Karnataka: In Belagavi village without Muslims, Hindus observe Muharram every year

This has been happening for over a century in the Hirebidanur village, where the people observe the holy month when warfare and enmity are forbidden.

Shankar RajUpdated: Monday, August 08, 2022, 06:50 PM IST
article-image
File photo of a Muharram procession |

A village in the Belagavi district in north Karnataka does not have a single Muslim, but the locals there have been observing Muharram for five days every year.

This has been happening for over a century in the Hirebidanur village, where the people observe the holy month when warfare and enmity are forbidden.

The villagers illuminate the roads with colourful blinking lights to mark the occasion.

Though the village, with a population of around 3,000, has no Muslim families, there is a mosque by the name ‘mosque of Fakireshwar Swami’ where a Hindu priest conducts religious proceedings in the traditional Hindu way.

However, during Muharram every year, the priest invites a Moulvi (Muslim preacher) from a nearby village and he is provided with accommodation in the mosque for a week.“On other days, I take the responsibility of the mosque,” Yallappa Naikar, the priest at the mosque, was quoted in the media as saying that during the first week of the month of Muharram, prayers are offered by the moulvi in the traditional Islamic way.

The villagers say that two Muslim brothers established two mosques “a long time ago”, after their death, locals continued worshipping at the mosques and observed Muharram every year without fail.

During the week, performers are invited for traditional Karbala dance, rope art and fire walks. A majority of the people are from Kuruba and Valmiki communities.

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