Bengaluru Karaga on April 3

The historic Bengaluru Karaga at the Sri Dharmaraya Swamy temple will be held on April 3, Karaga Festival Committee Vice President K Lakshman said on Wednesday.

Speaking to media, he said traditionally the festival is held on Chaitra Poornima. This year, A Jnanendra will carry the Karaga during the procession. Flag hoisting to mark the commencement of the festival, will be done on March 26. On the same night at 10 pm, a chariot procession will be flagged off. The festivities will continue till April 5.

Bengaluru Karaga is one of the oldest festivals of the City. Believed to be started during the Mahabharata era, it is practised till date with pomp and gaiety in the heart of the City every year. It is a celebration of the Thigala community and is led by the men of the community. Tales tell that when Pandavas were shown a glimpse of hell, one of the demons Tripurasura was still alive. To kill him Draupdai took the form of goddess Shakti, created an army of soldiers called Veerakumaras and defeated the demon.

After the war, the soldiers wanted her to reside with them. She assured to return annually during full moon of the first month of the Hindu calender and stay with them for a while. The descendant of these soldiers are the Thigala community and they practice this tradition, where a bejewelled man carrying a jug of holy water on his head walks around the area where the soldiers and their family resides, blessing all.

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