Monday, December 10, 2012

Kadlekayi Parishe - When bean town goes nuts

  At any traditional Indian  wedding, the groom and the bride would be busy with the rituals. For people around them   it would be a gala time.  Especially when you have a close set of cousins and fun loving aunts and uncles with whom we share great camaraderie, then these weddings are fun fests where we  relive and make lot of  memories.  That too  my paternal side  of uncles and aunts know not what generation gap is.  My  cousins, aunts and uncles along with my younger sis & parents would be having a gala time today in Bangalore.  My cousin brother is getting married today & We could’nt mark our  presence  as scheduled because we had to prioritize our daughter's exam.  Like me many cousins who stay far away  are also missing this event.

During my course of telecon with my cousin on Saturday, she said they were all planning to go to the “ Kadlekai parishe” after the temple wedding .

“Kadlekai parishe"?  Oh!   I almost forgot about this event that  happened in Bangalore  until she mentioned and as usual the nostalgic person in me traveled back in time.

 Well, I decided I will virtually travel to  the fair while they would be present physically and there it goes..... all about it..... The  Kadlekai parishe  -  a 2 day fair  when  bean town* Bangalore goes nuts.  Kadlekai is ground nut in kannada and parishe is fair and so this is a fair for groundnuts.  This fair that happens on the last Monday of the Hindu month  of Karthik  and this is unique to  Bangalore.

  Much before TV,  Malls, themeparks, resorts ,technology, deadlines and gadgets ruled us,   fairs like these were outings for us.  And this Kadlekai parishe despite the malls, themeparks, and resorts  continues its celebration in Bangalore.

 Every festival has a legend behind it and this fest too has a legend. Before Bengaluru metamorphised into a world class silicon city, this city was divided into  areas like Guttahalli, Mavalli, Dasarahalli, hosahalli, sunkenahalli etc.,( halli in kannada means village).  These areas had lots of groundnut farms around it.  Every full moon day  many  bulls(Nandi) would charge into the groundnut fields around sunkenahalli  and destroy the crops. The farmers who incurred losses then made a plea to Nandi( vehicle of Lord Shiva) to stop this and pledged to offer their first crop of their harvest to the god.  Meanwhile an enraged farmer is said to have killed a bull. Subsequently an idol of Basava ( bull or nandi in kannada) is supposed to have been found close by and this idol was growing rapidly. The farmers nailed an iron peg like trishul  on the idol to stop its growth , which is still visible when you visit this temple today at Basavanagudi, Bangalore. Later, A temple was built around this by the founder of Bangalore, Kempegowda. This temple is one of the oldest temples  and thus this fair is said to be five centuries old and the suburb  came to be known as Basavanagudi. ( Basava is bull and gudi is temple). Today this ancient temple is one of the tourist attraction of Bangalore and this suburb is one of the oldest suburbs.




The huge nandi( bull ) and the trident on the top of the statue   which was hit on the head to stop the growth of the bull idol 



                                                The nut fair along the street pavement

                            
 The fair at night 


To this day, many farmers still keep up the word and the farmers of surrounding towns and villages come with their  harvest to sell the different types of groundnuts.
During this fair, the  Bull temple road, the road named after the temple  is blocked for vehicular traffic and the farmers sell their groundnut harvests on either sides of the roads. The nuts are spiced, salted, fried, roasted, boiled, sugar coated etc.,.  There are also many things that you see  like in any Indian fair along the pavements  like merry go round, play things, cotton candies, toys like flutes, bugles, astrologers with parrots, puffed rice, colorful sugar candies, kitchen items, fancy articles,  and decorative items like terracotta products etc. I remember buying a mud piggy bank here when I was a child.

I have visited this fair in  my childhood and  later during my teen years. My college was close to this place and the bugle rock park behind  the temple was  our favorite hangout for us friends.  One of the other stories that I have heard during these times was that the nut shells  which would be strewn after the fair would be no where around the place the next day. The myth is that the Nandi clears the nutshells.  There is no historical evidence for such stories, but these stories fascinated us and we grew up with such stories.

My paternal cousins are going to relive the memories and today evening may be I will hear more stories  from them.

For us Indians, celebrations never end and we keep celebrating nature, food, land, gods, city etc. In today’s seamless world,  regional fests or fairs like these are what distinguishes one city from another. Don't you think? 

* Bangalore is the colonial name for Benda kalu ooru- meaning the city of boiled beans)

Image courtesy: Google

17 comments:

  1. City of Beans - Ha Ha Ha.

    Living here, I had no clue of Kadlekai Parishe. Next year - must try to visit; this year out of town alas.

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    1. You must experience this once, but be forewarned about the jostling crowd and parking woes :)

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  2. That's an informative post.. Nice history and I must visit it sometime... And speaking of the fun during the occasions, they are memorable! It happens to be a coincidence that I too have just returned from my cousin's wedding and it was full of fun... Never miss them in your future :D

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hari:) . Will try not to miss them, have many weddings up in my family.

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  3. bende kalu oora!! neenga oru nadanamaadum..che..nadamaadum wikipedia!!! kadalaikaaiku enna parichai (exam for nut) nu yosichitay padichaen..kita thatta antha theme thaan :D engenthu pudikareenga intha infolaam!! basanvgudi temple i the went before :))

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    1. exam for nut..LOL idhu nalla irukkay? adhu titlea vechirukkalam... actually yes, the groundnuts are also graded here. WE grew up with these stories, so idellam atthupidi... we had no doraemon or pokemon you see:)

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  4. Very fascinating account of the Fair. You are a versatile person,deeply rooted in our culture.

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    1. Glad you find it fascinating, Ma'am. Thank you :). These posts are just to know about our culture, lest children these days know more about "Tomatino fest" than our own fests.

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  5. Weddings can be great fun, good food, meeting all relatives in one place, all the gossips etc.
    Your information about Bangalore is interesting. Wish you had made it to the marriage.

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  6. you are right about the weddings good food, fun and gossip. I wish i had attended too. Thank you :)

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  7. Very interesting description of the fair:)

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  8. Bangalore a city of boiled beans!! Wow!! Never knew about this!! And your account of Kadlekai parishe is so very informative and interesting!! :)

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    1. yes, benda is boiled in kannada and kalu is beans, ooru is city- that is how the name bangalore originated. How the name originated is another beautiful story, will share some day. Thank you Shilpa:)

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  9. I liked this point you made about how the festival still thrives in the midst of new values systems and preoccupations.
    By the way, I have given a link to your blog, on my 'Dateline Bangalore' blog, which is a compilation of blog posts on Bangalore.

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  10. Welcome here Pradeep:). I saw the link and thank you for sharing :)

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