Laiqh A. Khan
KANNAMBADI: None of them may have been born when their forefathers moved out of Kannambadi village situated along the banks of the Cauvery to help build the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam in 1910. But the emotional bond they have with their ancestral land manifests during the village festival held in March every year.
Started by the evacuees of Kannambadi, which went under water almost a century ago, the tradition of holding a village festival, featuring song and dance programmes on the lifestyle of the submerged village, continues. To keep memories of Kannambadi alive, people continue to re-enact year after year the daily life of the submerged village which used to bustle with thousands of inhabitants.
The descendents of Kannambadi inhabitants, now living at Hosa Kannambadi, begin "Hari Devamma Chowdeshwari Jatre" on the banks of the river by offering puja to the deity. Later, the Karaga is brought back to their village in a procession.
"We eagerly await the jatre every year. The entire village will be decked up and the villagers turn out in their best colours for the occasion. People from all castes participate in the fair. Each and every house will be cleaned. It is a big event in the village," said Lakshmamma of Hosa Kannambadi.
Though none of the residents of Hosa Kannambadi lived in the submerged village, many have some imagination of the village, based on the tales of the yore passed on from one generation to the other.
Their imagination had been further stimulated after the submerged village resurfaced a couple of years ago when the water level in the reservoir declined steeply. The remnants of grinding stones and ruins of several dilapidated houses found at Kannambadi village had given them a peep into the lifestyle of their ancestors and transported them back in age.
The descendents of the evacuees lost their last living link to the original Kannambadi village when Thimmamma died in July last at the age of 105. Thimmamma's son Subbe Gowda (82) said his mother's favourite past time was narrating stories of her childhood at Kannambadi village. After sacrificing their home and hearth, many inhabitants of Kannambadi worked as labourers for the construction of the reservoir across the Cauvery that had displaced them.
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