Basavanagudi Festival, also known as Groundnut Festival, which started in the year 1537 AD, has a legendary origin story. The peanut fields in those times were savagely destroyed by the raging bull at night. The roving bull that ravaged the cultivation farms, was claimed to be the Lord Shiva’s vehicle, Nandi. Kempe Gowda who fortified the Indian state of Karnataka decided to appease the sacred Hindu demi-god, and dedicated a temple to ‘Dodda Basava’ (popularly known as The Nandi Temple) on top of the Basavanagudi hillock and installed the sacred bull. As a ritual, farmers offer prayers to Nandi and follow the auspicious ritual of offering the first harvest of groundnuts to Him. There is no fixed date for the festival but it usually held in November or early December. Held on the last Monday of Kartika month each year, farmers in large numbers congregate at the Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi. Farmer’s layout heaps of unshelled groundnuts, roasted groundnuts to even boiled peanuts, in the area surrounding the Bull Temple, and wait for their farm produce to get sold off. In this IT city of India, people flock to the Bull temple road each year, and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere, with lush greenery, handcrafted artifacts, trinkets, candies, clothing, popular snacks like Chilla Bonda, and the sinfully delightful, Mysore Pak. This fun and frolic place is a no-brainer to locate. Just one and a half km from the National College Metro station, there is no way one can make any excuse to miss out on the Kadalekai Parishe special pooja and prayers, followed by a motley of activities in this annual groundnut fair.
Low-key Kadlekai Parishe – a deviation that fits the bill of the “new normal”:
An exceptional detour has been witnessed this year from the legacy of usual glory and majestic grandeur celebration of the famous Groundnut Festival, popularly known as Kadlekai Parishe, in Bengaluru. In 2020, the celebrations of most festivals have been radically low-key as Corona frenzy continues to tenaciously grip the country, and the fear of COVID-19 spread continues. Basavanagudi Festival follows the same route. This year, it is expected to span from 13th December 2020 to 16th December 2020 (albeit with the ground sale restricted to the temple premises). But in the light of COVID-19, Basavanagudi Kadalekai Parishe, the two-day fair that welcomes the first yield of the groundnut crop, is likely to be shorn of the grandiose, which was the hallmark of Bull Temple Festival. In the wake of pandemic implications, the sight of groundnut jam in the streets of Basavanagudi in South Bengaluru, would be a low-key 2-day ritual.