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Old 28th February 2008, 01:17   #1
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Cool Bhoota Kola: A pictorial

Yesterday I had a chance to play photographer at a Bhoota Kola. Since the event was sponsored by the family, I figured nobody will object.

What is Bhoota Kola? Read this: Bhoota Kola

Usually photographers are not invited to Bhoota Kola. It takes place in dim light and flash can be distracting to the spiritual dancers. But I was armed with my new E3, so I took up the challenge.

Only the first two shots are using 14-54mm lens at ISO400, rest are using 50-200mm lens and ISO between 800-1600, most were shot in 1600. Most were shot in Manual with speed at 1/30 and F/3.5 with IS on. I actually shot in JPG and almost no PP has been done. The idea was to capture low-light action at the cost of noise. The E3 AF was fantastic at lowlight. The lens was tripod mounted on a ball head, but I didn't tighten it so that I could turn the camera at will. I needed the tripod only to support the weight.






































Last edited by Samurai : 28th February 2008 at 09:40.
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Old 28th February 2008, 01:17   #2
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Old 28th February 2008, 02:04   #3
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Superb pics,Samurai!
Interesting to know that this event takes place in some parts of Kerala. The closest I have come across to something like this, is in the form of a 'Vellichapaadu'. The person doing the ritual gets possessed,and is known to be able to heal and/or solve problems.
My knowledge on this subject is limited. I'm sure there are others who'd be able to throw some light on this event.

Last edited by Nitin : 28th February 2008 at 02:05.
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Old 28th February 2008, 08:16   #4
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Thanks Nitin, we are on the border of Kerala, so we have very similar rituals.
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Old 28th February 2008, 09:31   #5
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Samurai,
Beautiful photos, given the lighting conditions you have done well.

Forgive me for my ignorance, can you please explain what is this event and why it is done.
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Old 28th February 2008, 09:47   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepaktpatil View Post
Forgive me for my ignorance, can you please explain what is this event and why it is done.
The description is given in this link: Bhoota Kola

Some family members had pledged to hold the Kola event if their wishes were granted, etc. You know how it goes, some pledge to visit pilgrimage places, or hold special pujas, etc. This is a form of puja around the parts of ancient Tulunad or now known as Karavalli or coastal Karnataka.
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Old 28th February 2008, 09:48   #7
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Never imagined the mention of bhoota kola in t-bhp !! Thank you, samurai, for the excellent snaps.

I had been to such events in my mother's village near Bantval - basically to please the bhoota - usually an all night affair - people pray to the bhootas for the wellbeing of the village and villagers against evil eyes, intruders and famine. People also build small temples for the bhootas. They say, if the bhoota of that particular village / region is not pleased atleast once in a year - it starts troubling ! - cattles dissappear, strange pests attack the farms / thotas and water dries up from the wells. Such kolas are common during summer - however do not know the reason.

Thanks again, though i miss the sounds of the chennde and the high pitched vocals.

Regards,
Rao
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Old 28th February 2008, 10:26   #8
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Great shots, I have seen earlier this on discovery.
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Old 28th February 2008, 11:06   #9
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Awesome pics Samurai!!!! BTW which cam have you used?
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Old 28th February 2008, 11:07   #10
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Great shots but i just miss a video of this as i never got a chance to visit such a function in mlr. We have something similar in coorg where during the annual temple fair usually in the mariamma temple people get possessed and answer questions well basically its a village festival and an awesome sight to watch.
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Old 28th February 2008, 11:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Thanks Nitin, we are on the border of Kerala, so we have very similar rituals.
Quite correct, but Nitin's observation that this is like the 'velichappadu' is not entirely correct. This bears more resemblence to what is called 'Theyyam' which is a ritual that turned into an art form.

As I see more and more of the rituals and practices in your area, I get the feeling that the very same rituals/practices are seen in Kerala under other names. Pretty much like when I saw a Yakshagana performance for the first time and saw the similarities with Kathakali, which is an art form I practiced briefly.
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Old 28th February 2008, 11:59   #12
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Is there any particular frequency/event with which this Bhoota Aradane happens?
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Old 28th February 2008, 12:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
As I see more and more of the rituals and practices in your area, I get the feeling that the very same rituals/practices are seen in Kerala under other names. Pretty much like when I saw a Yakshagana performance for the first time and saw the similarities with Kathakali, which is an art form I practiced briefly.
You are right. The former South Canara district (now divided as Udupi & Dakshina Kannada district) was culturally always closer to Kerala than Karnataka. In fact, it became part of Karnataka only in 1956, before that South Canara along with Kerala was part of Madras state. Then Mangalore, Udupi & Kasadgodu were part of South Canara, Mangalore and Udupi went to Karnataka, and Kasargodu went to Kerala. Lots of practices like Theyyam, Kathakali, Kalaripayattu, etc are common to Kerala and former South Canara, although Kalaripayattu was completed eliminated from our area.

Meanwhile, I should confess that I could cover only a limited part of this function, just the initial one hour. If you notice they are not wearing any headgear. Once they wear the headgear, nobody is supposed to leave until the headgear is removed, this could last 3-4 hours. With two young kids, we couldn't stay that long, so we left before they wore the headgear.

Last edited by Samurai : 28th February 2008 at 12:03.
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Old 28th February 2008, 12:07   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Is there any particular frequency/event with which this Bhoota Aradane happens?
Nothing like that. There are two kinds of events, private events like this one attended by family and neighbors, or public events which is attended by the whole village or neighboring villages.

Next month there is a public Bhoota Aradane event which is organised by my dad's family near Suratkal, if anyone wants to check it out, PM me.
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Old 28th February 2008, 12:17   #15
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Nice pics samurai.
I too remember the Bhootha koala event happening near my school. It used to happen once a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayabusa View Post
Awesome pics Samurai!!!! BTW which cam have you used?
I think it's Olympus. Correct me if i'm wrong Samurai.
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