Culture and Festivals of Karnataka
Embraced by the Arabian sea and Laccadive, is a state just south-west of India who houses one of the mega cities and pride of India, Bangalore. The Karnataka state is in present days one of the most developed concrete agglomeration sheltering a huge diversified population. Along with the people this state also supports a large variety of forest life, a myriad collection of plants and animals. Being a historic spot and a developed one that too, this place attracts tourists like a honey to a bee.
What compels people the more is their culture. Apart from the native kannadigas, this place is a house to lots of different small town tribes like the tuluvas, kodavas etc. but what compels them most is their various range of festivals all year around. Due to massive urbanization and globalization and the economical sources, common festivals such as the New Years and the Christmas are a common practice.
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But there are more to it. There are traditional festivals celebrated here that link people more to their culture.
The year hits off with the Pattadakal Dance Festival in January. Pattadakal, a city in Karnataka is the source place for the execution of this festival organized by the Karnataka Government himself. This festival celebrates the long living legacies of the intricately carved temples depicting the rich south Indian culture, their marvelous carved temples and their heritage. The festival is merrily passed by the main attraction, the “nrityotsava” where dance numbers are performed by some of the mountain peek dancers of all time accompanied by a fair or mela.
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Then comes the Dusshera also known as Navratri or Durgotsav which is a power packed ten day festival celebrating the victory of good over evil as Ravana, one of the most eminemt mythical villain with ten heads is constructed with the help of hay and other flammable substances which is several feet long, and then bejwelled with fireworks. Once they set off, the dummy of Ravana disintegrates portraying his death while the hero, Rama prevails. This is celebrated with quiet pomp and grandeur. People are dressed in their best attire and busy cooking lip-smacking dishes.
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One other festival widely celebrated is the Ganesh Chaturthi. Where the elephant god is worshipped and presented with offerings later to be carried away for immersion followed by a mass procession. Another such festival is the Makar Shankranti, a harvest festival where the sun god is offered prayers and worships. Various sweets are prepared and distributed among the loved ones while people have their fun and frolic.
March marks the festival month where festivals like Hoysala Mahotsava and Karaga are celebrated. While the former celebrates the cultures of the natives by organizing a dance festival in the temples of BElur and HAlebid, the later is celebrate at Darmaraya temple celebrated in the honour of princess Draupadi, wife to the five brothers from the Indian epic Mahabharata.
If the dusshera in October was not enough, the HAmpi festival in November will. From the ruined city of HAmpi, comes the source of this festival when the city is illuminated and ornamented for the famous festival organized by the Karnataka government. The sole purpose is to keep this amazing city engraved in the mionds of the people, the lost tradition, the enthralled carvings – all a memento to be cherished.
Then there are other festivals like the groundnut festival in Bangalore, the ayodhya puja which indirectly forms a part of the Navratri celebration or the Gowri festival just before the GAnesh chaturthi where lord Gowri, the wife to lord Shiva and Ganesha’s mother is offerend prayings.
Thus we see, Karnataka is a festive state with festivals all year round, for all the various ethnicities and religions it houses.