‘Dhendlo’- paying respect to the cowherd

Devotee feeding the cow ‘Polle’

Every year on the third day of Diwali, the villagers of Amona celebrate a unique tradition called ‘Dhendlo’. They worship Lord Krishna, a god associated with pastoral life and cowherds. The villagers also worship cows and in every courtyard in Amona one can find a miniature cowshed constructed using cow dung. Devotees also build an idol of Krishna out of material including hay and leaves and the ‘kareet’ fruit is used to symbolise the cows. Replicas of cooking utensils fashioned from cow dung can also be seen in this cowshed. Following the rituals, the villagers prepare special food and serve it on banana leaves far into the fields or near the river, where they dine together. This ritual is followed to enact what Lord Krishna would do when he was asked to take care of the cows. The cattle are decked up and imprinted with rings of rice batter and they are then fed Polle, pancakes made from rice and wheat. Later in the evening the cowshed is removed and a Tulsi vrindavan is constructed on the same spot. The next day this vrindavan is broken down and this is made into cow dung cakes. This also paves the way to the season of making cow dung cakes.

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