KARAGA, KEMPE GOWDA JAYANTI CELEBRATIONS
Context: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has decided to go ahead with celebrating the Bengaluru Karaga, and is also planning to celebrate Kempe Gowda Jayanti on the same day.
- Bengaluru Karagais one of the oldest festivals celebrated in the heart of Bengaluru.
- Bengaluru Karaga is primarily a well-known tradition of ‘Vahnikula Kshatriyas Thigala’ community in southern Karnataka.
- The Karaga festival is generally led by the men of the community.
- There is a legend which gives them this privilege.
- Vahnikula Kshatriyas believe that in the last part of the Mahabharatha, when the Pandavas were shown a glimpse of hell, one last Asura (Demon) called Thimirasura was still alive.
- At this time, Draupadi, the Pandava’s wife, took the form of Shakthi devi.
- She created a huge army of soldiers called the Veerakumaras. After defeating the Asura, the soldiers asked Shakthi Devi to stay back with them.
- Though she had to go back, she promised them that she would come to stay with them every year during the first full moon of the first month of the Hindu calendar.
- Thigalas believe that they belong to this community of soldiers.
- In Karaga Draupadi is worshipped as an incarnation of Adiparashakti and Parvathi, which is said to have been the result of a boon granted to her by Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma, for her to have five husbands.
- Kempegowda Jayanti is the birth anniversary of the founder of Bengaluru, celebrated on June 27 and is seen as Kempegowda day or ′Kempegowda Jayanthi′.
- An award is established and named after the ruler, called Kempegowda Award, which is presented annually at ceremony held by BBMP.
- Nadaprabhu Hiriya Kempe Gowda, popularly known as Kempe Gowda, was a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire.
- Well educated Kempe Gowda was a successor of Kempananje Gowda, who are the descendants of Morasu Gowda lineage.
- They were known as the rulers of Yelhankanadu. The more famous of the Yelahanka Nadu Prabhus is Kempe Gowda I.
- He ruled for 46 years, from 1513 to 1559. He planned and successfully implemented the building of Bengaluru Fort and Bengaluru Pete.
STORY BEHIND BENGALURU
- According to legend, the founder of the Bengaluru City, Kempegowda, ran four bullock carts in four directions and when they stopped, marked points to indicate the boundaries of the city.
- Folklore has it that that the starting point was the centre of Chickpete.
- Strangely, when all the four points were connected it made a perfect circle.
- Also, the city wasn’t Bangalore or Bengaluru then. The city called ‘Bendakaalooru’ meaning ‘baked beans’, went through many changes to get its current name.
- Kempegowda’s son identified the four points and built four towers that still stand today
- The planned traders’ regions were named according to the materials sold in the area; Akkipete, for rice, Balepete for bangles, Ragipete for millet, Aralepete for cotton and so on.
- Few of the old names still exist and are still famous for the materials sold, however, the areas no longer sell those goods exclusively.
- The old Bengaluru Pete and the old London City have many similarities, though there was no way the planners of the two destinations could have met.
- Old London has Milk Street, Bread Street, Mason Avenue, Ironmonger Lane etc, just like the Bengaluru Pete area.
- The 9 gates of Bengaluru – Halasuru Gate, Yelahanka Gate, Kengeri Gate, etc, are similar to the London’s Ludgate, Newgate, Aldgate, Bishopsgate, etc.
- The mud fort, now called the Bangalore Fort in City Market that Kempegowda built in 1537 stood strong till the time it was replaced by a stone fort in 1761 by Mysuru King Hyder Ali.
- The main bus stop in the city is known as Kempegowda Bus Stop and one of the main metro stations is known as Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Station