VELLORE:The nine-day ‘Kolu Festival’ concluded on Thursday with a special pooja of the ‘Vanni’ tree (prosopis spicegira) in temples and mutts. The worship of the vanni tree is a tradition which, according to priests of the Sri Raghavendra Mutt in Shenbakkam dates back to the pandavas winning the battle after performing pooja of the tree and celebrated the day of victory as ‘Vijaya Dasami’. By worshiping this tree, it is believed that it will give devotees victory in their ventures. The leaves of this tree are also exchanged among the devotees with the wish ‘let vanni bring you good things’.
The North Arcot District Sarvodhaya Sangam which is the only outlet in Fort City that sold a variety of dolls outsourced from Puduchery, Kancheepuram, Kolkota, Kholapur and Mysore, with images of Vatsu, Lakshmi, Panduranga, Andaal, doing brisk sales.
Enquiries in the city revealed that around 100 households had displayed the kolu in the traditional way for the Navarathiri festival. Some of the women said that they had good time visiting the households while the children relished the nutritious ‘sundal’, despite the steep price-hike of pulses. Some temples in the city also organised special poojas to celebrate the festival of Godesses Durga, Sarawathi and Lakshmi on the nine days. Notable among them was the Sri Jalakanteswarar Temple in the historic Fort which also organized cultural programmes for all nine days attracting a large number of locals. M Suresh, secretary of the Sri Jalakanteswarar Dharmastabhanam Trust said that artists and musicians from Chennai, Vellore and other places had volunteered to perform programmes and “we had to conduct two sessions both in the morning and evenings to accommodate everyone”.
The Vellore-Ranipet Cultural Committee installed a Durga idol at a private marriage hall in Sathuvachari that attracted visitors mostly from North India. One of the event-organisers said that the programme was being held in Vellore for the past 20 years. The idols were sculpted by a group of artistes from Kolkata. Bhajans and dance programmes were held during the festival.