Top 7 Festivals of Karnataka

Karnataka is a stunning Indian state replete of dazzling beaches, lush vistas and vibrant culture. The festivities rejoiced here are also quite endearing and vivid to get involved in just like the colorful vibes every Indian festival has. It is a quaint essence of South India and the celebrations of each auspicious occasion of this state actually let the travelers experience the joyful aura that Karnataka has. So, here we are with the list of best 7 festivals of Karnataka that are most delightfully celebrated and these occasions are not only a significant part of Kannadigas but also becoming a part of these fiestas will help you become one with the modern yet grounded ambience that this state possesses with all its charm and allure.

1. Ganesha Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi
Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY-SA 2.0

Ganesha Chaturthi is a pivotal Indian celebration that includes lip-smacking modaks and the dancing carnival of Ganpati Visarjan. It mostly comes during the months of August and September and is organized for 10 days in which Lord Ganesha’s idols are revered in homes and temples. This occasion is actually celebrated similarly in Karnataka as it is in all around the country where the idols of the Lord Ganesha are either worshipped in houses or in many shrines. After that, concluding this event the idol is taken to the sea followed by a joyous and pompous carnival and then it is submerged in the water. This festival is more of a sweet celebration as you will find numerous pandals hosting Ganpati aartis and sweets are also cooked at home which are first presented to Lord Ganesha and then distributed as prasad.

2. Hampi Festival

Hampi is an exclusive festivity of Karnataka which is observed as the birthday of Karnataka’s revered poet Purandaradasa. It is referred to as Hampi festival because Purandaradasa resided in the Hampi town and this celebration draws people from around the world witnessing the cultural glory of Karnataka. It consists of many events like, art and dance shows, music fiestas, puppet shows, and fireworks are also lighted during this occasion. It is one of the idyllic ones to soak in the heritage of Karnataka and the musical atmosphere is sure to take you back into the old times plus there are many competitions held for participants of every age to let oneself totally carried away by the merry ambience Hampi Festival boasts itself of.

3. Gowri Festival

Goddess Gowri is endearingly the mother of Lord Ganesha and this festival come a day before the jovial event of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is dedicated to Goddess Gowri to laud the deity to endow her supremacy and might on each one of us. It is believed that this event was the time when Goddess Gowri reached her maternal dwelling and Lord Gansha then visited her in order to get her back to their home the coming day. So, on Gowri Festival, the women bathe and clothe themselves in fresh attires and then do the puja which consists of Sthapana of the Jalgauri or installation of Goddess Gowri’s idol in the color of turmeric. What follows next is the making of the Bagina that includes cosmetic like bangles, combs, etc. plus many other offerings which are presented to the idol. Moreover, those females who are married are also given gifts by their maternal families.

4. Kambala Festival

Kambala Festival
Photo (Cropped) by Anoop Kumar, CC BY-SA 2.0

Kambala Festival is a significant festivity especially for farmers. It is a buffalo pursuit structured every year mainly in the southern regions and Udipi districts. It is arranged somewhere amidst the months of November and March. It was actually an old ceremony organized to pacify deities of a nice harvest. A plough to which two buffaloes are fastened is given to a farmer and is raced within a ground of slush; this event is more of a rustic fiesta to witness the rural aspect of Karnataka and the simple lives and festival of the state’s quintessential farmers.

5. Pongal

Photo by VSharmilee, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pongal is a known occasion of South India and is rejoiced in the first month of January. Cattle are quaintly adorned and they are then fed a rice delicacy which is referred to as Pongal. A procession is also planned in which these attractively decorated cattle are presented and then a bonfire is put to which the cattle has to hop which is an endearing part of this festival.

6. Karaga

Photo by Pavanaja, CC BY-SA 4.0

Karaga is a festive event of Bengaluru and is an ancient one that includes a folk-dance presentation as a significant ceremony devoted to Draupadi. It is headed by the males as during the end part of Indian Epic Mahabharatha, Tripurasura, a Rakshas or fiend still existed and then Draupadi turned into the avatar of Shakti Devi and made warriors which are known as Veerakumaras. Followed by the battle, these Veerakumaras told Draupai to remain behind but she was not able to and that’s when she assured them her visit on mainly the first full moon as per the Indian calendar. So, in Karaga you will find a Karaga bearer who is clothed as a female and bearing the Karaga, i.e. a floral pyramid and carrying this Karaga, he then goes to each of the Veerakumaras in his transitory Goddess state. No one is actually aware of what is within the Karaga, the bearer has to carry it well or otherwise if he is not able to balance and it fells, it is said that he will die. After going to Veerakumaras, the carrier then comes back to the temple the following day by the sunrise.

7. Pattadakal Dance Festival

Pattadakal Dance Festival is arranged as a tribute to all the shrines and holy temples of the state. The government takes care of the organizing and this festival comes in January. Pattadakal is apparently a village of Karnataka and is also a recognized heritage site especially for its wonderfully styled temples devoted to Lord Shiva and it was also Chalukya rulers’ second ancient capital in the rule. Skilled dancers from all around the country become a part of this lively fiesta the craft mela is also an amazing sight of Pattadakal Dance Festival.

Thus, these joyous celebrations are what really fuse the cultural spirit of India and turns the beautiful vistas into a colorful and jolly one! If you are exploring Karnataka around any of these events then it is a must to participate or even just enjoy these occasions and let yourself immersed in the spiritual quality of Karnataka, that will take your heart away, happy tripping!

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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