In the whole of Karnataka, the city of Belgaum celebrates Shree Shiva Jayanti with an unprecedented fervor. This year is the 104th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and according to tradition, Belgaum is ready to celebrate it with a procession. This Shree Shiv Jayanti procession, which was postponed due to the implementation of the Election Code of Conduct, is now scheduled for this coming Saturday. It will be held on May 27.
Belgaum’s historical Shiva Jayanti is famous in Maharashtra and Goa along with Karnataka. The Belgaum tradition of celebrating Shiv Jayanti with a grand procession started in 1919 during the pre-independence era. At that time, for the first few years, bullock carts were decorated and Shiv Jayanti processions were taken out in the related few streets. But within a short period of time, some circles in Belgaum decided to celebrate Shri Shiv Jayanti on a grand scale.
Meanwhile, the idea of celebrating Shiv Jayanti on a grand scale also spread in the surrounding areas of Belgaum. At that time coconut tree branches and banana leaves were used to decorate the chariots in the procession. Over time this changed and Sri Public Shiv Jayanti Utsav Mandals started raising local issues and issues through Sri Shiv Jayanti Chitrarath Processions. Similarly, live scenes based on the historical events of Shiva’s time and the current situation also started to be presented. So this Chitrarath became the center of attraction for all.
Every year, the citizens of Belgaum city area Taluka and Pargaon gather in huge crowds to witness the Shree Shiv Jayanti procession. Shiv Jayanti processions are attended by thousands with great enthusiasm to pay homage to the beloved King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who is the god of Shiva. In fact, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, a grand Chitrarath procession is taken out in the city on the third day after the traditional Shiva Janmatsavam.
But this year, as the code of conduct for the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha elections is applicable, the Central Shiv Jayanti Utsav Corporation honored the request of the administration and held it on Saturday. It has been decided to take out the Chitrarath procession on May 27.
This Chitrarath procession is going to be taken out in a Shiva-like environment with lively scenes, lathi mela, dhol-tasha, dhwajapathak, lezeem mela, elephants and horses. For this, preparations are being made by Shiva devotees as well as youth groups. With only 11 days remaining, the youth are busy in gathering literature, selecting characters for the presentation of events on Shivacharitra.
As the day of the procession approaches, the scramble to get the vehicle chassis for the Chitrarath has begun. The sound of drums has started to sound in the open fields. At the same time, Baljamu, young women are seen preparing for Lazim-Lathi Mela. Some youths from Angol and Vadgaon have started practicing the martial arts of Shiva period.