Famous 2-Day Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe Festival

Famous 2-Day Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe Festival

Kadalekai Parishe (Groundnut Fair) is a festival that has been celebrated for almost 500 years annually near the Bull Temple in Basavanagudi, Bangalore.

Famous 2-Day Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe Festival

Kadalekai Parishe is an integral part of Bengaluru’s identity and connects the city to its past. It was as if we were caught in a sea of humanity, as we manoeuvred ourselves towards the epicentre of all the activity, the Kadlekai Parishe of Bangalore on Bull Temple Road.

For the uninitiated, this is an annual groundnut fair that has been organized in the Silicon City of Bangalore since its inception, way back in the year 1537. As we became one with the crowd and moved effortlessly with its collective momentum, nostalgic memories of visiting the groundnut fair as kids, came flooding to the mind.

Back then it was all about buying a simple, pinwheel, “Girgitle,” in Kannada, and being fascinated by its rotation, it was about getting to eat an assorted variety of sweets and savouries, and of course bingeing on groundnuts, fresh from the farm. Bangalore despite its status as a global city and brand is still connected to its roots, and nowhere is this more evident than in the various local festivals and events that it celebrates. Be it the Bengaluru Karaga, the St Mary’s Feast, or the Kadalekai Parishe.

Groundnut Fair Bangalore – An Unbroken Tradition

Famous 2-Day Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe Festival

What is the history of the Kadalekai Parishe of Bangalore? When was it started? When is it held? Who started it? These are questions that would naturally spring to mind about this unique fair or Mela and Jathre in the vernacular. Read on to learn all about the Groundnut Fair of Bangalore.

Visiting Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe

Bull Temple Basavanagudi Bangalore
Bull Temple Basavanagudi Bangalore

It was afternoon when we reached the edge of the Bugle Rock Garden. The narrow road that connects Bull Temple Road with Gandhi Bazar, known as Bugle Rock Road, on which the BMS Women’s College is located had been barricaded by the Police and traffic stopped. It was now a pedestrian-only road. The same was the case with a large section of the busy Bull Temple Road.

As we walked on the Bugle Rock Road, we saw vendors vying with each other to grab prime space on the road to set up their wares. Already both sides of the road were flush with temporary stalls selling their colourful ware, which ranged from plaster of Paris busts and statues to bangles and imitation jewellery, not to forget the stalls selling eatables, and of course the ubiquitous groundnut vendors.

By the time we traversed the Bugle Rock Road and reached the Bull Temple Road where we took a left turn towards the Dodda Ganesha and the Bull Temple, the crowd had transformed from a drizzle into a deluge of sorts. The Bull Temple Road had been divided into two lanes, and on either side of the two lanes sat farmers selling ground nuts. Rubbing shoulders with them were other vendors selling all sorts of items ranging from huge Papads, to show pieces, to cotton candy, and much more.

Bengaluru Kadalekai Parishe

Of course, our attention was on the groundnut vendors, the farmers, who were here to sell their groundnut crop directly to the consumer, without any middlemen. They measured out the groundnut in large measuring cups which eager customers filled into their bags. It was fascinating to think that a similar ritual must have been followed by the forefathers of these farmers, hundreds of years ago, and the legacy continues to this day.

Nothing much had changed, at least for these simple farmers. the only visible change was the QR Code sticker that was prominently displayed by all the farmers. Payments had gone digital for them too! A big shout-out to Digital India.

Kadalekai Parishe In Bangalore

There were about 700 stalls, half of these were selling groundnuts, of different shades and varieties. Some of the varieties of groundnut were Sana, Samrat, Salem, and Dappa Kai. About half of the stalls sold assorted items including textiles, household items, and fast food. Farmers from around Bengaluru, and even from the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, were present with their produce.

Basavanagudi Kadalekai Parishe And Dodda Ganesha Temple

Dodda Ganapathi Bangalore - City's Presiding Deity
Dodda Ganapathi, Bangalore

The epicentre of the Kadalekai Parishe In Bangalore is the Big Bull Temple of Basavanagudi on the Bull Temple Road. However, the adjacent Dodda Ganesha Temple is also a big part of the Groundnut Festival. The deity is beautifully decorated, and groundnut abhisheka is done to it.

The momentum of the surging crowd pushed us towards the doors of the Dodda Ganesha Temple, and we squeezed into the temple to have a glimpse of Ganesha, the deity to whom one needs to pray before any venture. We moved along propelled by the crowd bowing in reverence at the deity and were out of the temple in the twinkling of an eye. We then moved towards the Big Bull Temple.

Big Bull Temple At The Centre of Kadalekai Parishe

Big Bull Temple
Big Bull Temple

The Big Bull Temple is the epicentre of the Kadalekai Parsishe. Every year on the last Monday of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika, thousands of farmers arrive from across the state and beyond and pray to Nandi, the presiding deity, offering their first crop. Thousands of oil lamps are lit, and the Kadalekai Parishe takes place.

