The bloody 'Banni fight' is still popular as ever.
The Dasara ritual in Telangana and Karnataka attracts large crowds.
The fight, known as the ‘Banni fight' or Karrala Samaraam, attracts large spectators from Karnataka and Telangana.
Hyderabad: Every Dasara, the righteous people of Devaragattu village in Holagonda Mandal pour blood when they take up cudgels against demons attempting to steal idols from their village.
The fight, known as the ‘Banni fight' or Karrala Samaraam, attracts large spectators from Karnataka and Telangana. The 'fight' is marked by individuals carrying sticks charging at their opponents and thrashing them indiscriminately, culminating in bloodshed. In the early hours of Friday, around one lakh people are expected to converge in Devaragattu hills to watch the traditional stick fight.
According to legend, Lord Shiva took the form of Bhairava and used sticks to slay two demons, Mani and Mallasura. Hundreds of people died, and blood spilt in rivers during the battle. During Dasara, the residents of Devaragattu recreate the scene.
At the stroke of midnight, the battle begins. People come from nearby villages like Neradiki, Neradiki Thanda, and Kothapet to take part in the festivities, bearing idols of Mala Malleswara Swamy. People from Ellarthy, Arikeri, Maddigeri, Nitranatta, and Sulavai villages are on the demons' side. They attempt to seize the idols from God's team, resulting in a conflict. Every year, over 300 people are injured in the conflict, on average. But no one seems to mind. Everything is fine in these communities on this Dasara day.
Gummanur Sreenivasulu, the temple's chairman, told the media that they were making final preparations to hold the Banni combat event on a huge scale while according to the Covid-19 guidelines.
Following the Human Rights Commission's directives, the district administration has focused on containing the stickfighting.
P Koteswara Rao, the district collector, and SP Ch Sudheer Kumar Reddy visited Devaragattu three times to inspect the arrangements. The district collector has directed police authorities to take steps to ensure that the Karrala Samaram is held peacefully.
October 15: Banni fight conducted at midnight of Vijaya Dashmi;
October 16: Sri Mala Malleswara Swamy predicts the future (Bavishya Vani).
October 17: Swamy Ammavari Rathotsavam.