Every locality and almost every temple organises music and cultural festivals in honor of
’s best known God, whose is
touted as an ideal King and whose Kingdom symbolised an ideal State. India
Ramanavami arrives in April and the onset of summer is soothed by music that resonated for almost a month. The Ramanavami celebrations have attracted national and international attention and musicians and singers vie with each other to participate in the celebration of Rama.
The Rama Seva Mandali of Chamarajpet and the Mandalis of Seshadripuram, Shankarapuram, N.R. Colony and other areas have attined cult status. These mandalis invite a host of Carnatic, Hindustani and a few other other streams of music and art such as Harikatha, Janapada, Gamaka to exhibit their talents.
However, what many do not know is that the first public and perhaps popular rendition of Ramotsava were not held by these mandalis but by a saint-mendicant in the early years of the 20 the century.
This mendicant, who was widely popular throughout India for his devotion to Rama and his celebration of Rama as an ideal King and a God who embodied all that is good and virtuous, first came to Bangalore in 1908 and started the Ramotsava celebrations.
The mendicant settled down at the
near the almost dry Dharmambudhi
tank. The locality where the Krishna Temple Krishna temple
was situated was called Tuilasi Thotha. Tulasi is a Kannada word and it is the
holy Basil plant and Thotha means grove or garden. There were several temples
such as the Krishna Temple, the Dharmaraya
Temple, the Kote
Venkataramanaswamy Temple, the Venugopalaswamy
apart from the Annamma temple and since they all needed Basil leaves for
regular worship, a Tulasi Thotha had come up in the area which today is
occupied by Chicka Lalbagh. Anjeneya Temple
The Tulasi Thotha was surrounded by several chatras or halls which provided shelter to the poor and needy and also to those who visited
for a short stay. Since the Railway Station as just a few hundred yards away,
Tulasi Thotha always looked busy and it had a fairly large floating population. Bangalore
The saint-mendicant whose name was Tulasi Ramadas came to
1908 and he settled down at the 15th century
in Tulasi Thotha. A leading citizen of Krishna Temple Bangalore
then and four times president of the municipality and Mayor of Bangalore and a councilor
for 36 years, Rao Bahadur Lokasevasakta B. K. Garudachar had just taken
interest in developing the Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple
( ) at Tulasi Thotha Balepet. Krishna Temple
Rao Bahadur was also one of the founding members of the State Bank of
and he also built a free hostel in the temple premises. The sincerity and
dedication of the Rao Bahadur attracted Ramadas who made the temple his home
and commenced the Ramotsava celebrations. Mysore
Though the main deity of this temple is Lord Krishna, Ramadas installed the idol of Rama and soon it came to be known as
. The antiquity of the temple is a
mystery and while some say it was built by the Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar in
1844, others say it is much older. Rama Temple
Ramadas saw the
Krishna temple and he installed and consecrated the idol
of Rama there itself on April 2, 1908 and began the Ramotsava celebrations. Since
he was better known as Tulasi Ramadas, the area came to be known as Tulasi Thotha,
says one legend about the name of the place. The other story is that there was
a fairly big Tulasi Vana or Thotha, hence, the name.
Even today, the temple is maintained by the successors of Rao Bahadur Garudachar who died sometime in 1948. There are a few houses in the courtyard for the people who work in the temple premises.