What do you think was the significance of the rituals associated with the Mahanavami Dibba?

The Mahanavami Dibba was the king’s palace in Vijayanagara though there is no definite evidence. It had a distinctive structure. It had the largest enclosures and an impressive platform called as ‘the audience hall’. It was surrounded by high double walls with a street running between them.

There were many rituals associated with the Mahanavami Dibba. Literally Mahanavami meant the great ninth day of the ten-day, Hindu festival during the autumn months of September and October. This period had Dussehra in the northern India, Durga Pooja In Bengal and Navaratri or Mahanavami in peninsular India. The rulers of Vijayanagara displayed their power and prestige on this occasion.

The ceremonies performed on this occasion included:

a. Worship of the image.

b. Worship of the State horse

c. The sacrifice of buffaloes and other animals.

d. The main attractions of this occasion were:

1. Dances

2. Wrestling matches

3. Processions of caparisoned horses, elephants, chariots and soldiers.

All these ceremonies had deep symbolic meanings. Most of them were presented before the king and his guests. On the last day of the festival, the king inspected his army as well as the armies of the Nayaks. He also accepted rich gifts from the Nayaks. There was a grand ceremony in an open ield.