Celebrate the Homecoming of two Sisters: Akka-Tangi Beti, Chitradurga


‘Beti’ in Kannada translates to ‘meeting’. Home to the 15th Century fort, Chitradurga mesmerizes with yet another symbolic tradition. Not only the world renowned ‘Kallina Kote’ or Stone fortess, Chitradurga has layers of legends tucked into her crown.

One of them is the Beti Utsava. Popularly known as Akka – Tangi Beti or Sister’s Fair. The famous festival Beti is one of a kind.

 Akka-Tangi Beti utsav

What is this Beti Utsava?

It is a tradition that has aged like wine through the years. Based on mythological story and local beliefs, this tradition has come down from the years of Palegar Madakari Nayaka. People come from across cities to witness this eye catching event.

The whole city of Chitradurga is illuminated during the time. The residents of the city equally participate in the fair by gathering there and by cooking popular local sweats in their homes. Making this the breath taking spectacle of Chitradurga.

What is this all about?

Exactly 15 days after Ugadi festival on a Tuesday, Beti Utsav takes place. Two local goddess Barageramma and Tippinagattama are the sisters for whom this festival is celebrated for. The event is held at the main street of Raja Beedi also known as Rangayyana Bagilu. The two goddess are decorated in a beautifully crafted floral palanquin.

Before the event begins, the goddesses are taken out on to the streets for procession. Both the goddesses then meet in a huge affair where you can see a sea of people everywhere. Standing on top of their houses, stumbling and pushing each other, just to take a glimpse of the event. A very mass and vast crowd comes together to enjoy this glorious event.

 Akka-Tangi Beti utsav

What is it with the sisters?

The back story of this event is a dramatic one. It is actually a sad one that revolves around the stigma of infertility in the Indian society. The elder sister Barageramma and the younger sister Tippinagattama are two closely knit sisters. The youngest sister Tippinagattma had 11 children but the elder sister doesn’t have any.

The older sister Barageramma is subjected to criticism by the society for being infertile. To relinquish the pain and back lash of people against her, Barageramma visits her sister’s house everyday to play and spend joyous time with her kids.

The envious of people, who couldn’t tolerate the bond between two sisters start to feed little mind worms to Tippinagattama about infertile women. They spewed poisonous myth in her mind that, if infertile women like her elder sister touch her kids, they will be in danger or something like that!

On a regretful day, when the older sister comes to visit her, Tippinagattama hides her kids and lies about them not being in home. Looking at the sweets in the hands of their aunt, the kids excitedly make noises.

Not able to bear the pain of being subjected to infertility myths from her own sister and to make her feel the pain of not having kids, Barageramma curses her kids to turn into stones. The kids actually turn into stones. Then on, the two sisters vow not to see each other’s faces. Years pass them without seeing each other.

Believed to be the protector of the city and known to be the worshiping deity of Madakari Nayaka and the eldest sister, Goddess Ekanatheshwari mediates in the matter.

She makes a deal with the sisters to meet at least one time in a year to uphold the virtue of sisterhood. Like it or not, the sisters agree. Hence, the genesis of Beti Utsav was made.

 Akka-Tangi Beti utsav

The moment has come!

Two dancers place the heavy palanquin of the respected goddess. On the main street, these professional dancers steal the show with their commendable skills.

The two dancers enact the scene of sisters being angry at each other and try to show aggression by angry moves. The sounds of people cheering in the background will reverberate in your soul.

The energy of the two dancers surrounds the air and a fellow on looker is hooked to the scene. Then the two sisters touch head to head and circle for half a minute.

Then the most spectacular moment ends. The whole Beti is calculated to be for exactly 3 minutes. The sisters go in their opposite ways without looking back at each other. One of the bucket list things to see in Chitradurga.

 Akka-Tangi Beti utsav celebration

How the city of Chitradurga celebrates Beti Utsava?

A very private ceremony takes place on the famous fort of Chitradurga. The chosen community members who are professionals belonging to the same community, bear the pride of placing the goddesses on their head. 7 days prior Beti Utsav, the announcement celebration called ‘Saaru’ happens across the city. Every house hold offers delicious food in honor to the upcoming celebration.

On a popular belief, the people of this historic city don’t leave the city until after Beti fair is done. It is only after they visit the Barageramma temple and paying homage to the holy fire that they leave the city. On the midnight that the saaru begins, the members of the community walk across the streets of Chitradurga loudly making a traditional announcement by sounding the classical instruments.

They flamboyantly announce the dates of the Beti Utsav and welcome the citizens of the city. One can feel the power of the place spreading like fire in their bones. The Beti Utsava in Chitradurga is wholly worth the visit!

How to reach?

Car – via NH 48, takes 2hr (200kms from Bangalore)

Train – there is a daily connectivity of trains to Chitradurga


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *