Bhootha Kola


Bhootha Kola - Udupi

Bhootha Kola or spirit worship is an ancient ritual form of worship. With bhootha referring to a class of supernatural spirits and kola referring to a ceremony for the bhootha. It is noteworthy in this context that the 'Kola' is a kind of Bhootha worship that includes devotion, inspiration and entertainment.

The festival begins with the cutting of plantain and is followed by a cock fight, the coming of 'Bhandara', flag hoisting, an informal invitation, putting on the make up, wearing the Gaggara, etc. During the ceremony, the people sing a typical song, known as 'Pad-danas'. These songs are narrative epics that narrate the genesis and proliferation of the Bhootha cult.

The night long ceremon-

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-ies begins in a well decorated arena or pandal that gives the appearance of a ritualistic stage with the image of the deity and other objects of worship well arranged on one side and the disciplined devotees on the other side. The musicians, accompanied with drums and wind instruments are seated on another side are ready to provide beats of varying tempo for different stages in the processions. The pandal is well decorated with various figures made from palm leaf, mango leaf and areca flower.