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Festivals & Fairs


Bengaluru, which is already among the most traveled destinations among the tourists, is at its full splendour during the festivals. The newly earned epitaph of "Silicon Valley of India" has not diluted the vitality with which all the traditional festivals are celebrated here. In a way these festivals provide us with a way to take a break from continuous urbanization and celebrate our very being. Some of the unique festivals celebrated by the people of Bengaluru (Bangalore) are the following:


Karaga

Karaga is Bengaluru's oldest and most important festival and its roots are more than five hundred years old. The festival has been kept alive by the Tigalas community, which worships Draupadi as their most important deity. It is said that Tigalas originated from the sage Angirasa and that most of the south Indian dynasties descended from him. According to another version, the Tigalas descended from the Hindu goddess of fire, Agani. The night long procession during the Karaga festival starts with the reverberating beats of drums and amidst the chants of "Govinda" from the huge crowd that gathers to celebrate the festival. The Karaga itself is a floral structure pyramidal in shape and is carried on the head of the person selected by the Dharmaraya temple priests. That person's wife dons the role of a widow for the period of Karaga celebrations as she is not allowed even to see her husband during the festival. The festivities start with the recitation of the mantras after which a ceremonial flag is hoisted on the banks of Sampangi tank of the city. The bare chested sword brandishing men are an inseparable part of the Karaga celebrations called "Veerakumras". Only boys from the Tigala community can be a Veerakumara who strike their bare chests with the swords during the celebrations and should blood ooze out in the process, it means that the Veerakumara failed to comply with the ritualistic requirement of the process. All the creeds and communities participate during the Karaga festival, which gives a distinctly secular character to the festivities.


Yugadi

The Kannadiga new year day is celebrated as Yugadi and is usually celebrated during later March or early April. Yugadi is considered to be very auspicious for starting something new such as ventures and other activities. It is believed that the world was created in one day by Lord Brahma on this day and that Lord Vishnu appears on earth as an incarnation in the form of "Matsya". The devotees start the festival with a ritual bath which goes on till late in the night. The festival also celebrates the advent of spring. Common people start the preparations of the festival a week in advance. The entrance of the houses are decorated with fresh mango leaves as well as floral designs.


Varamahalakshmi

This celebration is the annual Lakshmi Puja that takes place usually in August. It is believed that the festival started in the Vedic age. On this day, the married women offer garlands of cash, jewelery, and other valuables to the Goddess Lakshmi. They also pray for the prosperity and happiness of their families.

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