BENGALURU: The city is all set for the annual Kadlekai Parishe, the two-day historic groundnut fair. The fair begins on Bull Temple Road today. It is celebrated on the last Monday of the Karthika month of the Hindu calendar.
“More than 500 groundnut and puffed rice sellers will gather on either side of the road leading to the Bull Temple. Sellers come from across the state and also from neighbouring states,” Sunkenahalli councillor P Sadashiva, who is attending the fair for the last 35 years, said.
It is a one of its kind fair wherein the farmers sell their first harvest. There are a number of stories about the fair.
One says it was started to please the Basava (Bull), the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Another traces its origin to Kempegowda, founder of Bengaluru, who was praying for the welfare of his kingdom at the Bull Temple here.
Though no one knows exactly when the fair started, it remains one of the oldest in the city.
Huge mounds of groundnuts are spread on both sides of the road with high quality groundnuts priced anywhere between `25 and `30 a litre. The roasted variety is also available for `40 a litre.
The area where the fair will be spread out - Bull Temple Road from Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs to Ramakrishna Ashrama - was already decked up on Sunday for the Chikka Parishe (mini fair).
Vendors had set up stalls with mounds of raw, dried and roasted groundnuts along with fried, spiced and jaggery-coated groundnuts.
“There are stalls selling colourful terracotta dolls and bangles along with delicacies prepared using groundnut. Over the years, there have been additions like merry-go-rounds for children, games etc. where adults also can have a fun time,” Sadashiva said.
“We used to get groundnuts for 10 paise a ser, a measurement which has over the years disappeared from the fair. Now, we only get groundnuts in litres or kilos,” he said.
The age-old fair is almost like a tradition. Every year at least 2 lakh people visit it, and the number is increasing steadily, he said.
All arrangements have been made by the traffic police to deal with the huge crowds and the large number of vehicles.
Parking arrangements have been made at the National College, Kohinoor and Sai Ranga Grounds. Vehicles going towards Hanumanthnagar and Ramakrishna Ashrama have been diverted to other roads.