The atmosphere at Sri Karanji Anjaneyaswamy Temple was a throwback to the past. Cultural programmes on one part of the temple premises, a dramatic performance on Dhanashura Karna on another side, even as devotees gather to offer prayers to the deity. More importantly, people were planting trees to remind the devouts of the relationship between nature and God.
These images come close to those of the ‘temple festival’ scenes often remembered by parents and grandparents. The culture is revived through the Bengaluru Temple festival or Gudiya Sambrama, which was inaugurated on Friday.
With this festival, Heritage Group hopes to revive the culture of temple performances including theatre, puppetry and Harikatha. The festival aims to restore the ecological balance in sacred environments on the lines of deiva vana by planting trees and plants on temple premises in the city.
Vijayalakshmi Vijayakumar, director of the festival, believes that temples were centres of art, culture and spirituality. “People come together at temples. Art and culture are interlinked to our heritage. But, today the antiquity is taken for granted,” she said.
The theme for this year’s temple festival is ‘Mother Nature’. Appreciating this theme and the initiative to plant trees on temple premises, chief priest at Sri Karanji Anjaneyaswamy Temple, A L Badrinath, said, “This initiative helps the environment and also creates awareness among youth about the
importance of trees.”
“Divinity is a part of Indian culture. When we respect trees and plants, we can never harm them. We were a country which was in sync with nature. But today, trees are losing its importance,” added Vijayalakshmi.
On Friday, Suchitra Centre of Film an Drama presented two plays while on Saturday the temple premises witnessed a Carnatic vocal and a Bharatnatyam performance. A visitor, V Ramesh Babu, said, “The efforts by the organiser is apparent. We want similar events to continue in future to revive our culture, tradition and ecology.”
Online competitions for photography with the theme ‘Veneration of Mother Nature’ for the age group of 16 years and above and the creative writing competition for the age group between 16 to 35 years with the theme ‘Reverence towards Nature in Indian Heritage’ are also being held as a part of this festival. Cultural programmes are being held on every weekend at different venues in Bangalore until March 11, 2012.