Bengaluru’s famous ‘Kadalekai Parishe’, the annual peanut fair, is all set to begin from November 13th in Basavangudi.‘Kadalekai Parishe’ brings in different varieties of peanuts cultivated across the state, and is a firm favourite in Bengaluru households.
Since the period of Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru, Kadalekai Parishe is being held near Dodda Ganesha and Bull Temple in Basavangudi. Legend has it that every year, Kadalekai Parishe is celebrated on the last Monday of the Hindu month ‘Karthika,’ since 16th century.
Farmers from the surrounding parts of Tumkur, Ramanagara, Channapatna, Chintamani, Hosur, Mysore, and Mandya take part in the fair. Peanut growers from Thiruvannamalai and some parts of neighbouring states too participate in the fair.
Different varieties of peanuts can be found during the two-day fair like three-seeded long and two-seeded, long and short peanuts, as also ones with dark brown and pale pink seeds.
The fair has something to offer for all age groups
Starting from Ramakrishna Ashram Circle to BMS College, a festive atmosphere is seen with stalls selling peanuts, snacks, toys, decorative items, balloons, and much more.
Peanuts being the main attraction, there are carts selling channa (fried gram), puffed rice, bathas (hard candy) and other traditional sweets and savouries. A wide range of toys, rattles, swings, and merry-go-rounds keep the kids engaged. There are other wares on display like lanterns, lamps, painted pots, ceramics, wooden toys and spatulas, colourful ribbons, small toys, jute bags, and also rangoli and mehendi artists.
The legend behind Kadalekai Parishe
Centuries ago, the villages surrounding Basavanagudi were extensively used for the cultivation of peanuts. During the harvest season, the farmers were not able to yield the fruits of their labour as they found that someone had feasted upon their crops at night. It is said that the farmers decided to put an end to the issue, and waited up at night to see who visited their farms to destroy their crop. A huge bull (Basava) caught their sight, and the farmers then were supposed to have felt that the bull was an incarnation of Nandi.
The legend goes on to say that farmers pleaded with the bull to not spoil their crops, and that in exchange, they would build a shrine for himl. They also promised the bull that they would offer their first groundnut or peanut harvest every year to him. Hence the place came to be known as ''Basavanagudi" which means Bull's Temple. And the road is now called Bull Temple road.
Devotees who come to ‘Kadalekai Parishe’ pray to Basava and make sure that they buy peanuts to munch on, on their way back home.
Kadalekai Parishe in Malleshwaram
Starting this year, the ‘Kadalekai Parishe’ is being organised at Kaadu Malleshwara Temple in Malleswaram as well. Kaadu Malleshwara Geleyara Balaga organised the Parishe to commemorate their 100th ‘Hunnimehaadu’ programme. The fair was held on 4th and 5th of November, with around 90 stalls put up in and around 10th Cross of Malleswaram, attracting huge crowds. Farmers from Hosur, Dindigul, Chittoor, and Gudibande took part in the fair.