Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-10-14 18:38 Urava Tulunadu is a riot of colours during Deepavali. Homes are saturated in festive atmosphere, there is devotion in the air, while Kambala Kori worship begins in agricultural lands. On the day of Pattanaaje (10th day of Tulu month Besha which falls on the third or fourth week of May) all deities of Tulunadu retreat to their place of worship, remove their gaggara (an ornament used only at the time of kolam), and keep it aside to have some rest. Kambala is not just a race but also a form of tradition and a fertility cult. According to Dr.Purushottama Bilimale, “Kambala is not just a buffalo race and pure entertainment. It is a fertility cult which has socio-economic and political dimensions.” There are three aspects to Kambala: 1. Buffalo race 2. Fertility cult 3. The worship of Naga (serpents) and bhutas (deities). Pukare kamba Soon after Deepavali, there is a custom known as Pookare Kambala, which takes place every year in my father’s home (Kolyooru Kambala house), where Nagabramha Daiva and Urava Daiva are worshipped. Strangely, scholars have not been able to document the Urava bhuta. The rituals observed during ploughing of the land are known as 'kandada kori' in Tulu. Before sowing is undertaken, it’s a custom to place a pillar (known as 'pookare kamba') in the middle of the field. The placing of the stone pillar symbolises marriage, with land being the bride and pillar/pole, the groom. During this ritual, deities such as Urava, Erubanta, Nagabhoota and Bermer are invoked and worshipped. Naga Bermer is a prominent god of Kambala tradition. The coming together of bhutas ‘Naga’ and ‘Bermer’ led to the creation of NagaBermer. Urava and Erubanta are from the same family and known as sub-deities of Naga Bermer. Eru banta During the ritual, right after the main deities are worshipped, the makeup is altered slightly to make way for the worship of the sub-deities. Later, the actors start chanting folk verses known as ‘paddana’. In the Kolam of Urava and Erubanta, there is no related ‘paddana’ available. But a related ‘paddana’ named 'Ijo Manjatti Gona' is available. According to 'Ijo Manjatti Gona', a man named Manjunaalva, from the house of Renjaladi, leaves for Subramanya to purchase a pair of bulls. He takes a worker named Babbu along with him. On the way, they come across a temple of Oridaiyya Dhoomavathi, where Manjanaalva makes a pledge that if he finds a pair of fine bulls, he would start Kolam (a form of worship) preparations. After finding a pair of good bulls, Manjanaalva and Babbu halt at the same temple. On noticing a jackfruit tree, Manjanaalva commands Babbu to pluck some jackfruits. Babbu tries to dissuade Manjanaalva from the act but Manjanaalva forces him to pluck the fruit. With no other option, Babbu does as he is told. Soon, they start eating the fruits and throw the leftovers to the bulls. This act angers the god who curses them. Later, Manjanaalva gets a call to plough a particular piece of land. On arriving at the site, he is unable to perform the task as the bulls become unruly. To control them, a low caste worker, who is barred from stepping into the field, enters the field; and when he does so, he and the bulls are turned into stone. It’s a common fact that one who dies for supernatural reasons are worshipped as deities. According to Tulu-English dictionary, Urave means a 'man who ploughs' and Eru means a 'bull'. So now we know the reason behind the worship. In Kasargod, Bantwal, Puttur and Sullia, people worship Urava and Erubanta during Kambala Kori Nema. In Kasargod district’s Kolyooru and Bantwal’s Birooru, the stone pillar symbolising the worker and the bulls are planted in fields. In Kolyooru, they call the stone pillar as 'Eru Maajina Kallu' (stone resembling the bull’s disappearance). Near it, there is another stone known as 'Muttale Kallu', which refers to the cap worn by the worker. A deep depression in the field, where rainwater accumulates, is known as 'Renji Gundi'. According to Varanasi Narayana Bhat, “It is called as Renji Gundi since the person punished was from the Renjiladi family. Later, it turned into Renje Gundi.” This account hints at the possibility of a rivalry between two parties.