Marcel is an idyllic hamlet located 23 kms from Panjim. This village celebrates a very unique festival dedicated to Devki Krishna on the eleventh day of Ashaada month, ieEkadishi. An interesting fact is that this is the only temple in the world that is dedicated to Devki and Krishna. As a part of this festival, the village also celebrates ChikalKalo to commemorate Balakrishna’s mischievous childhood. Every year villagers gather irrespective of caste, creed or age and continue this 150 year old legacy. This year was no different, have a look…
Kids have their own games going on
All parents make an exception on this day and allow their kids to play in the mud
An age old game – chakra. Chakra is one of the symbols associated with Krishna’s avatar – Vishnu
Drop the handkerchief game is played by the men and then by the kids
This game is locally known as – ‘Aayi-cha rumalfaravla’ ( Mom’s missing handkerchief)
Tug of War
The final game of dahi-handi
This was this kid’s first ChikalKalo and by the looks of it, there are definitely many more to come!
There is a legend that when Krishna &Balarama were fighting Jarasandha on the Gomanchalaparvat, Devaki got anxious and she travelled to meet them. However, she could not recognize Krishna as she only knew him as a child. So Krishna took the form of a child and she lifted him in her arms and that is how they are worshiped by the devotees till date.
Newly married couples pray to the idol of Devki Krishna to bless them with children. When the kids are born and are old enough, the parents get them back to them temple, to be blessed by the deity.
Men oil themselves at a nearby shop and enter the temples to receive blessings from the deity. Oil protects them against any possible infection from the mud.
The temple priests come out of the temple
Many villagers throw traditional food items like puranpoli’s, samosas, ladoos, pedas and bananas towards the crowd of oiled men who try their best to catch it. They also distribute it among the crowds.
Villagers try to embody the spirit of Balkrishnas for a day
Each of the men is picked and playfully dropped in the slush