It will be a sentimental journey for Congress president Sonia Gandhi when she arrives in Mangalore on October 18 to inaugurate the ‘individuals’s Dasara’. She will go to the Gokarnanatha temple at Kudroli, which was inaugurated by her late husband Rajiv Gandhi after the temple was renovated in 1991.
The temple has also been the one one in Karnataka to be sanctified by reformer, thinker and spiritual chief Narayana Guru of Kerala in 1912 and this year occurs to be its centenary.
Sonia Gandhi will address a convention of all Congress MLAs, MLCs, MPs and members of zilla panchayats, taluk panchayats, nagar panchayats and concrete civic our bodies like city corporations, city municipal councils and city municipal councils.
“The occasion was match for somebody of the stature of the Congress president and chairman of the ruling United Progressive Alliance to inaugurate. The temple itself was an emblem of secularism as it had opened its doors to folks from all communities in as early as 1912,” said B Janardhana Poojary, former Union minister and a leader of the Billava Neighborhood, which administers the temple.Considered one of elders of the Billava community, Sahukar Koragappa, was pained to learn that the Billava folks were not given entrance to the temple and started one of the earliest actions in the country in direction of opening the places of worship to all communities. He introduced the 18th century philosopher Narayana Guru from Kerala to Mangalore to consecrate the Shiva Lingam, which he introduced from Kerala together with him. The kshetra was named ‘Gokarnanatha’ by Narayana Guru.Due to the Kudroli Gokarnanatha temple, Mangalore Dasara has been hailed as a standard man’s Dasara. There is no royal halo nor the government patronage and it is not even a tourism event. It's simply that the folks of the city and Dakshina Kannada district have been organising it every year for the past 19 years. On the final day of Navarathri, the grand procession features a 5-km line up of tableaux (more than one hundred of them) coming from everywhere in the state and a few from outdoors and more than 30 troupes of folks dancers from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Idols of Navadurga, mounted on truck platform with dazzling display of lights, are taken across the metropolis with people dancers.
The managing trustee of the temple, HS Sairam, grandson of Sahukar Koragappa, says:“In the course of the 9 days of Navarathri, we receive over 2.25 lakh people from everywhere in the southern peninsula. All the 9 days, Anna Prasadam (mass feeding), by which more than a lakh individuals partake, we get devotees from Muslim, Christian communities and even foreign countries