Kanakadasa Jayanthi is celebrated each year by Karnataka people in general and by the people of Kuruba Gowda community to be specific. The day is celebrated as a commemoration to their great poet, saint, philosopher, composer and musician. He was born in 1509 and is still remembered for his Ugabhoga, Kirtans and Carnatic music compositions in the Kannada language. Karnataka Government observes this day as a state holiday to pay tribute to this great saint, each year in November or start of December. To know about Kanakadasa Jayanthi in greater detail, you should read along and know the significance of his contributions!
History and Significance of This Day
The state of Karnataka is known for the saints who used to preach devotion irrespective of community and caste. These saints preached devotion to Lord Narayana or Hari in the Kannada language easily understood by one and all in those days. One such saint was, Shri Kanaka Dasa. He was born in a non-Brahmin tribe near Kaginele on 6th November 1509.
Kanaka Dasa grew up to become a philosopher, poet and musician. He became famous for his Kannada language compositions. Later he became part of the Haridasa devotional movement that took place in Karnataka. This helped shape the philosophy, culture and art of South Indian states especially, Karnataka. This movement spread across a spiritual influence in people and kingdoms of South India. It also turned out to be a great literary movement as it ushered the people with devotional literature in Karnataka. Shri Kanaka Dasa became an integral part of this movement.
Some of the great works by the illustrious Saint Kanakadasa are Haribahaktisara, Mohanatarangini, Narasimha Tava, Ramadhanya Charitra and Nala Charitra.
Apart from making such a great contribution to Kannada Literature, Kanaka Dasa also started the social, philosophical process. This helped him spread the message of equality. He was also against the caste system and believed that this could harm the socio-economic and religious life of people. He used to preach this around 500 years ago, but we haven’t met this ideal yet and face the issues related to casteism every other day.
Hence in honour of such a great saint, Karnataka observes Kanakadasa Jayanti every year. This day holds special importance in the social and cultural history of the state.
When is Kanakadasa Jayanti celebrated?
To commemorate the great works of Shri Kanaka Dasa, the Karnataka Government includes his birth anniversary as a regional public holiday. All the government colleges, schools and offices remain closed, and people become a part of the celebration. Each year it falls on the 18th day of the Kartik Hindu month. Hence it generally happens in November. You can find the Kanakadasa Jayanti date, in the general holiday list of Karnataka government calendar released at the start of each year.
How to celebrate Kanakadasa Jayanti and Where to go?
Holding a special place in the hearts of Kannada people, Kanakadas Jayanthi is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety each year in almost all cities of Karnataka. To make people aware of Kanakadasa Jayanthi and the contributions of Shri Kanakadasa to Karnataka, this day is celebrated. Major celebrations happen in cities like Bengaluru, Belgavi, Mysuru, Udupi, Bada etc. and make headlines in the newspaper.
The Kanakadasa Jayanthi information about the celebration is made public a few days before the D-day. Every city celebrates the day in a specific way in galore. But there are few things common to this celebration in each city. A colourful procession of the great saint decked up with flowers is carried out on the streets by the devotees. In a few places inside the city, Kanaka’s idol is established and is decorated with flowers.
During the procession, various folk troupes give folk performances like gombe kunitha, nandidwaja, kamsale kunitha, somana kunitha, kolata, veeragase, kolata, dollu kunitha etc. decked up in colourful and beautiful ethnic dresses. In different cities, different dance forms are preferred, and you can find one or more of the above dance forms. Then there are some tableaux performed depicting the preaching and the life of the great saint.
In a few cities, you can find a group of students playing various musical instruments. Women carrying kalsas add beauty to the procession. Later, at the pre-decided last spot of the procession, there is a stage set-up. Here, you will find some government officers or ministers addressing the public. Even these addresses share about the saint’s life and how people should follow the principles of Kanakadasa to benefit in life!
Do you also want to be a part of this colourful festival and know about the preaching of the great philosopher: Shri Kanaka Dasa? You should plan a visit to Karnataka by checking the Kanakadasa Jayanthi information and dates in advance online. Since the state lies close to the Arabian Sea and is surrounded by the Western Ghats, it is drowned with natural beauty. Also, Kanakadas Jayanthi falls in November or December, which are pleasant months in terms of weather, to visit the state.
To travel to Karnataka, you should book your tickets via redBus. It is headquartered in Bengaluru and has a well-established network of buses in the state. The facilities provided by this online bus ticketing platform are by far the best in India. The platform holds buses for all classes of people, whether you prefer a budgeted trip or whether luxury matters the most to you. To book your tickets online, visit the redBus website or download the app now for added convenience!