India is known for its numerous festivals and Coorg is not left far behind when it comes to celebrating a whole lot of occasions that have deep cultural significance. There are 3 major festivals that the people of Coorg consider to be of great importance to their social and cultural life – Kailpodh, Kaveri Shankramana and Puttari. These festivals are unique to the Kodagu region, but over the years, due to influence from other religions and ethnic communities, festivals like Ugadi and Shivratri have also become part of the festive calendar in Coorg. But for the purpose of the current discussion, let’s find out more about the unique festivals of Coorg that you may want to experience on your next trip.
Also sometimes called Kailmuhurtha or the Festival of Arms, this is a unique festival celebrated in the month of September every year to worship arms and weapons that protect the farmers’ crops from wild animals as well as agricultural equipments. On the day of the Kailpodh festival, all weapons are brought out to be cleaned, polished and worshiped by family members before being put to use. In addition to this, several activities and events take place throughout the day where the entire community can participate, followed by eating and drinking.
September makes way for October, which is time for the biggest festival in Coorg, Kaveri Shankramana, dedicated to the River Kaveri that has its origin in this region. The river is considered to be sacred and hence a day is dedicated to worshipping Goddess Kaveri that nourishes the people of this region. The Kodava people of Coorg offer their prayers at the place where River Kaveri originates, Talakaveri, and seek her blessings. An interesting thing to note about this festival is that it is the only one in Coorg where only vegetarian food is prepared and served.
Coorg and its people celebrate the auspicious harvest festival called Puttari or Puthari in the end of November or early December. The festival is celebrated just a few days before the first rice harvest of the season. On the day of Puttari, families pray to God for a good harvest and then go ahead to cut rice paddy to mark the onset of the harvest season. This festival is of great importance to the local community as they pray for a prosperous year and rejoice by making special desserts and food items. The celebration is also accompanied with music, dance and general merrymaking to end the day on a happy note.
Festivals in Coorg, just like in the rest of the country are celebrated with much vigor and contribute to the uniqueness of the local culture. If you are planning a trip to Coorg and if it happens to coincide with any of these festivals, join in the celebrations with the local community and experience Coorg in a way that no guidebook will tell you to!