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Sri Venkataramana idol Sri Venkataramana temple, Karkala
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha |||| Sri Srinivasaya Namaha ||
Sri Venkataramana temple, Karkala
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Pancha Parvas

          Parva means festival. Every year, especially 5 festivals are celebrated without fail and these are called Panchaparvas. At home these are observed in person as private functions. Nagapanchami (at family’s nagakatte) Rigupakarma, Ganesh Chaturthi, Mahalaya and Navaratri – these 5 that can be celebrated at home as per convenience are chosen and celebrated as pancha parvas every year. Similarly all temples of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins celebrate 5 parvas those can be observed in a group, as a public function. There is a shloka about the pancha parvas observed in Karkala Shri Venkataramana Temple:


Davanscha vasantascha |

Pavitraropana mevacha ||

Deepotsavam navannancha |

Panchaparvaaha iti smrutaha ||


1.Davana or Ugadi: In panchaparvas, davana means celebration of ugadi. It is said that God should be worshipped with davana during ugadi observed on Chaitra Shukla Pratipade. Davana is a fragrant plant. It is used like tulasi in God’s puja. In Karkala Venkataramana Temple, on the morning of Ugadi day, naivedya is offered with neem leaves fried in ghee and mixed with sugar. Then,the Joishys would read the panchanga of New Samvatsara in front of the Lord. They would recite the fruits of the Samvatsara. They would narrate the details of special days of Chaitra and Vaishakha masas and give details of mahotasavas like rathothsava. Thereafter the gathered people are served with the neem prasada.

2.Vasanta or Vaishakha Pournami : In Karkala Shree Venkataramana Temple, vaishakha Pournami is observed as second festival of the panchaparvas. This day is chosen to be celebrated as panchaparva because – Pratishta of the original temple in early 15th century by Soma Sharma and Sohire Prabhu must have been held on Vaishakha Pournami; as well as consecration in 1537 of Sri Srinivasa, obtained from Gosavi and utsava deva, Jeernoddhara of the temple and punarpratishta in 1777, Pratishta of Parivara devas in 1818 & 1841 – each of these were held on this very day. On Vaishakha Poornima, at dawn, after Nairmalya Visarjana puja, the Lord sets out on pallakki utsava towards Ramasamudra. There, the Lord is given a bath, offered abhisheka, naivedya and arati. Then, prasad is distributed to the Joishy and Puraniks, Prabhu and Kamaths, followed by Sevadars. On his way back from Ramasamudra, towns-people offer to the Lord, naivedya of fruits and coconut, and arti. Ramasamudra to Mannagopura, devotees offer coconuts to be broken over ganastone. Mannagopura to the temple, coconuts are offered during night utsava. After returning from Ramasamudra, the Lord graces the yathrasana kept in manda chamber fronting the sanctum sanctorum. After naivedya of milk-kashaya, fruit and coconut, and arti, Tulabhara, is held at this juncture, if promised. Then afternoon puja is held followed by bhoori Santarpane. At night utsava moves toward the town (pete) with Lord seated in the pallakki shouldered by Dummy vahakas (Gombe vahakas) placed on decorated Bhandi. After the utsava, Ratripuja and mangalarati in the temple over, out-of-town vaidikas and local vaidikas are given gandha prasad, followed by Puranik and Joishys, Prabhu and Kamaths, trustees and then gathered bhaktavrindas. Entire expenses of this day are bourne by the temple’s treasury.

3.Pavitraropana : Third in the panchaparvas, Pavitraropana is celebrated on Shravana Shuddha Dashami. Propitiating the Lord, praying for bestowal of complete fruits of all ritual pujas meticulously held with or without wishes during the entire Samvatsara, this devatavidhi, celebrated with all ornaments, tulasi, pushpa, dhoopa, deepa, naivedya arati etc. on Shravana Shuddha Dashami every year, is called Pavitraropana vidhi.


