Common people’s Dassara used to start two days prior to Royal Dassara. The King along with his family used to participate in the common people’s dassara. This dassara was celebrated towards the west from the kingdom at a distance of 5-6 forlong as recorded in Nunij’s travelogue. This has been verified, common people’s dassara was celebrated in Gudi hobbalapura which is located on the bank of Tungabhadra river which is located to the west of Mahanavami Dibba, Hampi. This dassara is still alive in these regions.
Present day Dharamaragudda or Kallaghata (Devaramala) still observes common people’s dassara. This dassara brings the villagers from surrounding regions of Hampi. Pastoralists and farmers can be seen participating along with their deities. The first day of vijayadashami, people assemble by the bank of the river Tungabhadra at Devaramala. From here they take the deities to have a dip in the holy water and then wrap the deities in new clothes. The deities are then carried to Banni tree. This tree is called “Devara banni”. People take the leaves of this tree and they distribute it in their village. This ritual spreads the message of equality. In accordance with this ritual a complete 9 days of programme has been documented.
Surrounding Hampi, in the left bank of Tungabhadra there is another major deity, called Durgamma temple which is located in Anne Gundi. Here also dassara festival of common people is followed.
Banni Tree: Banni tree video (01:22 sec)