Friday, November 25, 2011

Peanut festival in Bangalore

The Groundnut (Peanut) Fair, colloquially called the Kadalekai Parishe takes place once a year at Basavanagudi, in close proximity to Gandhi Bazaar. Every year during November-December over 200 vendors come to the city of Bangalore offering for sale tonnes of groundnuts. This photo essay covers the 2011 Fair that took place this week on Nov 21st and 22nd with Bull temple road becoming completely pedestrianised for the two days.

The legend goes that for some years, on every full moon day, a bull would charge into the groundnut fields located here and damage the crop. The farmers then offered prayers to the Nandi Bull to stop this and pledged to offer their first crop. Ever since, farmers and traders come here from the neighbouring villages and towns with cartloads of groundnuts a week in advance and there are visitors to the fair from within the city and from many places nearby.

Groundnut growers, Balloon sellers and the Sugarcane juice vendors

It's late afternoon and the crowds are increasing

Flower sellers in front of the Bull temple

Puffed rice, fried snacks - all part of the fair

Stall selling tapioca chips

Bull temple in the evening with the colourful lights - on the trees, across the road, everywhere!

For anyone who loves blowing bubbles!

It's the third day now and the traffic resumes on Bull temple road - the groundnut vendors will be here for a few more days

The quantum of groundnut has been increasing year after year and in 2010, the business turnover was around 100 million rupees

The numbers of people who come here has increased and last year, more than 0.6 million people participated

The Fair has been organised year after year by the growers themselves and is now also supported by two government institutions - the Department of Muzrai (Religious Endowment) and the Municipal Corporation of Bangalore

The residents of Basavanagudi believe that this tradition must continue and that the groundnut vendors who come from the nearby villages once a year must receive greater support from the city.

As the city of Bangalore expands, the groundnut fields near Bull Temple road move outwards and away from the temple. The relationship between the temple and the farmer still continues. The growth of the residential and the commercial neighbourhood in Basavanagudi has been a recent one, however, the urban fabric now envelops the Bull temple. One wonders if it is the groundnut vendors who are appropriating territory that is not theirs or is it the city that has appropriated land that was historically a place for the groundnut growers to make their offering to Lord Basava?

Read about:
Groundnut fair at Basavanagudi 2010
a Sea of Silence
Udaipur City
Fish market at Sasoon docks


Nisha said...

Peanut festival? :-)
First time I heard of this. Looks interesting ! :-)

Keep the unusual things coming. :-)

....Petty Witter said...

What glorious photos, esecially that time time shot. This festival sounds like a fascinating event and very colourful.

radha said...

Lovely quaint festival. Looks like a rural scene out there in an urban setting!

Anjali said...

Hi Kiran ! Hope you are doing great. This was the first time I made it to the fair even though it is in my neighborhood. Here is my post

Indian Bazaars said...

Nisha: We do seem to have so many festivals being celebrated. Just yesterday, a friend mentioned that there will be a Chitra Kala Santhe (Fair) in January and once again, the roads will be pedestrianised for a couple of days! I'm beginning to love Bangalore for this!

Petty Witter: Thanks.

Radha: It's nice, isn't it?! One of the visitors to the Fair who now lives in Bangalore says he comes here every year only because it reminds him of the Jatra he went to in his village as a child.

Anjali: Thanks for the link! I just read your post and really liked that you share what you shopped! There was so much going on there, that evening, wasn't there?!

Uma Bharath (nee Jagannath) said...

Your lovely post jogged my memory and took me back in time to Basavangudi of the nineties! Thanks for such a vivid description! Not too sure if the rustic character of the fair has remained through all this expansion. I've also heard of the New Year Fair at Cox Town circle (temple), though it may not be on the same scale.

Indian Bazaars said...

Uma: Would love to go to the New Year Fair at Cox town. Thanks for sharing this.