Mangaluru: The famous ‘Mangalore Car Festival’ or ‘Kodial Theru” was celebrated with glory and devotion at the car street here on February 14.
Idols of Lord Venkateshwara (Vishnu) and Goddess Padmavathi (Lakshmi) ascended the ‘Brahma Ratha’ or ‘Big Theru’ at Godhooli Lagnam at the Temple Square in front of Sri Venkatramana Temple, Car Street.
Thousands of devotees gathered at the temple square to witness the great event which is celebrated every year as the most significant day of the six-day-long festival.
This ‘Ratharohana’ signifies the marriage of Lord Venkatramana and Goddess Padmavathi considered to be the holiest of the gods worshiped by the Gowda Saraswath Brahmin Community in Mangaluru. People stand patiently in queue to offer fruits and flowers to the deities at the Theru. By midnight the ‘Brahma Ratha’ is pulled by devotees hailing the two deities with greetings.
Rathotsava is marked on the First day by ‘Dhwajarohana’ or the flag with Lord Hanuman on a silver plaque (Kodi) hoisted over to the top of a permanent mast or ‘Dhwaja Sthambha’. This signifies that all the devotees are invited to the festival.
Including the Dhwajarohana Day, five days of Pujas and feast as prasadam for the devotees are offered. The last and the final day is celebrated as ‘Okuli’ with the newly married couple Lord Venkateshwara and Goddess Padmavathi taken in a different route in a sedan or ‘Pallakki’ while people rejoice with coloured water sprayed on each other, distributing sweets and panakam, beating dhols and dancing in the streets. The procession ends at the Srinivas Pathshala compound where the deities are bathed in the holy tank.