Bare-chested devotees engage in agni keli ritual at temple in southern India

Bare-chested devotees engage in agni keli ritual at temple in southern India

In a mesmerizing display of devotion and tradition, devotees in southern India’s Karnataka participated in the age-old ritual of ‘Thoothedhara’ or ‘Agni Keli’.

The incident took place at Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple in Karnataka on April 21.

Visuals showed  the fervent devotion of worshippers as they illuminated the temple compound with balls of fire. Divided into two groups, devotees faced each other, casting flaming palm fronds from a distance of 15 to 20 meters.

This intense ritual, lasting approximately 15 minutes, is a highlight of the annual Kateel Durgaparameshwari temple festival, deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of the region.

Despite concerns regarding its safety, the tradition continues to draw participants who view it as a sacred practice of reverence and spiritual connection. Beyond the participants, a multitude of devotees gathered at the temple to witness the captivating spectacle, adding to the aura of spirituality and community.

Restricted to residents of Kateel town and nearby villages such as Athoor and Kodathoor, the tradition entails an eight-day fasting period during the festival, marked by abstaining from meat and alcohol consumption. Situated amidst the tranquil waters of the river Nandini in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, the Durgaparameshwari Temple stands as a testament to ancient traditions and enduring faith, beckoning devotees from far and wide to partake in its sacred rituals.

*Non Exclusive Video rights*
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.