A fair grounded in tradition

Heaps of groundnuts dotted the roads near Big Bull Temple, Basavanagudi on Monday on the occasion of the famous ‘Kadalekayi Parishe’ (Groundnut Fair).

The two-day fair organised by the State government, along with the devotees of the temple, attracted thousands of visitors from Bangalore and neighbouring districts on the first day.

The whole area is filled with fresh groundnuts and is decorated with serial lights.
Basavaraj, one of the groundnut sellers, has come all the way from Tamil Nadu to take part in the fair. “I have actively participated every year and earn at least Rs 500 – Rs 1,000 per day. This time, people have turned up in huge numbers compared to last year, which is a big boost for us.” However, a few visitors claimed that the price of the groundnuts had increased this year.

Srinivas T, a regular visitor to the fair, said: “Last time, the price of a litre of groundnuts was Rs 20 to Rs 25, but this time it has increased by Rs 5 to Rs 10 per litre. It is the only deterrent or else the festival is as usual brimming with enthusiasm.”

Besides the nuts, kids’ zone, food stalls, gaming arena among others add zing to the fair.
N Seshadri, retired head priest of the temple, told Deccan Herald: “The legend goes that the Bull Temple was built to appease a bull that used to consume and destroy all the groundnuts and peanuts cultivated in this area.

“It is said that after the temple was built in 1537 by Kempegowda, the bull stopped damaging the crops. To celebrate this, the farmers of Basavanagudi organised a Groundnut Fair (Kadalekai Parishe) near the temple, which continues till today.”
Many cultural programmes have been organised as part of the fair.

Although many food stalls have been set up, it is the poor man’s almond which is the major attraction here.

One of the food stall owners said: “There is not much business for us as groundnuts are the most-sought-after commodity at this fair.”

The vehicular movement came to a standstill in surrounding areas as traffic on Bull Temple Road was diverted to these areas. Many policemen and traffic wardens were deployed to maintain law and order. P R Rao, deputy chief traffic warden, said: “A total of 100 police personnel and traffic wardens have been deployed since morning.

Vehicles coming from Bull Temple Road and the neighbouring Thygarajanagar have been diverted to Hanumanthanagar Road.”

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