The Kadalekai Parishe is the annual two-day festival of groundnuts which is celebrated in Bengaluru. As per legends, the festival has been celebrated from the year 1537 CE when Kempegowda, the founder of the city built a temple dedicated to Basava or Nandi atop a small hillock which evolved to become one of the most important landmarks of the city.
The temple is named as Dodda Basavanna Gudi which in translation means Big Bull temple and the locality where the temple is located is called Basavangudi. The groundnut festival attracts people not only from different parts of the city but also from across the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
To Tame The Rampaging Bull
Basavangudi was a place which was a cluster of a number of villages such as Sunkenahalli, Guttahalli, Mavalli, Dasarahalli and several others where groundnut was cultivated. The farmers regularly faced problems with a rampaging bull which would step into their fields every full moon day.
With no other option left, the farmers prayed to Nandi to bring an end to the destruction and pledged that they would offer their first yield to the deity. It is said that the farmers found an idol of Nandi in a farmland and began offering prayers to it; the villagers noticed that the idol began to grow rapidly and had to nail an iron peg on its head to control its growth, which still can be seen in the form a trident.
Adhering to their word, the farmers offered their first yield to the deity in a very grand manner which soon evolved into a huge fair. It is believed that Nandi would return the day after the fair in the form of a bull and eat all the groundnuts which were left over. Thus the festival took its birth which showcases the true spirit and culture of the city.
When Is It Held?
The fair is held as per the Hindu calendar month of Karthika (November), on the last Monday of the month. During this time the temple place is filled with farmers, traders and people who come in large numbers to sell groundnuts as well as to buy them. The event is scheduled to happen on the 13th November this year, unlike previous years this year there are is one more venue to event in Malleshwaram.
One can find groundnuts here in all possible shapes and sizes; while some are sold raw, there are other mediums as well by which groundnuts are sold to the consumers. The entire locality surrounding the temple wears a festival look during the two day fair and is thronged by a large number of people from all walks of life.
What started as just a ritualistic offering of groundnuts to Nandi has now transformed into a huge carnival which not only sells groundnuts but many other products that one would come across in a typical temple festival.
Dodda Ganapathi Temple
Located adjacent to the Bull temple is the Dodda Ganapathi temple. The shrine houses a mammoth monolith idol of Ganapathi, which is said to have grown to its current size and which measures 18 ft in height and 16 ft in width. During the Kadalekai Parishe, the idol is decorated with butter which attracts a large number of visitors apart from other festival days such as Ganesha Chaturthi, Ugadi, Maha Shivarathri, etc.