‘Divine horse’ funeral in K’taka sees hundreds, village sealed


Amid the raging pandemic, hundreds of people in Gokak taluk of Karnataka’s Belgavi defied all Covid safety protocols to take part in a “divine” horse’s funeral. Authorities have now swung in action to seal of the village and test the residents.

This incident was reported on Sunday after the horse of Maradi Mutt, a local religious institution, died.

Some Mathas belonging to various castes and communities in north Karnataka region, have practice of rearing horses like some temples in Kerala rear elephants, as divine. Whenever such horse is let off by Mutt, people who live in the vicinity pray to the animal, while making offerings to it.

After visuals of several hundred people living in villages surrounding Maradi Matha flouting Covid norms, went viral on local media channels, authorities have now woken up and decided to carry out RT-PCR test to all residents of Konnuru village in Gokak taluk where the Mutt is located.

Gokak Tahsildar Praksh Huleppgol, under whose jurisdiction this village falls, told reporters that the state government has already directed him to “seal the village” besides carrying out RT-PCR test of all residents who live in Konnur.

“The local police has already taken information of around 15 ‘influential Apersonalities’ of 15 villages who have organised such mammoth funeral procession of this horse,” he said.

A senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that the real reason behind so many residents taking part in this horse funeral was that the Mutt seers had let off this horse on Thursday midnight allow it to travel though villages on its own freely and none accompanied it believing that its “free run” would ward off the Covid virus permanently.

“After performing rituals, the horse was let off at 12 midnight and it was brought back to Matha at 4 a.m. on Thursday, and it died on Sunday. As soon as the new of this horse’s death spread, residents living in various villages rushed towards Matha premises just to take alast glimpse’ of divine horse, which laid its life to protect residents from Covid,” the officer said.

The source added that this ritual was performed based on astrological calculations and under the guidance of Sri Pavadeshwara Swami of Pavadeshwara Mutt, which is popularly known as Maradi Mutt.

People live here believe that this Mutt has miraculous power as the deity itself is known as “Pavadeshwara” (Miraculous God).