The festivals of India are a mirror of the unique cultural diversity of the country. They form a part of India’s rich intangible heritage. One of the really unique festivals happens in Karnataka’s capital - Bengaluru. For 3-days every year the famous Bull Temple Road in South Bangalore literally becomes a sea of groundnuts. This marks the celebration of the Kadalekayi Parishe or Groundnut Festi....
The festivals of India are a mirror of the unique cultural diversity of the country. They form a part of India’s rich intangible heritage. One of the really unique festivals happens in Karnataka’s capital - Bengaluru. For 3-days every year the famous Bull Temple Road in South Bangalore literally becomes a sea of groundnuts. This marks the celebration of the Kadalekayi Parishe or Groundnut Festival, an event that has been celebrated for five centuries now.
Kadalekayi Parishe literally translates as “Groundnut Fair,” and this is indeed a fair in its true sense. The fair is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the region and evokes the simple ethos and gratitude of the farmers reaping the bounty of their crops.
The Kadalekai Parishe happens in the month of November or December, the dates vary as the festival is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar. The festival is celebrated on the last Monday of the month of Karthika according to the Hindu calendar. The stretch of the Bull Temple road near the famed Dodda Ganesha Temple in Basavanagudi and the Bull Temple is marked by farmers selling huge heaps of groundnuts, fresh from the fields, on either side of the road.
The origin of the Kadalekai Parishe dates back to the time of Kempegowda, the founder of Bengaluru. A fascinating story is associated with the genesis of the Kadalekai Parishe.
According to legend, centuries ago, the groundnut farmers of the region were in a quandary. After they had worked hard in the fields and when it was time to reap the harvest of groundnuts, to their dismay, they would find their crop destroyed.
It soon came to their notice that the culprit was a raging bull that went berserk in their fields and damaged their crop. As a solution to their woes, the farmers worshipped and prayed to Nandi, the bull who is the vehicle of Lord Shiva and the guardian of Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva.
As appeasement, the farmers started offering their first crop to an idol of Nandi. This was the beginning of what we know today as Kadaleykayi Parishe. A temple was built over the Nandi Idol by Kempe Gowda, which is famous today as Basavanagudi or Bull Temple. The practice of offering the first crop to Nandi continues to this day.
The initial practice of offering the first crop of groundnut to Nandi, soon metamorphosed into a complete fair, where families would go to buy fresh groundnut and also have a great time in the carnival-like atmosphere that would prevail in the area.
Today, the centuries-old fair still retains its original and earthy flavour and gives a glimpse of the culture of old Bengaluru. Farmers from nearby villages converge on the Bull Temple road. After praying at the Basavanagudi and offering their first crop to the deity, they set up a stall on the roadside.
What You Should Not Miss At The Kadalekayi Parishe
How to reach