Dolottsav at Kakaroli


The picturesque haveli of Shri Dwarakadhishji, on the banks of the "Rajasmand" resevoir, resonates with the sound of festival drums. Like Shri Nathji, the Lord here has cattle drums playing in the Nagakhana of the Haveli during the times when the main darshans are open. The Lord swings in his festive Dol from the afternoon till the evening. The excellent Bundi style paintings on the upper walls of the main courtyard are, sensibly enough, covered up. A screened section is created opposite the swing for those who wish to view the festivites without being covered by colour.

In my personal experience, the dolottsav at Kakaroli is far more lively and "spirited" than the one at Nathadwara. The mukhiyaji and the Goswamies at Kakaroli seem to have put greater heart into the seva here and much fun is to had by all. The singers at Kakaroli sing spiritedly while the mukhiyaji loads up his pichakari (festive syring) with colour and, aims the colour at spectators around the courtyard. No one really escapes, even those wanting to only catch a glimpse of the festivities and actually avoid the colour, get caught out. During our visit, we found that like us, many had cleaned up after the Dol at Nathadwara and came here to witness the Utthapan or Bhog arti. Dressed in clean clothes, most of us had no desire to get them wet and dirty again, but, the Chanchal Lord of Dwaraka caught us all out !

The range of colours used here is far more modern as well, for example, they were using purples, blues, yellows and greens besides the traditional white and pink. In this sense, Nathadwara is still very conservative, and no one is even allowed to bring such colours into the haveli. The heavy use of kesudo adds to the "fun" element at Kakaroli.

Lord Shri Dwarakadhishji swings almost within reach of his devotes. In addition to all his festival jewels, He also wears a vagh-nakh (2 claws of a tiger, mounted on a gold pendent) to ward off the evil eye. The dark image of the Lord is made darker still by heavy use of "lagauo" - a dark sticky substance used to attach jewels, tilak and eyes of the Lord to the idol. His charvagh is stuck back with lagauo as are the flowing ends of the colourful scarf. The Lord's dreamy, beautiful eyes capture the hearts of the devotees as the foliage covered hindolo swings slowly back and forth. The languid pace of the swing contrasts wonderfully with the pace of the music and the vigour with which kesudo is sprayed on to the vaishnavs. It was a wonderful darshan indeed !

During our visit in 1998, after the arti, temple servants who took part in the main sevas for the day were given special rewards for all their hard work by a balak of the Kakaroli house.


� Bhagwat Shah

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