The Kollur Mookambika Temple, one of the most famous Durga temples in South India, attracts thousands of devotees during Navratri. In 2017, Navratri celebrations begin on September 21 and conclude on September 30.
Celebrations at the Mookambika Temple began on September 21 with the ritual Kalasha Sthapane. During each of the nine days of Navratri, the Goddess is decorated in nine different styles. The temple will organize a Chandika Yaga on Mahanavami at 11.30 am (September 29). In addition, there were will a ‘ratholsava’ (chariot festival) in the evening.
The Vidyarambha ceremony (initiation into learning) is the hallmark of the Navratri celebrations at the Mookambika Temple. Parents from all over South India flock to the temple on Vijayadashami to initiate their little ones into learning. The Vidyaramba ceremony will begin at the Saraswati Mandira at 4 am on September 30 (Vijayadashami). During the ceremony the Acharya will write the symbol Om on the tongue of the children with a piece of turmeric. Once this ritual is completed, parents help the children to write the alphabets on rice. The Vidyaramba ceremony is meant for children aged between 2 and 3.
Vijayotsava is another important celebration on Vijayadashami. It is held at 5.30 in the evening. The idol of the Goddess is taken out in a procession to the Shukla Tirtha which is about one kilometer from Kollur and is brought back.
Special arrangements for the festival
The temple has set up an information center at the entrance. Devotees will be given the breakfast on all the nine days from 8 am to 9 am. Meals are also given at noon and in the night. The Swarnamukhi Mandapa near the temple will host various cultural programs on all the nine days from 3 pm to 10 pm.
On Mahanavami and Vijayadashami, KSRTC will run special buses from Kundarpur and Byndoor to the Temple.