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  • Bengaluru Habba

    Bengaluru Habba

    The annual Bengaluru Habba showcases the best of India's emerging dance, art, music and film artists. The entire city of Bengaluru (as it's now known) becomes a venue, with parks, temples, malls and other public places being converted into performance areas where festival-goers can take in the cultural fare and enjoy interactive sessions. All events are free and aim to reinstate Bangalore as the cultural capital of India, and there is always some magnificent folk art to be purchased for friends and family back home. The festival was started in 2003 by the Artist Foundation for Arts, and has hosted over 10,000 artists from around the state, the country and overseas. Many museums, galleries and artistic institutions celebrate the festival by hosting events and offering special deals, and the city bursts with concerts, plays, dancing extravaganzas and craft markets. Buskers perform on many street corners and Bengaluru seems constantly filled with music. Much of the festivities are sponsored by businesses, constituting an impressive marriage of industry and the arts.

  • Dussehra (Dasara) Festival

    Dussehra (Dasara) Festival

    The first big festival of the season, Dussehra is typically celebrated for 10 days in anticipation of the beginning of harvest season. The festival is the culmination of the nine day fasting period of Navratri in the Hindu culture, and also coincides with the immersion ceremony of the model of the Goddess Durga. In Bangalore Dussehra has added meaning, as it is taken to commemorate the victory of the goddess Cahmundeshwari over the demon Mahishasur; there are many myths and stories associated with the festival, which is thought to date back to the 17th century. The city where the festival is said to have had its origins, Mysore, holds particularly spirited celebrations, with a grand procession in honour of the Goddess Chamundeshwari. Dussehra is celebrated through an assortment of religious performances and rituals, which are intended to activate the fertility of the soil and invoke the mother goddess Ravana. Travellers can expect to see bonfires and fireworks, paper and wood effigies of Ravana (which are later burnt), and to have a (red spot) painted on their foreheads by enthusiastic devotees. Festivities vary from district to district but it is a popular festival throughout the country.