Hampi Utsav (early to mid-Jan). Celebrated since Vijayanagar times and revived by the Government of Karnataka, this three-day festival is a cultural showcase of music, dance, costume dramas, puppet shows, fireworks, processions and kushti (wrestling) that once received royal patronage.
Makar Sankranti (mid-Jan). The transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn) is when the harvest festival (suggi habba) is celebrated. Temple festivities, cultural programmes and kite-flying, especially in northern Karnataka, mark the occasion.
Bangalore Karaga (April). Bengaluru’s oldest festival is celebrated over eleven days around the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in the old city. The festival honours Draupadi, considered a form of Shakti, and is named after the karaga or large floral pyramid borne by the appointed carrier during a night-time procession to the accompaniment of music and acrobatics.
Mysore Dasara (Sept/Oct). The biggest of them all, Karnataka’s naada habba (state festival) culminates in a grand procession on its tenth and final day.
Kadalekai Parishe (Dec/Jan). Bengaluru’s unique groundnut fair, held near the Bull Temple in Basavanagudi with rural produce on sale.