Heard About Bhoota Kola? If Not, Look Here

In the ancient world too, people believed that some of the Gods were too strict. However, pleasing them, brought a lot of prosperity and, on the other hand, hurting the sentiments of the God brought calamities. The above concept could still be seen in modern Indian believes which is shown in one of the rituals known as Bhoota Kola.

bhoota kola dance
Via – 4.bp.blogspot.com

Bhoota means spirits and Kola mean “play” in Tulu language which is spoken in southern Karnataka. It is basically a spirit worship ritual celebrated by Tulu speaking people in southern Karnataka and some of the Kerala districts. According to these people, spirits are neither good nor bad. Each family has one spirit as their deity, and they do worship them annually by this ceremony. Kola is also called “nema” which means the ceremony. The hierarchy of the family heads sponsor these celebrations. They do believe that these spirits protect the village from calamities and make them prosperous and the anger of these souls could bring them bad luck. This is even similar to the African culture.

Read also: Get To Know About The Teeth Archer Of India

ceremony bhuta kola
Via – c1.staticflickr.com

The ceremony

The Kola takes place in a pandal, where the deity’s idols cover one side, images and other objects of worship and the devotees comprise the other side. This ceremony goes from the dusk to dawn. It is actually a mixture or a complete package of literature, dance, and even theatrical elements. These Daivas or Bhoota or spirits are performed by professionals who belong to the lower castes of the society. They have experience in conducting Kola and are dedicated. They are paid for it too. The scheduled tribes’ people who invoke the Bhoota or spirit, is dressed in a very different costume and with a different makeup.

They dance thinking themselves as the spirits. It is believed that a soul actually enters the dancer’s body for a fraction of seconds which gives the performer the energy to perform till the dawn. They can foresee the future at that time. There will be singers with their instruments who will narrate the story of the spirit and its origin. These narrations have nowadays being sung to the tunes of the movie songs which makes it more pleasant. There are dances done by the invoker. Then there are role plays of incidents and all this goes on until dawn. It is said that these scheduled tribes who acts as the invoker may give boon or bane and can even expect any type of service from the family to keep the spirit calm and benevolent.

Read also: Do You Know About This Famous Man And His Long Name?

Costumes, makeup, and their preparations

The pandal is beautifully decorated with a variety of flora. The deity has to be placed in the shrine which is to be decorated with the plantain and coconut leaves and flowers. It also contains an altar made by the coconut palm leaves and tender banana plants. The performer of the Daiva or Bhoota or Bhuta usually wears a skirt of tender palm leaves which is easily flammable, which helps them to perform acts using fire. The person is also made to bath in plant extracts which will purify him before he acts as a spirit. The makeup done is also unique.

dance costumes makeup preparations
Via – www.nammabhoomi.com

Variations in Bhoota Kola

The spirits and folk deities worshiped and the dances performed in Kola can be classified into the following categories:

The spirits of natural origin: Annappa Panjurli (boar), Mula mysondaya (buffalo).

Goddesses: Varte (Kallurty)

Attendants Lord Shiva: Virabhadra

Incarnations of Puranic Gods: Vishnumurti

Spirits of cultural heroes: Jarandaya, Kodamandaya, Babbarya, Abbage Darage

Being in the 21st century and hearing about these rituals, which are still in practice is hard to believe. This is still one of the central rituals of the Tulu-speaking community people. With the various changes in the economy like globalization and all other things, even these routines are being modified in many ways like the narrations are turned into songs by adding tunes. So will this ritual continue or not will only be decided with the passage of the time and mentality of the people of these particular communities.

image source

Follow us



Everything There Is To Know About Coincidences

There is a strange, unexplainable phenomenon that plagues the stock market. It’s called the ‘Ting Hai Effect'. There is a huge and a very...
Murlikant Petkar

The Untold Story Of India’s First Gold Medallist In The Paralympics: Murlikant Petkar

Murlikant Petkar has won the first Paralympic gold medal for India. He has also set a world record while doing so. He has a bullet...

Interstellar- An Awe-Inspiring Tale Of Science And Faith

After back to back blockbusters like The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and Prestige, with Interstellar, Christopher Nolan once again managed to amaze us. This...

How to Handle Protein Deficiency in a Vegetarian Diet?

Remember that one time when you got really inspired and wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle? C’mon we have all tried doing that at...

Horrific Deaths And Punishments In Greek Mythology

There is a vast majority of horrific deaths that took place in Roman and Greek mythology. Many of these deaths were caused by very...

Recent post

Blood Curdling Lore Of The Black Eyed Children

Imagine you're lounging at your place and in the middle of the night, out of nowhere, you hear a knock on the door. You...
Why Does Food Actually Makes Us Happy?

Why Does Food Actually Makes Us Happy?

A lingering question to every food lover: does food actually makes us happy? Have you ever had food without feeling that ‘hunger’ sting in...
new mom in your life

6 Thoughtful Gifts for the New Mom in Your Life

If your wife, sister, or friend has welcomed a new bundle of joy into her life, there are many changes happening that she may...

The Man Who Saved The Lives Of 2 Million Babies

At the first glance, James Harrison would seem just like any other ordinary guy, who loves his daughter and grandchildren, collects stamps, and travels...

Here Is Why Yummy Round Pizzas Are Delivered In Square Boxes

To all the pizzaphiles out there, you cannot disagree on the fact that there's no season for not eating pizza. Craving for pizza is...

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.