Kadlekai Parishe, Bengaluru’s unique groundnut festival, is back in all its glory on November 21 after two quiet pandemic years. This fair is what brings back the old world charm in Bengaluru every year.
‘Kadlekai Parishe’ also holds an interesting story behind its origin. Few centuries ago, the groundnut farmers in Karnataka’s Sunkenahalli, Mavalli, Dasarahalli and Hosakerehalli villages suffered huge losses after a bull rushed into their farms and destroyed the entire crop. To get rid of the bull, then Bengaluru’s king Kempegowda constructed a massive Basava temple at Bengaluru’s Basavanagudi and from then it has been a ritual for groundnut farmers to offer prayers at the temple with their first harvest.
This festival marks the end of the Karthika Masa, a month on the Hindu Calendar. This festival also marks the beginning of the winter season and there couldn’t be a more festive way to do so. The festival coincides with the Basavanagudi temple car festival, called the Belli Rathotsava. Traditionally, people come from villages to sell them groundnuts. They stay at the venue, and cook and sleep there.
Since the fair consists of farmers from nearby villages, this festival not only encourages people to buy from them, but also to avoid usage of plastic. This helps in protecting the environment and in encouraging Bengalureans to keep supporting farmers.
The last Teppotsava which is when a beautified boat mantapam with the idol of Dodda Basavanna is let float on the lake Kempambudhi Kere was held in 2008. It was then discontinued owing to the bad condition of the lake. “Teppotsava was part of Kadalekayi Parishe for centuries, but was discontinued for many years owing to the bad condition of Kempambudhi Kere. The last time it was held was in 2008, but the lake has been partially rejuvenated and has water now. We are restarting the tradition this year and we are confident we can continue it from here on,” said L.A. Ravi Subramanya, MLA, Basavanagudi.
The government officials said “since the fair is likely to be held after a long gap, it will extend beyond the scheduled days, but the crowd will be 50 per cent less than that of November 29 and 30 (the scheduled days). So until all the stalls are cleared, all restriction measures will be implemented.”