When Chamundi betta relocates to amchi Mumbai

Over the last few years, Karnataka and Maharashtra have been riven by the same kind of issues.

Both States, or more accurately the capitals of both States, have seen outrageous assaults on “outsiders” from revanchist linguistic forces. Both periodically burst go into paroxysms of parochialism over territories each claims belongs to it. Both regularly mourn the disappearance of local art, culture, food, etc.

It takes a horizontally challenged Heavenly One to remind the peoples of ee kade and ikkade of how much the two States actually have in common if only they would try to discover.

The adman and photographer M.S. Gopal reports that the Chamundeshwari temple atop the Chamundi hills in Mysore is the theme of this year’s fete at Bombay’s most famous Ganesh pandal, Lalbaugcha Raja (the emperor of Lalbaug) in the heart of Parel.

Devotees thronging Ganesh galli in what was once the ground zero of textile mills, are welcomed with replicas of Mahishasura, the Chamundi temple facade, even the Nandi bull.

Writes Gopal:

“Why am I excited? Because it’s from my home State and Mysore is my favourite city, even though I have never lived there. And yes, Ganesh Chaturthi is as big a festival in Karnataka as it is in Maharashtra and shares the same history.

“One of the earliest known inscription of Marathi is found in Shravanabelagola, not too far from Mysore and the languages spoken in Karnataka share many similarities with Marathi.”

Photographs: courtesy M.S. Gopal/ Mumbai Paused

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