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Bangalore’s Famous Groundnut Festival

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Kadalekai Parishe or the Annual Groundnut Farmer Festival is held in winter every year in Basavangudi, Bangalore. The official dates for the festival are the last Monday and Tuesday of the Karthik Masam (month). But the festival starts two-three days in advance and that’s probably a better time to go if you want to avoid the crowds.

Groundnut Farmer Festival
The area in and around the Bull Temple in Basavangudi is where this festival is held
Groundnut Farmer Festival
Farmers from around Karnataka and some from Andhra participate in this Peanut festival

Legend of the Bangalore Groundnut Festival

Legend has it that some farmers were troubled by someone destroying their Groundnut fields, but couldn’t find out who was doing this. After many days of searching. They finally found on one Amavasya night, that there were a few bulls with a big love for groundnuts, behind the mischief. Normal methods of prevention weren’t helping curb the menace. Hence divine intervention was sought and the farmers started offering a batch of their first crop to Basava (Nandi) at the Bull Temple. Along with the legend, over time, the farmers started selling groundnuts in and around the Bull Temple in Basavangudi. This has now become a big mela and a celebration of the Groundnut farmers’ hard work and need for divine protection.

Groundnut Farmer Festival
Most of them showcase two varieties of groundnuts – Natti or local and Hybrid

Farmers from all over Karnataka and even some parts of Andhra come here to pray to Basava and sell their groundnuts. I went here along with Aslam Gafoor. A well-travelled, local Bangalore foodie. Who was also intrigued as he’d never heard about the concept before. We found that the farmers were mostly selling two kinds of groundnuts – Natti or Desi (local) and a Hybrid version. The Natti was slightly smaller in size and both varieties were available as roasted and raw.

Groundnut Farmer Festival
Fried peanuts
Groundnut Farmer Festival
Found Magali Beru, a root used to make syrup and pickle. Known as Nannari in Tamil and Swallowroot in English
Groundnut Farmer Festival
What’s a Bangalore Festival without Mysore Pak

The Groundnut Farmer Festival is more a Farmers’s market and local mela than a food festival. The offerings here are a bit limited but it’s great to experience this at least once.

Stay tuned for an update on dates for the Groundnut Festival in 2020.

Happy hunting and Chowder-on!!

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