Bengaluru’s Kadlekai Parishe, a unique groundnut festival
According to legend, the festival dates back to the 16th century, with groundnut farmers paying tribute to the deity of the Bull Temple.
Bengaluru: The Bull Temple Road of the garden city wore a festival look on Tuesday evening, as people without any barriers of age, caste, community or sex, descended on the area for a one-of-a-kind celebration.
There were mountains of groundnuts that adorned the lanes of this south Bengaluru neighborhood to attract them. The ‘Kadlekai Parishe’, celebrated in Bengaluru’s Basavanagudi, is the city’s unique tribute to the humble groundnut.
Every year farmers and traders from Karnataka and the rest of the south come to Bengaluru with truckloads of harvested nuts. At first, the farmers make an offering to the deity of the Bull Temple, a 16th-century temple after which Basavanagudi is named.
According to the farmers in ancient times every full moon, a bull would attack the peanut fields that then covered the Basavanagudi area. Worried farmers turned to the deity, Basava, praying for an end to their woes, and offering tribute to their crops in return. Then-ruler Kempegowda built the Bull Temple, this ritual centered on it, thus marking the beginning of the Kadlekai Parishe.
After offering their tribute at the temple, the farmers then take the remaining crop and sell it on the lanes near the temple.
This year, the festival saw a massive bounty of groundnuts, after a bumper harvest thanks to a good monsoon. This also meant far lower prices than last year, which drew much larger crowds to the festival.
On offer were a diverse variety of groundnuts in raw, roasted and boiled form. The unique fair is an important one in the local calendar and draws multitudes of Bengalureans from across the city.