This one-of-a-kind folk fair in Bengaluru celebrates Kannada culture and promotes environmental awareness

From a grand chariot procession to a local flea market and cultural performances, this festival brings together various elements that make a perfect Janapada Jaatre
Statue at the festival
Statue at the festival

Basaveshwar College of Commerce, Arts and Science, in collaboration with the Department of Kannada and Culture, Sri Basaveshwara Study and Research Centre, Mahamane Kannada Sangha, National Service Scheme - Green Unit, Samastha Veerashaiva Lingayat Maha Samithi and Sri Siddhganga Charitable Trust, is hosting a unique carnival that promises a journey into the cultural and traditional roots of Kannada.

The Folk Fair 2024 ( Janapada Jaatre) for Global Environmental Awareness is a one-day event taking place today (June 22) at the college campus. The fair is open to all and offers free entry, making it accessible to a wide audience.

The distinguished chief guests for the event includes Eshwara B Khandre, Minister of Forest, Environment and Biology, Government of Karnataka; Suresh Kumar S, former Minister and MLA from Rajajinagar Legislative Assembly Constituency; K Gopalaya, former Minister and MLA from Mahalakshmipuram Assembly Constituency. Other notable guests include KV Nagarajamurthy, President of Karnataka Natak Academy Bangalore, and S Balaji, Director of Kannada Folklore Parishad.

Curated by Shiladevi S Malimatha, the festival features a diverse array of events designed to entertain and educate. The festivities begin with Ashwarudha Basavanna Putthali Pusparchane (offering flowers to the deity), followed by Basavanna's Theru, a grand chariot procession of Lord Basavanna through parts of Rajajinagar around the college.

Visitors can explore the Sante, which includes local food stalls offering traditional snacks like Girmit, various types of Ganji (malt drinks) and bhelpuri. Additionally, there will be a fruit and vegetable market, as well as a Vanaushadhi Vana (ayurvedic products and plants) section, all inspired by the concept of Urahabba, meaning city festival.

A notable installation is the shrine of Eshwara (Lord Shiva), made entirely of leaves. The early celebrations of the Nagar Panchami festival will also take place at the carnival. Attendees can visit a cowshed and Garadi House to watch kusti (local wrestling) matches or participate in traditional games like Blind Pot Strike, Lagori, hopscotch, Chowka Bara/Ashta Chamma (a two- or four-player board game), and wooden tops, which are rarely seen today.

The fair also features a host of cultural programmes, including performances of dollu kunita, yakshagana, janapada geete, veera gase and various dance performances.

The Folk Fair 2024 at Basaveshwar College is a celebration of Kannada heritage and an effort to raise environmental awareness, offering an enriching experience for all attendees.

Entry Free. June 22, till 6 pm. At Basaveshwar College, Rajajinagar.

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