Until this morning I was totally in ignorance of the Bengaluru Karaga festival that takes place here in Bangalore. Yet another indication of how little I really understand about this city, but also another one of those delightful discoveries that seem so frequently to occur during these visits.
Early morning is most certainly the only time to walk the streets of Jayanagar during this period of excessive and oppressive heat. As has often been the way during my stay in fourth block, this morning I crossed the road and made my way through the lanes that form the hinterland around the hotel where I am staying. These have become familiar over the years, and I now recognise the faces of regular walkers and inhabitants of these streets, yet they can still serve up an occasional surprise.
Walking along a familiar lane, which I know to lead past an often colourful temple, I could see, well before reaching this shrine, that the road appeared much narrower and even more colourful than usual. The closer I got to the temple, the more apparent it became that something extraordinary was under way. To my delight, on arrival I found a collection of the most beautifully adorned trailers with floral displays and decorated idols all being prepared for a parade around the district.
I have written before on this blog about the craftsmanship that is evident in the use of flowers in this city, but today’s exhibition truly excelled. Floral sculptures of this quality are not easily achieved, and one can only wonder at the dedication of those who have created these amazing labours of love. Sadly, I will not be able to see the kaleidoscopic parading of these floats. I can well imagine the accompanying music and the flash of fireworks that will be an essential part of this traditional and long standing celebration. Rather than expect you to imagine the beauty and creativity that I enjoyed this morning, I will let you judge for yourself the quality and skill of the craftsmen who created these wonderful artefacts.
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