True to its rich cultural heritage, Karnataka celebrates a
multitude of fairs that are marked by sacred rituals and joyous
festivities. Most of these fairs center on the presiding deities
of temples worshipped by local communities. During these
fascinating events, pious devotees and enthusiastic tourists
throng the fair sites.
The Banashankari Devi fair, Yellamma Devi fair and Sri Vithappa
fair are the prominent among Karnataka fairs. While the
Banashankari fair is held to honor Devi Banashankari or Parvathi,
the Yellamma fair reveres Devi Yellamma or Renuka, wife if sage
The Godachi fair and Sri Shidlingappa's fair are two other major
fairs. Held in the month of Kartik, the Godachi fair is held in
the honor of Shri Veerabhadra and is organized by the government
of Karnataka. Sri Shidlingappa's fair is observed on Shivaratri
and the deity is taken in a palanquin accompanied by drummers (Dollu
and Majalu) from several neighboring villages. ]
Dusshera is the main Hindu festival of Karnataka. This ten days
festival was celebrated with extravagance by the rulers of
Vijayanagar Empire. Later, this became a tradition. The festival
was celebrated at Mysore where a Durbar was held for 9 days and
on the 10th day a huge procession was taken out with decorated
elephants, colorful folks and much more. It is still celebrated
in Mysore with great pomp and show.
Yugadi is considered as the New Year's Day in Kannada tradition.
It falls on the late March or early April and is celebrated all
over Karnataka. On this day the dinner is specially prepared and
it starts with jaggery and neem leaves. This depicts that life
is nothing but a bundle of joys and sorrows.
This festival is mainly celebrated at the Darmaraya Temple in
Bangalore. It is celebrated on the full moon day of Chaitra, the
first month of Hindu Calendar. This festival is celebrated in
the honor of Draupathi, the spouse of Pandavas, famous religious
characters from the great Hindu epic, Mahabharata.
¤ Other Hindu Festivals
Some of the other Hindu festivals that are celebrated in
Karanataka along with the rest of the country are Makara
Samkramana, Sri Ramanavami, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh
Chaturthi and Deepavali.
¤ State Festivals
The Rajyotsava Day is celebrated on the 1st of November every
year. This day marks the formation of the Karnataka State. Apart
from this, other state festivals celebrated here are the Coorg
festival, Hampi/Vijayanagar festival and the Hoysala festival.
These festivals celebrate the rich cultural heritage of
¤ Other Religious Festivals
Karnataka has a multi-religious population. Thus, festivals of
all religions are celebrated here. Some of the Muslims festivals
celebrated here are Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Milad-un-Nabi and
Moharrum. Christians residing in the state celebrate festivals
like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday etc along with the rest of
the nation. Buddhist and Jain festivals like Buddha Poornima and
Mahaveera Jayanthi are also celebrated in certain regions of the
Sri Vithappa Fair
This fair is held in the honour of Vithappa, the deity of the
village, Vithappa. It is a three days festival and about 7 to 8
thousand people gather during the fair. This fair has a
religious and folk importance.
The Godachi Fair
The Godachi fair is held at Godachi village in Ramdurg Taluk of
Karnataka. It is held in the month of Kartik This fair is held
in the honour of Shri Veerabhadra and it is organized by the
government of Karnataka.
Shri Yellamma Devi Fair
Shri Yellamma Devi fair is held at Saundatti. It is held for
about 5 times between October and February. But the Margasira is
the biggest one, which is held on the full moon day.
Banashankari Devi Fair
The Banashankari Devi fair is held near Badami. It is an annual
fair held in the month of January on the full moon day. This
fair lasts for 10 to 12 days. At the fair, villagers buy
agricultural items, utensils and other articles of domestic