temple which is witnessed by hundreds of devotees.
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Sri Vedavyasa Jayanthi

Sri Vedavyasa Jayanthi is celebrated on Vaishakha Shuddha Dwadashi with Hagalutsava, Mahapooja and bhoori Samaradhana. The next day, that is Trayodashi, Narasimha Jayanthi is celebrated with great devotion. After Mahapooja there is bhoori samaradhana. At night after the Nagara Pradakshina in silver pallakki, prasadam is distributed after ratri pooja.
Vaisakh Pournami

Vaisakh Pournami

On the Vaishakh Poornima which is also known as Buddha Poornima, in addition to the usual Maha pooja and Bhoori samaradhana, Nagarapradakshina on Silver Lalki is conducted. The last Vasantha Pooja of the samvatsara is held on this occasion attended by a huge crowd of devotees.
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The Prathishta day of Sri Mahamaya

The Prathishta day of Sri Mahamaya is on the Jyeshta Pournami on which day the Sacred Vat Savitri Vritha is observed with Chandika Homa and Durga Namaskara by our women. Sumangalis offer Kumkumarchana, Vonti and other, sevas to propitiate the Devi for long Mangalya bhagya.
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The Punyathithi of Srimad Varadendra Theertha Swamiji

celebrated on the second day of Ashada with Mahapooja and Samaradhana. The commencement of the Lord’s Chaturmasya vratha on Ashada Shukla Dashami is celebrated with Panchamrutha Dwadasha Kalasabhishekam, Mahapooja and bhoori Samaradhana.
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Srimad Sukritheendra Theertha Swamiji’s Punyathithi

Srimad Sukritheendra Theertha Swamiji’s Punyathithi on Bahula Padya of Ashada is observed with great reverence together with Mahapooja and Samaradhana.
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Naga Panchami

In the Sacred month of Shravana, Naga Panchami is observed to propitiate Nagadeva. Panchamrutha Abhisheka and the other rituals are attended by a large number of devotees even from outside places.
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Vara mahalakshmi Vritha

On the second Friday of Sravana the holy Vara mahalakshmi Vritha is observed with Mahapooja, Suvasini pooja and samaradhana. The upakarma ritual is to be performed by a Brahmin to compensate for his lapses in doing his duties to god and we perform this on the Sravana Poornima day according to the dictates in Rigveda. Formerly, rituals connected with Rig Upakarma were conducted in each house, but now-a-days these are observed in a centralized place like our temples. Those Vatus who had received Brahmopadesha after the upakarma of the previous year, take part in Havanas etc., held in our temple. All house- holders bring the new Yagnopaveethas to be worshipped at this function in the temple and take them back after the special pooja.
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Vayana Pooja

Gowri Thrithiya followed by Ganesh Chathurthi falls in the month of Bhadrapada. “Vayana Pooja” is performed on the Gowri Thritheeya. In our Temple, Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated for five days. A huge clay pandal of Vinayaka is installed at an auspicious Muhurtha on the Chathurthi and daily poojas are performed in the next four days also. On the second day Bhoori Samaradhana is conducted and on the fifth day Maha Ganapathi Homa is conducted. After Mahapooja and Samaradhana, a sabha programme is held to felicitate the winners in various cultural competitions for children and women. After Mangalarathi at night the idol is immersed in Pushkarini tank to the accompaniment of Bhajans and Vadya.
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Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chavthi, is an auspicious festival which is celebrated in a very grand manner. The festival is celebrated in the Bhadrapada month as per the Hindu calendar which generally falls in mid-August to September. A pandal of Lord Ganesha is placed in Vasantha Mantapa and offered various sevas and poojas. This festival is celebrated for 5 days with great devotion and joy by devotees. 
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Anantha Chathurdashi

Anantha Chathurdashi popularly known as “Nopi” is one of the Panchaparvas in the temple, in the month of Bhadrapada. From each house a cleaned coconut is brought to the temple for worship and received back as prasadam after pooja.

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Navarathri, in the month of Ashweeja, is the most important of the parvas in this Temple. This is an occasion when devotees settled in far off places make it a point to visit the temple and worship Sri Lakshmi Venkatesh and Sri Mahamaya, offering Kanike and other sevas. From the first day of the month till Mahanavami various vedic rituals are performed. The festival begins with prayer, Kankanapooja, Amkuraropana Kankanabandhana, Sannidhya Homa, Avahitha deva- thapooja, Ghatsthapana Kumkumarchana etc. On each day of Navarathri Sri Mahadevi is decorated and presented in various forms of Durga. On the lalitha Panchami day the “Ponjaseva” is performed. On the seventh day, Thapthodaka Pooja, Mangala Snana and Ponja Seva in the Mahamaya shrine attract hundreds of devotees from several places. Special pooja is offered at the shrine of Sri Sharada on the Moola Nakshatra day.

On all these days the offering of “Sheshe” is performed at night till the Mangalarathi. Maha Navami on which day Mahamaya is believed to take the form of Mahakali begins with Deepa prathishta in the morning, Durga Namaskara, Chandika Homa Prarthana, sheshe offering, Kumkumarchana and offering of Chandika Homa vonti. The poornahuti is performed at noon followed by Kalasha dana, Bhoori Dakshina and Ashir vachana. Mahapooja is followed by Bali pradana, Prakara Bali and Deepa Visarjana and Bhoori Samaradhana. At night there is Maha Kali Pooja, witnessed by hundreds with awe and great devotion. To watch the Devi Darshan with long outstretched tongue reaching the breast and terribly red protruding eyes performing the Ponjaseva used to inspire the devotees to fold their hands and pray earnestly for blessings. After grama-balipradana ghata visarjana is done to mark the conclusion of the nine day long festival. Ayudha pooja is also performed on Mahanavami with devotion. 

