Mayakka Jatra of Chinchali village | Milaap

Mayakka Jatra of Chinchali village

Indian villages are known for its ‘Jatras’ also called ‘Melas’ in some part of India. Every villager looks forward to this. It's a kind of festival for them. Usually friends and family visit the home during this time. There is a variety of food cooked in the home. I came across one such Jatra during my field visit to Chinchali village in Raybag taluka of Karnataka. This Jatra is known as Mayakka Jatra. The name is derived from the very popular temple situated in the village, The Mayakka Devi temple. This Jatra usually happens at the beginning of February and goes on for a month. This year the Jatra started on 4th of February. Jatra attracts devotees of Mayakka Devi from northern parts of Karnataka as well southern parts of Maharashtra. As per local person, the estimated number of people who come here over a period of a month is somewhere between 5000-7000.
Mayakka Devi temple is located in the center of the village. It is believed that Mayakka Devi came to this place while chasing two demons and killed them. After that she took shelter in Chinchali. She has the huge number of worshippers not only in Karnataka but Maharashtra as well.  In the month of magh according to the hindu calendar, on full moon day, there is a huge procession of the Goddess. And that marks the start of Jatra. The procession includes Palanquin of the Goddess, her horse and oxen. The high priest usually rides the oxen at the back of palanquin. And horse rides in the front which was considered to be her vehicle. The procession is carried in the whole village with dhol and tasha (traditional Indian instruments).
This Jatra also creates the occasion for families to visit each other. Most of the people come to enjoy the Jatra. There are many competitions held during this period such as bull race, sports events, etc. It also attracts various merchants from all over. There is display for various products throughout the month. The Jatra also has various entertainment activities such as circus, popular dramas, and music concerts, etc. Kids look forward to various games and adventure activities that can be done only during this period. This Jatra has its own economic importance for villagers and participants as well. Merchants travel for days to display their product and it is a good opportunity for them to earn some extra cash. When you walk around you can actually see temporary tents set by these merchants in the nearby area. Also, you will see a lot of farmers traveling with their bullock carts. Products such as fresh vegetables, blankets, toys, clothes, eatables, snacks, spices, etc can be seen. When I asked about Jatra to our borrowers they said, its pride of Chinchali village. It is a happy time of the year. We love to welcome people coming from different village to attend the events.