Bengaluru embraces the colour and commotion that can only be created by the age-old festivals that link this modernised city to its traditional past.
Some of the most popular annual events include:
Lal Bagh Flower Show (January and August)
Held twice each year, the Lal Bagh Flower Show is a popular event on the Bengaluru events calender. The show is housed in the glass house at Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens.
Karaga Festival (March/April)
The Karaga Festival is one of the city's oldest and is celebrated to honour the Hindu Goddess Shakti. A visually impressive night-time processession takes place, where an earthen karaga pot invoking the goddess is carried through the city by a priest dressed as a woman.
Ganesh Chathurthi (September)
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of Bengaluru’s most famous festivals. Many of the city's temples are devoted to the elephant deity and the holiday is enthusiastically celebrated by the Hindu population. Clay statues are erected, worshipped and paraded through the streets accompanied by dancing, singing and fanfare.
Kadlekai Parishe (October)
One the most popular fairs held in Bengaluru, Kadlekai Parisha, or the Groundnut Fair is held each October. Guests can sample hundreds of types of groundnuts and several other foods. There are also a whole host of vendors operating and selling foodstuffs and trinkets. The festival is held on the premises of the temple in Basavangudi.
The state festival of Karnataka is celebrated for 10 days in anticipation of the beginning of harvest season. Dasara (or Dussehra) commemorates the victory of the goddess Chamundeshwari over the demon Mahishasur. It's celebrated through various religious performances and rituals which are intended to activate the soil's fertility and invoke the Mother Goddess.
Mysore Dasara/Navaratri Festival (October)
Bangalore Habba (December)
The Bangalore Habba is an annual three-week long cultural showcase that features art, dance, theatre, crafts, music and film. The city becomes a venue in itself, where people can watch performances and enjoy interactive sessions in places like parks, temples and malls. All events are free and aim to reinstate Bengaluru as the country's cultural capital.