Kadalekai Parishe Festival

A huge queue led to the Gopuram of the Bull temple, people waited patiently for their turn to have a glimpse of the monolithic bull, affectionately called Basavanna. Some of the luckier ones, or those who had arrived earlier walked out of the temple, with satisfied expressions and clutching the Prasad they had received in their hands. The steps leading to the temple were filled with people either going up towards the temple or coming down.

A temporary amusement park of sorts had sprung up next to the Bull temple, and kids were gleefully enjoying a ride on a Merry-go-round. In many ways, the Merry-go-round represented the relentless movement of time as it went round and round relentlessly. Almost 5 centuries had gone by, and the city of Bangalore had hung on to its roots in the form of the Kadalekai Parishe.

Kadalekai Parishe History | Basavanagudi Kadelekai Parishe

Bull Temple Basavanagudi Bangalore

It is believed that the Bengaluru Kadalekai Parishe is almost as old as the city itself. The inception of the Kadalekai Parishe is traced to the time of Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore. The first edition of the annual groundnut fair is believed to have been held in the year 1537. Why is Kadalekai Parishe held and what is the story behind it? An interesting legend is associated with this practice.

Kadalekai Parishe Story – Legend Of The Raging Bull

Kadalekai Parishe Story

Hundreds of years ago, the farmers who cultivated groundnuts, were troubled by a raging bull. It used to cause havoc in their fields resulting in wanton destruction of their crop. The bull used to come on every full moon day and leave a path of destruction behind. Once the farmers got together, and chased the bull, which ran up a hillock, and then to the amazement of the farmers, disappeared into thin air!

However, the villagers were surprised to see an idol of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. They were awestruck to find the idol growing in size, and they fixed an iron peg on its head with a nail to stop its growth. After confabulating among themselves, the farmers concluded that there was a divine hand in the events that had unfolded. They vowed to henceforth offer their first crop to Basavanna or Nandi. In the course of time, a temple was built for the Nandi idol.

In terms of history, a temple was built to Nandi by Kempegowda in 1537, the temple today is known as Basavanagudi or Big Bull Temple. It is believed that the raging bull stopped its destruction of the crops after the temple was built.

The grateful farmers have been ceremonially offering the first crop of Kadalekai or groundnut since then to the Nandi deity at the temple. This practice evolved into the famous Kadalekai Parishe, which today is much more than groundnuts, it is more like a carnival of sorts.

Kadalekai Parishe Location

Kadalekai Parishe Location

Kadalekai Parishe is a 2-day festival with the main fair being held on the last Monday of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. Traditionally the fair starts a day earlier on Sunday and this is known as Chikka parishe (Small Fair), while the main one held on Monday is known as Dodda Parishe (Big Fair). Click here for the route map.

The Kadalekai Parishe is held in the vicinity of the Big Bull Temple and the Dodda Ganesha Temple. It is spread over a stretch of the Bull Temple Road, in the Basavanagudi area of South Bangalore. The stalls usually stretch from 3rd Cross N R Colony, right to the Ramakrishna Matha on Bull Temple Road.

Kadalekai Parishe Photos

Kadalekai Parishe Photos
Kadalekai Parishe Photos

Here are some vignettes that we have captured from the Kadalekai Parishe in Basavanagudi. We are sure that these images will inspire you to visit the Groundnut Fair.

Kadalekai Parishe Festival FAQ

Kadalekai Parishe Festival

What are the Kadalekai Parishe Timings?
The Kadalekai Parishe is held from the morning hours till late in the night.

What are the Kadalekai Parishe Dates?
The Kadalekai Parishe is held on the last Monday of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika, which usually is in December.

What is the Kadalekai Parishe Last Date?
The Kadalekai Parishe last day is the last Monday of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika.

What is Kadalekai Parishe meaning?
Kadalekai Parishe means, “Groundnut Fair.”

When is Kadalekai Parishe?
Kadalekai Parishe is held every year on the last Monday of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika.

For how many days Kadalekai Parishe is held?
The Kadalekai Parishe is held for two days. The second day is the main one and falls on the last Monday of Kartika Masa. This is generally referred to as Dodda Parishe, while the day preceding that is known as Chikka Parishe.

Where does the Groundnut Festival in Bangalore take place?
The Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe or Groundnut Fair takes place near the Dodda Ganapathi temple and the Bull Temple in the Basavanagudi area of South Bangalore.

Is there any other festival similar to Kadalekai Parishe Basavanagudi in Bangalore?
Kadalekai Parishe is also organized at the famous Kadu Malleshwara Temple in Malleshwaram and is known as Malleswaram Kadalekai Parishe.

The Kadalekai Parishe is a part of the cultural heritage of Bangalore. It is a tribute to the city and its citizens that despite its growth as a modern metropolis, the city stays connected to its roots with festivals and fairs like the Kadalekai Parishe.

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Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe

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Famous 2-Day Bangalore Kadalekai Parishe Festival

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