Bedara Vesha is a folk dance performed days before Holi night in Sirsi town of Karnataka. It is also known as ‘Hunter Dance’. People of Sirsi celebrate Holi with this unique folk dance.
The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town which attracts a large crowd on all the five days from different parts of the State.
Bedara Vesha’ is a unique folk dance with a legend of 300 years. According to the legend, after the reign of ‘Vijayanagar Kings’, Sirsi (then Kalyanapattana) and other southern India regions were taken over and ruled by Sonda dynasty.
The Story Behind it
In Sonda region, there was always a fear of Muslims invaders attacking. In order to protect them, the rulers appointed ‘Malleshi’, a young boy from Beda community and a warrior in the Vijaynagar Empire. Initially, Malleshi performed his duties well, but later, he became a troublemaker and a womanizer. He wanted to marry Rudrambika, who was the daughter of local leader Dasappa Shetty. She was bold and fearless; for the interest of society, she married Malleshi One Holi night, while Malleshi was dancing, Rudrambika threw acid in his eyes which made him blind. He then tried chasing to kill her but was caught by 12 villagers and burnt alive.
Back then, villagers practiced ‘Sati’ (a ritual where wife sets herself on fire on her husband’s funeral pyre) In appreciation of rudrambika’s sacrifice, ‘Bedara Vesha’ was started and is performed even today.
How it is done?
The Hunter Dance is practiced for months before the actual performance. The artists are donned with peacock feathers, mustache, cotton and red cloth, fruits, shield, and sword. Initially, Malleshi discharged his duties well, dancing during the nights in a peculiar way on the streets.
Performed By 50 Solo Artists.
Nearly 50 solo artists’ perform the hunter dance with whistleblowers and a troupe of drum beaters. The folk dance called “Bedara Vesha” (Hunters Dance) is performed during the nights beginning five days before the festival day.
Bedara Vesha’ is performed in the Sirsi town of Karnataka. Another folk dance called ‘Dollu Kunitha’ is also performed during Bedara Vesha. According to legend, after the decline of the Vijayanagar kings, the region was ruled by the Sonda dynasty.
Bedara Vesha is celebrated every alternate year by People of Sirsi which is associated with Holi. This year, the event is scheduled from March 17th – March 20th.
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