‘Gorehabba’: Massive cow dung fight marks end of Deepavali festival in this K’taka village

12:33 PM Nov 08, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

To mark the end of the popular Hindu festival of Deepavali, a village in Karnataka has a unique ritual that is not for the faint of heart. Yes! during the final day of the festival of lights, residents of Gumatapura joyful crowds pelt snowball-sized cow faeces at each other.


Similar to Spain’s “La Tomatina” — the eccentric tomato-hurling celebration of the local fruit — residents of Gumatapura instead fling snowball-sized wads of cow dung.

The Gorehabba festival begins with the afternoon collection of “ammunition” from cow-owning homes in the village, which lies on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The manure is brought to the local temple on tractor trolleys, before a priest performs a blessing ritual.

After that, the dung is dumped in an open area — with men and boys wading in to prepare their weapons for the battle ahead.


Boys fling cow dung each other to mark the start of the annual Gorehabba festival.

People flock to Gumatapura from far-flung cities each year, and for those in attendance, the messy battle is as much about fun as it is about the perceived health benefits.

“If they have a disease, it will get cured,” said Mahesh, a farmer at Saturday’s festival.

In Hinduism, the cow is a sacred symbol of life and the earth, and for centuries Hindus have used cow dung for prayer rituals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed for greater protection of the animals, and many states have long banned their slaughter for meat.

(With inputs from AFP)


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.