Pattankodoli Festival and Kolhapur Kushti Aakhara
By Arun Saha
Date : 17th October to 20th October, 2019 (4 days program)
Vittal Birdev Annual Yatra at PATTANKODOLI: Shri Vittal Birdev Annual Yatra is observed at Pattan Kodoli village in Hatkangale Taluka near Kolhapur. It is the birth anniversary or Janmotsav festival of Vitthal Birdev Maharaj, who is a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The annual fair and festival attracts thousands of devotees to Pattan Kodoli village. Birdev is the family deity of the Shepherd community Dhangar from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and Andhra Pradesh. The most important ceremony of this fare is the predictions by Shree Kheloba Rajabhau Waghmode, from Anjungau, a village in Solhapur District. The festive mood remains completely in groove with people throwing Haldi, i.e., turmeric powder over him while sitting under a Banyan tree and seeking his blessings. Sri Keloba Rajabau Waghmode, known as the ‘Baba’ of the devotees, walks 17 days from his village to reach Pattan Kodoli for the festival every year. He is considered as the messenger of god. Huge umbrellas are brought in to welcome the Baba to the temple, accompanied with a procession with drums and traditional music. As soon as he enters the temple, Baba attains a trance mode that makes him jump and dance that lasts for nearly 10 minutes. The Baba then goes ahead to foretell his predictions about farming, rain and future conditions in Kannada, his trance language, which is translated by the priest. He starts his journey back after the rituals gets over.
Such intense traditions and unbelievable rituals of India and its such vibrant culture has always been a wonder for a traveller from worldwide. This festival still has the strongest promise to fulfil a travel photographer’s dream for being it a relatively lesser known and less popular around the world.
Kolhapur Kushti Aakhara : Kushti, the traditional mud wrestling is the ancient sport in India and oldest in the world. kushti takes place in a clay or dirt pit. The soil is mixed with ghee and other ingredients and is tended to before each practice. Wrestlers of aakhara live and train together and follow strict rules and a restricted life style. Soft drugs such as alcohol, (chewing) tabacco or even coffee and tea are not allowed. Wrestler lives off a high-energy diet that is supposed to build up body mass. The training schedule of a Kushti wrestler starts at around 4 or 5 am with exercises and practice matches. After lunch, wrestlers must sleep until the next training session of the day which starts around 4 pm and may last around two hours. During training sessions, wrestlers work themselves to near exhaustion. All these activities create amply opportunities of photography.
TRIP ITINEARY :
Day 1 : 17th Oct 2019 (Thursday) : We will start from Pune at around 0700 hrs in the morning, so that we can reach Pattankodoli village by 1400 hrs. We will visit the festival ground and try to capture different moods of the festival till evening. After program, return to pre-booked hotel at Kolhapur for overnight stay.
Day 2: 18th Oct 2019 (Friday) : After breakfast we will start for Pattankodoli village and spend whole day at the village shooting the festival. Overnight stay at Kolhapur.
Day 3 : 19th Oct 2019( Satday) : Morning and evening shooting session at kusthi aakhara to capture different activities of aakhara at different time. For interested participants, we will arrange a discussion and review session.
Day 4 : 20th Oct 2019 ( Sunday) : Will start from Kolhapur to Pune in the wee hours. Reaching Pune city and drop you either airport/station/hotel as per your convenience. Our trip ends here.
#Schedule of the programmes may shift if festival date and schedule changes.
COST OF THE TOUR : Rs. 15,000/- for Indians and 400$ for Non-Indian/NRI participants
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY
If you cancel your registration, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
45 days or more: 75% refund
30 days or more: 50% refund
15 Days or more: 25% refund
Less than 15 days : Non –refundable
Fee Includes :
- Shared double bed room (same gender participants) in a standard clean hotel at Kolhapur, with western toilet and AC. For separate room extra charge is applicable.
- It will cover your main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), starting from 27th October , 2019 breakfast to 30th October, 2019 lunch.
- Mineral water will be provided only during meals
- Tea/Coffee will be provided with breakfast and in evening
- Pune to Kolhapur Transport and back
- All local transports related with our tour from Kolhapur
- Mentor’s fee for photography tour, on-field photography assistances and image reviews
Fee Doesn’t Includes :
- Train/flight tickets to and from Pune city, India.
- Any additional food items or beverage during meals.
- Any extra mineral water bottle / beverage will be your personal expense.
- Any personal habit or expenses.
- Anything that not in “Include” list.
Our Liabilities & Limitations:
- All itineraries are sample itineraries, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, local political situations, the physical ability of the participants etc. may dictate itinerary changes either before the tour or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change any schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort & general well being.
- Organisers shall not be responsible for any delays & alterations in the programme or expenses incurred – directly or indirectly – due to natural hazards, flight cancellations, train delay, accidents, breakdown of transport, weather, sickness, road blockages, political closures or any troublesome incidents.
- Organisers shall not be responsible for any loss, injury or damage to person, property, or otherwise in connection with any accommodation, transportation or other services, resulting – directly or indirectly – from any act of GOD, dangers, fire, accident, breakdown in machinery or equipment, breakdown of transport, wars, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferages, epidemics, medical or custom department regulations, defaults, or any other causes beyond our control.
- Organisers do not have any insurance policy covering the expenses for accident, sickness, loss due to theft, or any other reasons. All baggage, camera, other gears & personal property/s at all times are at the client’s risk.