On Vijayadashami the annual Mahasabha is held. Those male members of our Samaj who have enrolled themselves as members paying the annual Kandaya constitute the general body. The Audited statement of Income & Expenditure, the Budget for the next year etc., is to be approved by the Mahasabha. Once in two years, election of new office bearers for the next two years is held and the new governing body assumes office on this day. Special pooja to Sri Sharada is performed. There is samaradhana after Mahapooja. The Paschima Jagara pooja begins from this day.

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The Karthika Pournami Deepotsava

The Karthika Pournami Deepotsava is a symbolic divine hunt which the Lord is believed to embark upon to destroy the Evil Forces which might have thrived during his Chaturmasya vratha. Sri Lakshmi Venkatesh is led to the Vana (Forest) at Melangot about two kilometers from the temple, in a grand procession in Silver Lalki early in the morning. After Abhisheka and Maha pooja in the Vana the devotees partake in the Vanabhojana. At an auspicious time after dusk, the pooja is performed at the vana and the deity taken to the main Peepal tree, on the platform of which the deity is formally seated for pooja. After the rites, the Priest takes a bow and arrow and imitates shooting arrows at the evil spirits. After poojas on a few such Ashwattha tree platforms the procession slowly proceeds to the temple. On the entire route devotees offer Arathi, Hannukayi and Kanike. The return journey is very slow as the procession is to stop at a myriad of places.

The chariot-like erections called GurInji at Hosdurg town and in front of the temple attract thousands of people. The deity is seated on these Gurunjas and formal rites are performed. It would be almost dawn when the procession reached the temple. This festival has become quite popular even among the general public because of the splendid fireworks at several places, the band and chendamela, colourful folk dances like kavadi. Avabhritha snana takes place on the next day. The Sri Krishna – Satyabhama samvada attracts a large number of listeners. After Kavatodghatana, there is Maha pooja at night followed by Samaradhana. 
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Srimad Bhuvanendra Theertha Swamiji’s Punyathithi

Srimad Bhuvanendra Theertha Swamiji’s Punyathithi is observed on the first day of Margashirsha with Mahapooja Samaradhana and Nagara Pradakshina of the Lord in Silver Pallakki. The drive on the small chariot around the temple, at night is attended by huge crowd of devotees Mahapooja Samaradhana, Nagara Pradakshina on Silver Pallaki at night and Bhandi utsava are the special features of Manjeshwar shashti celebrated in our Temple with great religious fervour. 
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Mukkoti Dwadashi day

On the Mukkoti Dwadashi day the celebration includes Hagalutsava, Mahapooja and Samaradhana. Similarly Dathathreya Jayanthi is also celebrated. On the Pushya Bahula Dashami the Dindi Utsav is held at night. 
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Akhanda Sankeerthan Sapthaha

Magha Shuddha Panchami is the beginning of the Akhanda Sankeerthan Sapthaha which extends upto Ekadashi. On each day Kakada Arathi is performed at 5 a.m, Mahapooja at 12.30 p.m. Sayannah pooja at 6.30 p.m. and Rathri Pooja at midnight. Nama Sankeerthana is going on uninterrupted till deepa visarjana in the early morning of Dwadashi. Bhajana Mandalis from various places visit the temple to offer seva in front of Vittala Rakhumai Shrine. On the Ratha Saptami, there is Maha pooja, Samaradhana and Nagara pradakshina on silver pallaki at night. The Dindi utsava at night is conducted on Magha Dashami, On Dwadashi morning silver pallakki utsava is performed. The function concludes with Deepa visarjana, Maha pooja and Samaradhana.
Started a century ago, under the leadership of Patel Narasimha Kamath the Sapthaha is being celebrated regularly every year in the month of Magha from Shukla Panchami to Ekadashi. Un-interrupted Bhajans throughout the seven days are sung by different batches of devotees who volunteer to do this seva. In the early years during late night hours there would be one or two persons chanting Keerthans. There was one Narahari mam who would be on some days alone to sing. Once while he was perambulating the holy lamp with cymbals in hand in praise of Lord Vitoba he felt acutely that he must go to the toilet to urinate. He tried to control himself and prayed to God to give him strength to continue singing till someone would come to relieve him. Then unexpectedly a young smart teenager came and offered to chant Keerthans until Naraharimam would resume singing. Narahari mam had never seen the boy before. Thanking the boy, he went to the toilet and returned soon. The boy was singing melodiously, striking the cymbals in perfect rhythm. The surprised and fascinated Narhari mam received the cymbals back and lovingly enquired who the boy was and where he came from. With a bewitching smile and twinkle of the eyes the boy simply walked away and instantly disappeared. By that time some other devotees came to join Narahari mam. He asked them whether they saw the boy. All replied in the negative. Then it dawned on him that the boy was none other than Lord Vitoba who had come to his rescue. The resonance of the cymbals in the hands of late Patel Narasimha Kamath and late Gopala Nayak is still ringing in the ears of the older generation today. Along with dedicated devotees these veterans reigned the Rangashila during the Sapthaha festival for many years. They took the lead in organizing the Hulpa procession during the festival. Of late our women devotees also conduct their own Hulpa seva with great fervour.
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Phalguna Pournami Holi (Kamadahana)

On the Phalguna Pournami Holi, (Kamadahana) rite is performed with great enthusiasm. This is the last festival of the temple in Samvatsara. In addition to these annual festivals, Sankashta Nashana Chathurthi, Angaraka Chathurthi, Nagabhisheka on Panchami etc. are regularly observed in our temple.