Kadlekai Parishe, Bengaluru's fabled peanut fair, now open

Kadlekai Parishe, Bengaluru's fabled peanut fair, now open

The city's annual peanut fair, celebrated since the 16th century, formally opens on Monday, but celebrations have already begun.

Kadlekai Parishe, as it is famous, brings peanut varieties from many places to the city.

Historians say it is a festival unique to Bengaluru. It opens on the last Monday of the Hindu month of Karthika, and goes on for about a week.

Farmers from Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Channapatna, Chinthamani, Hosur, Mysuru, and Mandya traditionally take part in the fair. In recent years, growers from Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu arrive in big numbers for the celebration.

The varieties on offer include three-seed, two-seed, long and short peanuts, as also those with dark brown and pale pink seeds.

For all ages

Starting from Ramakrishna Ashram Circle and going all the way to BMS College, a festive atmosphere pervades Basavanagudi, with stalls selling peanuts, snacks, toys, decorative items, balloons, and more.

Peanuts are the main attraction, but carts also sell channa (fried gram), puffed rice, batthas (hard candy) and traditional sweets and savouries.

A wide range of toys, rattles, swings, and merry-go-rounds keep the kids engaged.

Other wares on display are lanterns, painted pots, ribbons, jute bags, and rangoli and mehandi devices.

In Malleswaram

Starting this year, Kadlekai Parishe is being celebrated at the Kaadu Malleshwara temple in Malleswaram as well.

The fair was held on November 4 and 5, with about 90 stalls coming up around 10th Cross. Besides farmers from Karnataka, those from Hosur, Dindigul, Chittoor took part in the fair.

Kaadu Malleshwara Geleyara Balaga hosted the fair to commemorate their 100th 'Hunnime Haadu' musical event.

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Legend of a hungry bull

Centuries ago, villages surrounding Basavanagudi, now in the heart of Bengaluru, were extensively used for peanut cultivation.

Farmers were not able to harvest their crops because of night raids on their fields.

They waited one night to see who was destroying their crop.

A magnificent bull (Basava) came into sight. The awed farmers saw it as Nandi, Shiva's bull.

The legend goes that the farmers pleaded with the bull not spoil their crops, and in exchange, offered to build a shrine for him.

They also promised to offer their first harvest of the year to him.

A huge stone Nandi stands on the spot today. A temple came up, and was called Basavanagudi, or bull temple. Bull Temple Road is a famous Bengaluru location.

Devotees who visit the temple pray to Basava and munch on peanuts on their way back home.

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