From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Karaga Festival
Mains level : NA
The centuries-old Karaga (temple fair) festival was recently held at the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in Bengaluru.
- It is celebrated annually in the Chaitra month (March/April) according to the Hindu calendar.
- The festival has found its roots in the epic Mahabharata.
- It honours Draupadi as the ideal woman and Goddess Shakti.
- The word ‘Karaga’ translates to an earthen pot, supporting a floral pyramid and an idol of Goddess.
- The Karaga is carried on the head of the bearer without touching it.
- The carrier wears a woman’s attire with bangles, mangal-sutra, and vermillion on his forehead.
Cultural significance of Karaga
- The Karaga procession makes a customary halt at Astana e-Hazrath Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwardi Dargah to pay obeisance to Tawakkal Mastan.
- The Dargah, a symbol of syncretic Sufism, has been taken care by the Muzavvar family for several generations.
- According to them, the history of the Dargah goes back to at least 300 years when Tawakkal Mastan, who came to Bengaluru with his horses looking for business opportunities, was adored as a saint.
- Hyder Ali, who was the ruler then, was a patron of Mastak for his good deeds.