Birur

Birur is a town located in Kadur Taluk in Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka.

The famous temples in Birur are of Sri Veerabhadraswamy, Sri Antharaghatammanavaru Temple, Sri Rama Devaru Temple, Sri Vasavi Temple, Sri Maliyambika devi Temple, Sri Beeralingeshwaraswamy Temple, sri Bette Ranganathaswamy Temple and Sri Mylaralingaswamy Temple & Moksha lingeswara Temple in mukti dhama. There are numerous temples of Sri Ganesha and Sri Anjaneyaswamy. The most popular festivities of the town are Sri Veerabhadraswamy rathotsava, Ammana Habba, Ganesha Chaturthi, Dasara Mahotsava, etc.

Birur is also famous for its Jatras. The prominent one is sri Veerabhadra Swamy Rathotsava with religious guggala seve. Another jatra held during February on account of Antaraghattammana Habba with Bullock Cart Racing, is also famous here. Dasara Mahotsava is held in the month of October and is very popular for its Karnika nudi. Dasara also includes procession of sri Satya Ganapathi, sri Mylara Lingeshwara, sri Veerabhadraswamy, sri Mallikarjunaswamy, sri Beeralingeswara, sri Antaraghattamma devi, and other deities in the town.

Sri Veerabhadraswamy Rathotsava
It is an annual rathotsava (car festival) which happens during the month of March lasting more than a week. The festival is in dedication to Sri Veerabhadraswamy, who is revered as Ooradevaru (village deity). During each day of the festival week, a procession is carried out in major streets of the town with devotees offering fruits and flowers to the god. The procession itself is a treat to watch with utsava moorthi (procession idol) of Sri Veerabhadraswamy along with his entourage which includes his consort Sri Bhadrakalammanavaru being carried on vaahana (vehicle), represented by different animal statues (elephant, ox, peacock, serpent, lion, horse, etc. made out of brass). One of the days is reserved for noora ondu ede (101 offerings). Men and women of the town gather in the temple to prepare the offering and after the maha pooja is performed, devotees partake the offering as prasad. Apart from the Dasara festival, noora ondu ede is the only other event where sri Mylara Lingaswamy deity is brought out for procession.

The last three days bring a festive atmosphere to the whole town. It is a tradition for married daughters to visit their parents' family on this occasion. The town is decorated with lights and houses with mango leaves and banana plants.

On the day of kalyana (celestial marriage) between Sri Veerabhadraswamy and his consort Sri Bhadrakalammanavaru, women from the town offer auspicious items to receive blessings from the god. On the same day, women perform guggula seve around utsava moorthi seated on a wooden chariot (theru). In this ceremony, women do pradakshina carrying a small pot lit with camphor and sambrani (Benzoin resin) around utsava moorthi.

On the day of theru habba, the utsava moorthi (procession idol) of Sri Veerabhadraswamy along with his entourage is taken on a procession in a big wooden chariot (theru) in the "raja beedhi" of the town. The festivities culminate with holi with people in the town playing with colors and taking a procession around the town.

The festival features numerous folklore dances like Veeragaase dance and Dollu Kunitha.

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