Na karoti vidhanena pavitraropanam tu yaha | 

Tasya samvatsripuja nishphala munisattama ||


Pavitraropana vrita bestows the full fruition of everyday puja. Otherwise, pujas done in that samvatsara are a waste- so states Vishnurahasya. Pavitra (Pavi + tra) means protection from the dangers of Vajrayudhas (strong armament). In order that the year’s rituals be fruitful, Lord and his parivara devas need to be offered Pavitraropana. Pavitra maybe made of silk thread, fibre or cotton thread.


On this day in Karkala Ventaramana Temple, puja is offered with Kalasha pratishta, Havana, and Pavitra (patte janivara) to Pradhana Deva, Utsava Deva, Parivara Devas and 10 Dikpalakas. [Pradhana and Uthsava Devas with pavitras of 108 threads and 36 knots, Parivara Devas with 27 threads and 24 knots, commoners with 27 threads and 8 knots.] Then the Lord is offered Mahanaivedya and Mahamangalarathi.After puja, pavitra is distributed to Joishys, Puraniks, Tantris, Paryaya archakas, Vaidikas of 8 houselholds, badali puja vaidikas, trustees and mahajanas.Later, mahasamaradhane is held.

4.Navanna: (New food) Navaratri celebrations start from Ashweeja shuddha Pratipade. In the morning of Pratipade, an archaka accompanies the temple’s Pathali and arrives at a ricefield lying near road to Tellaru. (Earlier these fields were temple’s property). There, tender paddy is worshipped, harvested and the paddy bunches are taken to Sri Padmavati Temple in Ananthashayana. Chakra pallakki starts from Shree Venkataramana Temple and reaches Sri Padmavati Temple. Devotees accompany the pallaki carrying bunches of colourful decorative leaves atop their heads. The folds of paddy kept there are distributed to these devotees. A few bunches are placed in the pallakki, which returns to Shree Venkataramana temple. The devotees insert paddy clumps inside the bunches of colourful leaves, carry it on their heads and walk to the temple alongside the pallakki. The clusters of paddy carried on pallakki are placed at the Lord’s padukas and worshipped. A portion of the paddy is threshed out, and the rice separated from husk is used in that day’s naivedya. This is the navanna naivedya on that day. After madyahna puja, the paddy is tied to mango leaves and fastened at some places like godowns, offices, agrasales etc. This observance is the fourth in panchaparva.


Pratishta of Golden Kalasha of Navaratri takes place in the temple, in the morning of Pratipade. Puja is performed to this on all 9 days of Navaratri. Kalasha visarjane is done after Lord’s Nirmalya visarjane in the morning of Vijaya Dashami.Granthas like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata etc are placed at inner vasantasale on Moola Nakshatra of Navaratri. Puja is performed (after madyahna and ratripuja to the Lord) to these everyday until Shravana nakshatra and then Sharada puja is held. On this occasion, panchakajjaya naivedya is distributed. Ayudha Puja is also held on Dashami day. Durga’s ayudhas (weapons)-bow and arrows, swords and shields, spears etc are placed near inner tulasikatte and worshipped.


Chakrotsava takes place on all nine nights of navaratri. During this utsava Sudarshana chakra is placed in the small pallakki. The first eight days, chakra takes circumambulation of one round on outer pradakshina path. On Navami night Chakrotsava visits the town. On Vijayadashami day, at dawn, after kalasha visarjane of Navaratri, Chakrotsava is taken to Sheshatirtha and avabhrita takes place. This custom is symbolic of Brahmotsava being celebrated in Triumala on this day. Chakrotsava is held not only during Navaratri, but also during Deepotsava from Kartika shuddha dwadashi to Kartika bahula shashti, and during Rathotsava from Vaishakha shuddha pratipade to Vaishakha Shuddha Shashti. Before Lord’s utsava, chakrotsava visits the town. Return of Chakratosava signifies start of Lord’s utsava. It is believed that chakratosava is held to safeguard the people of the town by dispelling pestilence and other calamities.On all nine days, special pujas are held in Padmavati temple. Every night, devotees start from Shri Venketaramana Temple singing bhajans and pujas are offered to Padmavati. Brahmana Santarpane and Suvasini Archane, are also held on all these days.

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