Nagoba jatara ends with a special ritual


Sacred pots’ handed over to families of Mesram clan

A Gond elder jumps in air like a warrior during the Manda Gajili-Betaal puja ceremony on the concluding day of the Nagoba jatara at Keslapur in Adilabad district on Tuesday.- PHOTO: S. HARPAL SINGH

A Gond elder jumps in air like a warrior during the Manda Gajili-Betaal puja ceremony on the concluding day of the Nagoba jatara at Keslapur in Adilabad district on Tuesday.- PHOTO: S. HARPAL SINGH

The five-day Nagoba Jatara, an important religio-cultural event of the Mesram clan of Gonds, came to an end with the performance of the Manda Gajili and Betaal puja here on Tuesday though the fair will go on for a few days more.

The devotees and pilgrims who had come from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will now start their return journey.

The pilgrim families were given prasadam comprising coconuts and puffed rice which came as offerings at the Nagoba temple.

The 22 categories of families within the Mesram clan were customarily handed over the sacred pots.

Gond elders performed the Manda Gajili in front of the new Govad premises wherein their feet were washed by women in the clan.

The last rite to be performed was the Betaal puja which incorporates elders wielding lathi in the manner of Gond warriors .

Betaal is the Gond god of war and is invoked through this dance like puja urging him to protect the families which are on their way back after the pilgrimage.

The Betaal is believed to have walked in front of the Gond army to protect the warriors.

 

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