Visiting a groundnut fair in Banaglore wasn’t something that I intended to do. My plan for the day was to visit Bull Temple, one of the biggest temples in India dedicated to Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva. As with all the best made plans and with all the best intentions, sometimes things just don’t work out the way that you had in mind, and, as such, I’ll have to visit the temple again on another trip to India!
So what was happening? And, why couldn’t I visit the temple? Well, I made it to the right place, the temple was there, but my visit coincided with a groundnut fair, which meant that there were also thousands of other people in and around the temple and it wasn’t possible for me to get to it. Legend has it that farmers discovered that their crop of groundnuts were being eaten and damaged during the night. They investigated this and found that the culprit was a bull (Nandi). Since then the farmers have pledged their first harvest of the crop to Lord Shiva. The two day fair is held each year close to Bull Temple and such is my luck, was on one of the days that I’d decided to pay a visit!
Farmers from the Indian state of Karnataka (of which Bangalore is the capital) and from other states come here to sell their groundnuts.
As well as groundnuts the streets are lined with all sorts of different traders. You could probably buy almost anything!
Here are my top 5 things to buy at a groundnut fair!
1. Water pistols. Southern India is hot all year round, so yep, water pistols seem like a good idea.
2. Candyfloss. Speaks for itself; a fair wouldn’t be a fair without it!
3. Ornaments. You can buy a variety of different ornaments / decorations or ‘Murthi’ resembling various Hindu gods.
4. Fake football shirts. As an Arsenal fan, I was amused to see a shirt for sale.
5. Rugs, throws and blankets. I’m not at all sure why you would go to a fair and buy one of these, or even why anyone here would need one!
If you are in or around Bangalore, at the time that the groundnut fair is held (on the last Monday of Karthika Masa (month in the Hindu calendar) then I can recommend that you spend an hour or so wandering around, maybe try a few nuts and soak up the sounds and smells that the fair has to offer.