Kateel Mela to begin its annual tour from Dec 9
Mangaluru, Dec 08, 2020: The Yakshagana music of more than a century old Kateel Mela will reverberate in the villages and towns of the coastal belt from tomorrow.
While Yakshagana tours are not held during Monsoon and the artists are on holiday for about 4 months, this year the shows were forced to stop early, by mid March, due to COVID lockdown.
Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Prasadita Dashavathara Yakshagana Mandali, popularly known as Kateel Mela, the busiest troop in the state. There are six ‘Mela,’ or teams which are already booked for over 15 years.
The Kateel Mela which has a history of over a century presents the Tenkutittu form of Yakshagana (Tenkutittu and Badagatittu are the two forms of Yakshagana).
It is a general custom among the people of the coastal belt to organize ‘Harakeyaata,’ (Yakshagana performance by a Mela affiliated to any temple as part of a vow). But there is something special in Kateel Mela.
While ‘Harakeyaata,’ is common, the specialty of Kateel Mela is that devotees vow to witness Yakshagana Play of Kateel Mela for the fulfillment of their prayers.
People also believe that Goddess Durgaparameshwari comes to the place where Kateel Mela’s Yakshagana is performed. Therefore Yakshagana is not just a form of art but has a devotional touch here. Due to all these reasons, a large number of devotees attend Kateel Mela’s Yashagana every day.
Yakshagana season begins:
The Yakshagana performance will start on December 9. As per the tradition, all the six Melas will offer the first performance at Kateel. The performance will be held daily in six different places until the next Monsoon season!
Some changes in the backdrop of COVID:
“Tomorrow’s Yakshagana at Kateel is telecasted live on Namma Kudla TV channel. In the backdrop of COVID, we request the people to stay home and witness the Yakshagana performance,” Temple hereditary archak Sriharinarayanadasa Asranna told The Canara Post.
The artists have been asked to undergo the COVID test and produce the negative certificate tomorrow. Those elderly artists with health issues have been suggested to cancel their participation this year.
“In all the places we will ask the organizers to take necessary precautionary measures,” he added.
While some have quit due to various reasons including health issues, 50 new artists and personnel have joined Kateel Mela this year.