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Sirsi is a town in the Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is a hill station town with a population of around 90,000 people. The town is surrounded by lush green forest and the region is popular for a large number of waterfalls. Hubli is the nearest large city, and the main businesses around the town are mostly subsistence and agriculture based. Adike (Supari) (Areca nut) or (Betel nut) is the primary crop grown in the villages that surround the town, making it one of the major trading centres for Arecanut. The nuts grown here are transported all over India, and also exported abroad. The region is also popular for many other spices like cardamom, pepper, betel leaves and vanilla. The major food crop is paddy and rice is the staple food of the people. The majority of the people in Sirsi speak dialects of Kannada, most notably the Havyaka dialect. A sizeable part of the population, both Hindus and Christians, also speaks Konkani.
Yakshagana (Kannada:ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ, pronounced as yaksha-gaana) is a classical dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka in India mostly popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod district of Kerala. This theater art involves Music, Songs, Dance, Acting, Dialogue, story and unique costumes. While, songs and dance adhere to well established talas very similar to classical Indian dance forms, acting and dialogues are created spntanously on stage depending on ability of artists. This combination of classical and folk elements makes Yakshagana unique from any other Indian art. This would be considered to be a form of opera in western eyes.
Traditionally, Yakshaganas use to start late in the night and run entire night. Bhagavata, the background singer is also the directory of the story and controls the entire proceedings on stage. Bagavatha along with background musicians who play Chande and Maddale forms himmela. The actors who ware colorful costumes and enact various roles in the story forms Mummela.
There are many professional troops in Karnataka. In spite of competition from modern movie industry and TV, these troops are arranging ticketed shows and making profit. Apart from this individuals arrange shows in their village inviting well known professional artists like Sri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde and Kondadakuli Ramachandra Hegde, providing an opportunity for local talents to act with legends.
Yakshagana is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Kannada and Tulu (meaning play). Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India.
Sirsi is famous for the Marikamba temple, built in 1688. The famous 'Marikamba Jaathre', commemorating the goddess Marikamba is held by the temple authorities every alternate year. Nearly a lakh devotees from all parts of the country attend the fair, making it one of the biggest festivals in the region. Close to the Marikamba temple are the temples dedicated to Maha Ganapati and Shri Gopalakrishna.
For those who believe in astrology / fortune telling but do not have a horoscope in place, there is a ritual performed at the Maha Ganapathy temple by the priests there. The seeker has to frame the question that will have a binary outcome (Yes or No; True or False) The priest does the needful and the seeker is told about the verdict from Lord Ganesha. A lot of decisions like buying/selling property, choosing a vocation for higher studies are taken by some people through this ritual
22 km from Sirsi, famous Banavasi hobli is situated. Madhukeshwar temple is situated in Banavasi. The reighning deity Madhukeshwara of Banavasi, derived name from the colour of the linga, which has colour of honey.
Sode/ Sonda/ Swadi is situated at a distance of 22 km from sirsi. The main deity of Sonda is lord Trivikram along concert goddess Rama. Just beside the temple, the famous Vadiraja Mutt is situated.
Sirsi is a popular destination for trekkers and nature lovers alike, owing to its idyllic location in the middle of the Western Ghats. Many viewpoints and mountain peaks provide spectacular views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. The tourist infrastructure has improved considerably in the last decade, owing to an effort by the government to improve tourism in the area. There are many obscure destinations and trekking routes surrounding this region, known mostly only to the people native to the region. The region is also popular for numerous medicinal plants used in the traditional Ayurveda system of medicine, and there are protected reserves near Devimane Ghats for the conservation of medicinal species and biodiversity in the region.
Note:This Content copied from wikipedia.