King Khandoba’s Hunting Expedition
A film by Guenther Sontheimer and Henning Stegmueller (82 min, color, 1992). This film uses a kind of magic realism to transport the viewer from contemporary Jejuri, a small pilgrim town near Pune that has a fortress-like temple of the God-king Khandoba, through scenes of the Somavati Amavasya (New Moon Monday) festival that celebrates the marriage of Khandoba with the beautiful Dhangar shepherdess, Banu or Banai. It tells the story of Khandoba seeing Banu in a dream and getting smitten by her. Under the pretext of a hunt, he goes in search of Banu and woos her for several years in the guise of an old man. After twelve years, Khandoba rides back to Jejuri with Banu and his subjects cheer the couple and carry them to the King’s temple-palace.