Kunde Habba: Tribals make merry

The Times of India News Service

MADIKERI: The long awaited `Kunde Habba' was celebrated by the Kundes in South Kodagu on Thursday at Devarapura near Thithimathi.

Kundes, a well-known tribe in the district, gathered from all corners of the district to take part in the annual festival. Thousands gathered at the Sri Aiyappa temple at Devarapura, where the festivities took place. There was a great deal of amusement with members dressed in fanciful clothes and the men dressed in women's attire.

For hours, the Kundes danced round the sacred tree in the temple premises and as a ritual they castigate Lord Shiva, who as history put it, cursed two eunuchs for distracting him during his penance. However as sunset approached, the Kundes would confess their mistake and prayed to the Lord seeking his blessings.

Most of the members of the tribe who customarily are drunk on this occasion were singing songs. The Kunde Habba is conducted by Sannuvanda family of Hebbale-Devarapura since decades. This year, the festival was led by Thakka S.K. Machaiah who conducted all the traditional formalities. The Bhadrakali Utsav `moorti' (idol) was brought from nearby Ambala accompanied by hundreds of Kundes, to song and dance.

Earlier, before the start of the festival at the temple, the tribals were seen dancing on the streets, blocking vehicles and demanding money from the public.

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Source: http://www.timesofindia.com/today/29mban23.htm
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 30, 2001
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