Narkasur

Night of the demon.

Recycling the introduction from an earlier post –

The Hindu festival of Diwali (Deepavali) has multiple interpretations, all having their basis in the triumph of virtue over vice.

One version tells of the vile Narkasur, embodiment of the forces of darkness (tamas), ignorance (avidya) and baseness (adharma). The puranas recount his comeuppance at the hands of Krishna who deployed the sudarshan-chakra (discus) to behead the fiend. Narkasur‘s vanquishment lead to the restoration of dharma, and the Diwali celebrations represent a renewal of the memory of Krishna‘s triumphal moment.

In Goa is prevalent the quaint practice – perhaps unique in India – of the reenactment of the Narkasur mythos. On the eve of Diwali, effigies of Narkasur are mounted at village squares and towns. After a night of boisterous revelry, they are consigned to flames at dawn.

 

These photos were taken last month on October 21, 2014, the eve of Diwali. I have also put together a short video below that captures some of the sights and sounds of the revelry.

All my posts on this theme are consolidated here.

Narkasur in Mala, Panjim

Narkasur in Mala, Panjim

In Mala, Panjim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Britona (Bittona)

Man-eater in Britona
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur near Mahalaxmi Temple in Panjim (Keni's Narkasur)

In Panjim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur near Altinho slope in St Inez, Panjim

In St. Inez, Panjim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Mala, Panjim

In Mala, Panjim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Britona (Bittona)

In Britona
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur and Krishna in Ekoshi

Krishna confronts Narkasur, in Ekoshi
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Thivim

In Thivim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 

Narkasur in Chimbel

Narkasur in Chimbel

In Chimbel
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Pomburpa

In Pomburpa
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Mala, Panjim

In Mala, Panjim
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Traditional Narkasur in Chimbel

Traditional Narkasur in Chimbel
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
Narkasur in Chorão

In Chorão
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 


Music credit: Raga Shankara by Bismillah Khan.

 
 
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  • Sanjeev - November 17, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    Congratulations on compiling the best collection of Narkasura photographs !! – ever.

    Another invaluable documentation of a Goan heritage.ReplyCancel

  • Arun - November 14, 2014 - 5:51 am

    How long does it take to build a Narkasura?

    Great shots!ReplyCancel

    • Rajan Parrikar - November 14, 2014 - 8:39 am

      I would say, 5 days or so. The facemask is usually sourced from local artists for whom this is a good opportunity to bring in some extra income.ReplyCancel

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