Weather :

Ideal time : January

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 15th January 2019 - 18th January 2019

Pongal in Shimoga, Shimoga (Shivamogga) Overview

Pongal is essentially a winter harvest festival which corresponds to the festival of Makar Sankranti or Lohri that is celebrated around the same time in India's Northern States. It is one of the most important festivals for the people in Tamil Nadu. The festivities are usually spread over 4 days in January. The 4 days of the festival are called Bhogi (Day 1), Thai Pongal (Day 2), Maatu Pongal (Day 3), and Kaanum Pongal (Day 4).

On Day 1, people clean out their houses, discard old belongings in a ritual quite similar to that of Holika in North India. Houses are painted and decorated and new possessions are celebrated. Day 2 is marked by preparation of sweets and savouries out of rice and milk to celebrate prosperity. Day 3 is focused on cattle as they are bathed and their horns painted. Women folk also pray for the longevity and well-being of their brothers in a tradition called Kanu Pidi. Day 4 is the day of visits to one's family members and relatives as a lot of reunions are held.

If you are travelling to the city in mid-January, you will be quite lucky to participate in one of the most awaited festivals not only in Shimoga but also in the whole state. Pongal is celebrated to honour The Sun God or Surya devata. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigour. A special dish is prepared with rice, cardamom, jaggery and cashew nuts and is consumed on the festival day.

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Chakkarai Pongal

Prepared during the festival of Pongal, the Chakkarai or Sakkarai is a sweet delicacy made from newly harvested rice. Its chief ingredients are rice, moong dal, jaggery, cashew nut, raisins, cardamon and copious amounts of ghee (clarified butter). This dish is offered to the Sun God as thanksgiving for a good harvest and is mouth-wateringly delicious.

Margali Kolam

Kolam is an intricate design made out of rice flour/ chalk/ rock powder mixed with natural or synthetic colours. Traditionally done by women in front of their houses to mark any auspicious occasion or simply to bring prosperity to the house, these designs are mainly floral in nature. After sweeping and mopping the floor clean, the design is made while the surface is still wet to ensure a better hold. In the case of mud floors, a layer of cow dung is applied evenly before making the Kolam. Apart from being decorative, the rice is food for ants and birds and honours man's harmonious coexistence with nature.

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