A small community of Kshatriyas in Koppal district has a unique way of showing devotion on Chaturthi: by offering liquor and non-vegetarian food as ‘naivedya’
While it is traditional to offer modaks and kosambris to Ganesha on Chaturthi, here is a village where liquor and non-vegetarian food are offered as “naivedya” to the deity. If you want to be part of this special Ganesha festival, then you have to head to Bhagyanagar village in Koppal district.
On the third day after Ganesha Chaturthi, a sub-sect of the Kshatriya community offers chicken and whisky as part of “naivedya” to the deity. It is a tradition that has been followed by their ancestors and continues till date. Families believe that by offering liquor and chicken, Ganesha is pleased and will bless them with wealth and joy.
Raghu Bhavikatti, 30, has been following this tradition for over three decades now. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, he said, “My grandparents and greatgrand parents have been following this tradition with the belief that good will happen if liquor and non-vegetarian food are offered as a sacrament. We believe that Ganesha is not satisfied with just vegetarian dishes and hence needs to be offered non-vegetarian food, in addition to the milk and tender coconut water that is generally offered. Surprisingly, this is not a one-day menu. In fact, the family, which organises a five-day Ganesh festival, ensures that liquor and non-vegetarian food are offered as naivedya from the third day of the festival to the fifth day. The menu changes each day as one day chicken is offered and on the others, fish or mutton is offered. A bottle of liquor is placed in front of the idol during the entire festival. During that time, liquor is also sprinkled on the idol as part of the naivedya. This tradition is only practiced at home. The liquor and non-vegetarian offering is not offered during street celebrations.
“This custom is not followed in the entire village but only by a certain community. Around 100 families of the Kshatriya community follow this tradition,” says Gangadhar Bandihal, who has been witnessing this practice in his village for several years.
Although there is no particular reason as to why this tradition is followed, it is a custom that is practised for years by ancestors.