Indian rituals and customs never fail to surprise me. In India we have a cattle fair, a place where a bullet motorcycle is worshiped, a day when you can put your proxy for not praying through the year…the list of interesting festivals and fairs is endless.
Just the other day while I was chatting with my friend and a co-fauji wife Varija I was told about a groundnut fair in Bangalore. “A groundnuts fair, you can’t be serious”, was my first expression. I remained unconvinced unless she whatsapped me pictures of the fair. There were heaps and heaps of groundnuts laid on the streets for sale. Yes, it was for real.
The story behind the groundnut fair
And as is customary to Indian festivals and events here also we have a story. A story that originates long time back and always manages to justify the celebration.
So here we go….long time back a bull would mysteriously enter the groundnut fields and destroy the ready crop thus causing a lot of distress to the farmers. So, villagers came out with an ingenious agreement with Gods and decided to offer the first yield to Nandi bull (Lord Shiva’s accomplice) in their village Ganpati (Ganesha) temple. This way they appeased the God, managed the wrath of the bull and enjoyed a good crop.
Since then every year around November end when the groundnut crop is ready, a fair is organized. Puja is performed in the village temple followed by annual selling of groundnuts.
Varija got a chance to visit the fair this year and she says, “Somehow, the taste of groundnuts sold here is so different from the one we get in stores”. She brought 8kgs of groundnuts. Now that is some hardcore shopping J
Winter is incomplete without groundnuts
I guess it is the taste and aroma of fresh groundnuts.
I fondly remember back in my hometown how all of us would sit on the terrace, enjoy the winter sun, crack the groundnuts, and lick the black salt or chutney alongwith and slurp a cup of hot tea, all this with some family gossip. Best winter memories. For me, winter is incomplete without groundnuts.
Enjoy local flavour
Well, if you are in and around Bangalore then do visit this groundnut fair. This two day fair also known as Kadalekai Parishe in Kannad, is held near the Dodda Ganesha Temple in Basavanagudi, Bangalore. Apart from groundnuts which of course are the highlight of the fair you can buy many other things sold by local farmers and artisans. And, above all you will enjoy the local culture and flavour of Bangalore, a feeling unknown to many residents of this city who are perpetually caught up in the vicious corporate cycle.
This article is written with inputs from Varija Srinivas.
Varija is a fun loving Army officer’s wife, a cool mom and an acclaimed counsellor. She loves to travel and shop. There is never a dull moment with Varija around.
All pictures are contributed by Varija Srinivas.
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