For perhaps the first time since its inception, Mangalore Dasara celebrations by the Lord Gokarnanatha Temple at Kudroli were held without the procession that is customary.
Every year, the temple would host a spectacular procession that would include various tableaux, people singing, and dancing alongside other performances staged on the roadside. This used to be the highlight of the festival that every citizen living along the way would look forward to, without fail, every year. However, due to the Coronavirus that arrived in early March, this year, the procession had to be skipped, for one could not risk contracting the virus by being amidst a huge crowd.
As the idol could not be taken on a grand procession, the temple authorities decided to carry the idols around the temple before submerging them in the waters of the temple pond. On the 26th of October, the temple conducted Visarjana Puja at 6:30 in the evening after which at around 8 30 PM idols of Lord Ganapathi, all nine forms of Goddess Durga and that of Goddess Sharada were brought out and carried around the temple to compensate for not being able to take them out on a procession through the city. Goddess Sharada’s idol was the last to be brought out and at the stroke of midnight, she was carried till the main gate of the temple and then brought back to be taken around the temple and eventually immersed in the temple pond. The immersion took place at around two in the morning on 27th October, Tuesday.
Smaller replicas of Lord Gokarnanatha and Goddess Annapoorneshwari called ‘Bali Murthy’ were also submerged. Thus, the city of Mangalore’s Dasara celebrations came to an end on the morning of 27th of October. Owing to the situation created by Covid -19, the people of Mangalore did not get to go all-out in their Dasara celebrations like every other year.