The Belgaum Dasara has some elysian history behind it. It may not be as grand as the Mysore Dasara but in its own style its different and one of its kind.
The Simolanghan (crossing the border) is done at the Vidya Niketan grounds near St.Xaviers school. People from all lifestyles from young to old gather there for a yearly fair where the leaves of Aapti tree a re looted on the pretext of it symbolizing Gold. The Patil of Belgaum does the Puja and then the various Palkhi’s of the Gods come there like the Venkatramna temple, Maruti Temple, Jotiba temple and the Aapte tree leaves are looted and then exchanged with each other as gold.
Another diverse part of celebration is the Camp Dasara; it has a different look all together. K T Pujari and sons started this utsav in 1901. There are 5 Devi chariots that are taken out in a procession which also end at the same grounds above. Marriama Devi of K T Pujari & sons, Muthu Mariamma from Madras BHT area, Kunti devi from fish market, Mariama from old Telugu colony. These 5 are supposed to be sisters. A Procession is taken out in the evenings of the 5 chariots and thousands of people throng the High Street to get the glimpse of the same. Dance, music, people wearing mascots like tiger, lion are another attraction.
Another big highlight for Shahpur area is the Rathotsav of the Venkateshwara Temple at Vitthaldev Galli. It is done exactly like the one at Tirupati.
Prior to Dasara, there is a Vaahanaotsav for 8 days with separate vaahana ( Elephant,
Lion, Garuda, Maruti, Peacock, Horse, etc.) every day and a nice procession is taken out. Dasara has a huge Rathotsav that moves throughout Shahapur. Similar Rathotsav is done for the Venkateshwar temple near Basavan Galli- Bhave chowk corner.
The Shahapur temple belongs to the Naik family and the utsav has been done since more than 200 years. The temple used to get grants from the NIzam of Bijapur until independence.
Happy Dasara to all!