About Kateel Yakshagana troup (Mela)
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 November 2008 05:30 Saturday, 22 November 2008 05:30
The art form of Yakshagana has its roots in the twin districts of South Canara and Udupi. It’s an art form which has firmly put the twin districts among the list of cultural centres.
Unique dresses and vigorous performances are its highlight. Primarily they depict the stories from Hindu Mythology, these days even social issues are taken up by some modernists and those who love to experiment.
Our ancestors believed that performing and watching Yakshagana as a service or offering to the Gods. These performance help people to inculcate moral values in their personal and family life. Mostly these are sponsored by the believers to fulfil vows, upon their wish getting granted.
History of Kateel Yakshagana Mela
“Kateel Yakshagana Mela” is an institution that has played a prominent role in supporting and spreading this art form relentlessly.
Mr. Subhanna Shanubhogh of Sithla started Kateel Yakshagana Mela in 1867. It is said that he sold part of his property to save this institution and had incurred heavy losses in the bargain.Then in 1915 Mr. Durgi Laxminarayanappayya Madlegaar Padubidri had given it a re-birth, much to the joy of the lovers of Yakshagana in the lands created by Parshurama. Thanks to sacrifices of such selfless leaders of society the art has miraculously managed to survive despite all odds.
Mr. Ganapathi Bhat Kairangala, Mr. Uggappa Shetty, Nadyodiguttu, Mr. Ramanna Rai have played important role in supporting this Mela in the subsequent years.
In1960 Mr. Koragappa Shetty, Kalladi rejuvenated it and this started generating better response and better income for sustenance. In 1964 Mr. Vitala shetty Kalladi started a campaign to get better publicity and thereby helped it get improved standing by investing wisely on crucial aspects like clothes and accessories.
It multiplied in to two wings in 1975 and three mela’s in 1982 and finally into four divisions in 1993. Presently Mr. Vitala Shetty's son Mr. Deviprasad Shetty is the chieftain of these four wings.
Amazing statistics / Incredible demand:
There are 200 artists in 4 sections. Now nearly 10,000 plays are booked in advance for these four Mela’s. One Mela can play around 175 to 195 Yakshagana. Hence four teams can perform around 780 yakshaganas per annum.This implies that the four groups are booked in advanced for a stggeriong 20 years.
Inauguration of this years tour:
Inauguration of this years season was done on 21st of November on a happy and optimistic note.
The trust named “Kateel Sri Durgaparameswari Yaksha Dharma Bhodini CharitableTrust" has donated four buses buses to Yakshagana mela. They have also provided four stages at a cost of Rs 3 lakh. A plan is being mooted now to have the artists as regular salaried employees. The income is planned to be generated by renting the buses and stage equipments.
Mr. Vasudeva Asranna has donated “Gejje” to the artists ( According to customs, annual tour starts with Gejje Pooje).
Mr. Laskminarayana Asranna, Mr. Venkataramana Asranna. Mr. AnanthaPadmanabha Asranna, Mr. Harinarayana Asranna, Mr. Kamalaprasad Asranna, Mr. Deviprasad Shetty Kalladi, Mr. Nalin Kumar Kateel, Guttu family members of Kodethoor Attur, Kodethoor, Attur, Yekkar dignitaries , Mr. Ragavendra Acharya, Dharmabodhini Trust members and devotees of kateel temple were present during the inauguration of this years Mela.
Kateel Yakshagana Mela is now riding on its achievements. After a long struggle and history of many ups and downs it has put up a brave show and is now among most successful Yakshagana troups. Credit must go to all those who have worked for its success and sacrificed their resources,, time and efforts.