Kamsale is unique among the folk arts of Karnataka as it is a folk art started by devotees of Mahadeshwar. A special instrument is used by Deva Guddaru. This art is still alive in Mysuru, Mandya, Kollegala and Nanjangudu areas.
In those days when there was less vehicular traffic, people used to go to Mahadeshwar hill in groups on foot. While traveling through the dense forest like this, they used a pair of Kamsale made of bronze to protect themselves from wild animals. He used to travel with Kamsale in his hand, beating the tala, singing the glories of Shiva and Sharan and stepping to the beat. The art that began thus has retained its vibrancy even as civilisation has grown.
Men are dressed in yellow and red and dance to the beat of Kamsale, usually three to eight people participate in this mela. Devotees believe that Mahadevane is the pioneer of Beesu Kamsale. Devotees perform dances while waving Kamsale Cooperation between team dancers is very important in this art form. If even one dancer misses a tala, the whole dance goes astray.
In sit-singing Kamsale, the main singer is in the center and the artistes will be present around the singer. They tune into the song according to the instrument. It is customary for others to say ‘howdappa howdu’ while following the dialogue of the story. When one artist stops telling a story, another artist continues with another story. Such narration is mixed with prose and verse. Commemorating Madeshwara and other deities at the beginning and end of the story is mandatory.