Views: Hampi, Karnataka, India by Narayanan Devarajan

Girija Kalyana

by: Prof. Chaluvaraju, Kannada University, Hampi.

Girija Kalyana, is about the wedding of the most popular mythical character Shiva and his cosmic mate Parvathi who is known by the name Girija, as she is the daughter of King Giriraja according to this story cited from Shiva Purana. By closer introspection of Hampi's local folklore, culture, people and celebrations, we see different and eminent scenes and events from the story of Girija Kalyana to be enbodied in their lifestyle. the most important fact being, these stories are not just created, but is in the essence of the local folklore, culture, festivals, people and thus embracing the philosophy behind. The local geographical/topographical details of Hampi and it's tradition is cited in many Puranas. Namely, Shiva Purana, Vaishnava Purana, Jaina Purana, Sthala Purana and Janapada Purana. The subject of our Interest “Girija Kalyana” the story is an excerpt from the Shiva Purana, hence making this the most important relation to Hampi.

Harihara's Girijakalyana Manuscript - Original

Girija Kalyana, as the name suggests is the story about the penance undertaken by Girija or Parvati and the ordeals faced by her in the effort to marry Shiva. The epic wedding of Shiva and Paravati is followed after the “Manmatha Vijaya” or annihilation of Manmatha who tries to break Shiva's intense “Tapas” or meditation. Also, these stories have been adapted with the local folklore, many events from the story are quite famous which are verses sung by the folk singers mostly passed down through ancestors, through only speech without any written document. in particular we have observed that Girija Kalyana the event, is celebrated as festivals in each of the local communities annually, and thus showing this to be a important social knot between the local population allowing for the culture to grow and evolve. Harihara was a famous Kannda poet and writer in the 12th century, observing the local culture, folk, temple celebrations and other factors from the ancient texts, authored “Girija Kalyana” which is a Champu­Kavya a mixture of prose and poetry.Also, the local folk and other arts like theater have embraced this story and culture, and allowed for it's evolution and existence until this 21st century. The street singers, and folk artists have sung excerpts from Girija Kalyana, passing it over to their new generations, mostly through speech. These stories reflect the local community and cultural coherence. To conclude, Throughout history of Hampi, we can see the downfall of empires like “Vijaynagara empire”, even societies “Vaishnava Samaaja”, “The Rashtrakoota samaaja”. But still we see excerpts from ancients texts and stories, embedded into common peoples lifestyle, culture and society and thus allowing for everlasting preservation. With further research and study, we find such a close relation to “Girija Kalyana” and to the local societies. Like how Hampi is famously referred to as the Mythical city of “Kishkindha”, we now can see this place with new light, as region of “Girija Kalyana” too.