A fair to remember

Old tradition

The two-day carnival, which was centred around the Bull Temple, saw devotees and groundnut  growers from all over Karnataka and its neighbouring states offering the first groundnut yield to the Deity Bull here.


Heaps of groundnuts in all shapes and sizes on the entire stretch of Bull Temple Road and the adjacent roads were a common sight. Several thousands of people visited the place to offer prayers, buy groundnuts or any of the myriad objects and to get a glimpse of this old fair.

According to mythology, a bull used to rush to the groundnut fields in Sunkenahalli (now Basavanagudi) and damage the crop on every full moon day during 15th century. Then, the farmers started to offer prayers to Basava (Nandi) to stop the bull and pledged to offer him their first crop. The six-century-old tradition continues even today by welcoming the vendors to sell their groundnuts on carts or on the sidewalk.

There were many stalls selling inexpensive jewellery, bangles, toys, domestic goods, snacks, sweets, fruits, balloons, horns, bubbles and so on. Sheshanarayana, a nearby resident had offered puja to Dodda Basavanna early in the morning to avoid standing in big queues afterwards.

“I finished darshan in the morning and am planning to my bring family in the evening for shopping. The whole stretch of Bull Temple Road will be so crowded that one need not walk as others push you forward,” he laughed.

For Bhagyamma, a vendor of porcelain items, it was twenty-sixth consecutive year that she has been putting up her stall there. “I pushed aside all my other work and rushed to Basavanagudi a day before ‘Kadlekai Parishe’ to book a space for my stall. I have made good profit in two days, hence plan to keep my shop open for two more days,” she said.
 
Rekha and her friends were busy shopping for bangles and accessories. “We are happy that we can enjoy this fair thoroughly thanks to our semester holidays. We have tasted all varieties of groundnuts. Moreover, the fancy items have also caught our attention,” confessed Rekha, a BA student in VVN College.

It’s the eating joints that have made a huge profit out of this annual fair. Pradeep, the owner of ‘Halli Thindi’ said that his eatery was prepared to cater to the needs of a big crowd.

“We had opened a counter outside the shop for the convenience of the customers. The food items made out of groundnuts sold like hotcakes. Different varieties of sweets, shenga rotti, kadle usali, benne ragi rotti and other items were in great demand. We are happy as we did brisk business,” he informed.

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