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51st Bengaluru Ganesh Utsav

The Indian festival of Ganesh Chathurthi was on Sept. 9. The 11 day 51st Ganesh Utsav was organized in Basavanagudi, Bangalore in honor of the festival. It was an extremely fun event to go to with plenty of food and performances by top artistes. These included Krishna, a dance drama by Shobana and troupe, African and Indian percussion by the Beat Gurus, Hindi pop by Euphoria, Kannada, Hindi and Tamil musical night by Vijay Yesudas, Hindi music by Shreya Goshal and Bhangra by Daler Mehndi.

There was a huge Ganesh idol, beautifully lit and a sand carving of Ganesh, a Shivalingam and a Nandi.

The food was amazing, with chaats, Chinese and regular stuff such as dosas as well as more exotic fare from North Karnataka such as Jolada Roti with brinjal curry.

The crowds for the artiste performances were moderate, but the turnout for Shreya Ghoshal was huge with hardly any standing room! The Beat Gurus were phenomenal and the audience went wild during their performance. The audience also had a blast dancing to Daler Mehndi.

Overall, a must-see event and a great experience!

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Sand carving of Lord Ganesh.

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Beautifully lit massive Ganesh idol!

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Yakshagana (dance form indigenous to Karnataka).

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Shobana performing as Krishna.

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Ganesh Utsav menu.

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Ganesh Utsav venue.

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Beat Gurus.

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Davangere Benne Dose.

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Vijay Yesudas performing.

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Jolada roti with brinjal curry.

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Shreya Ghoshal performing.

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Daler Mehndi performing.

 

Mango Mela

The Mango and Jackfruit Mela (Fair) was held in Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore, India, in the month of June, 2013. There were a number of vendors selling several varieties of mangoes.

These included Alphonso, Dashehari, Malgoa,  Amrapali, Mallika, Raspuri, Sendhura, Banganapally, Kesar, Thothapuri, Sugar Baby and Neelam.

Most of the stalls stated that the mangoes were organically grown and were carbide-free.

There was a stall selling a colorful collection of pickles and Gulkhand (गुलखंड, made from rose petals).

The Sugar Baby is a tiny mango that is very sweet but with lots of fiber.

There was also a stall selling jackfruit.

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Sugar Babies (left).

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Pickles.

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Colorful pickles.

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Rate chart.

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Malgoa, Sindoora, Raspuri, Sugar Baby, Banganapally, Alphonso, Thothapuri and Neelam varieties.

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Alphonso mangoes.

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Jackfruit.

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Cut jackfruit.

The Gulmohr – Abroad

I was under the impression that the Gulmohr was indigenous to India, but in fact is found to grow throughout the world. It is apparently native to Madagascar.

In the Caribbean, its seeds are used to make the musical instrument known as the Maracas.

Here are some pictures of Gulmohrs that I shot in different parts of the world, separated by several thousand miles (the camera is an old, but brilliant Olympus C-3030Z).

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Gulmohr, Islamorada, Florida Keys, USA, 2003.

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Small Gulmohr, Kailua-Kona, the Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 2003.

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Gulmohr, Mahe, Seychelles, Indian Ocean, 2006.

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Gulmohr, Cayman Islands, the Caribbean, 2008.

The Gulmohr

The Gulmohr is one of my favorite trees. I have seen it bloom in Bangalore since my school days. It usually blooms in late April, early May. Its brilliant red flowers are always a sight too see.

As kids, we would affix the inside of the flower buds to our finger nails to get a set of “claws”. The dagger-like pods were used as make-believe swords.

Here are some shots of the Gulmohr from Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bangalore, India.

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Reva Electric Car

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Reva-i electric car.

I have seen quite a few of these tiny cars in Bangalore, India, in varying colors. They seat two adults and two children and are totally silent as they drive past.

This is the all electric Reva, now acquired by Indian auto giant Mahindra and Mahindra.

It has a range of about 80km per charge and a top speed of 80 km/h.

It is also being sold abroad in more than twenty countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

A truly green alternative to your gasoline/petrol or diesel driven car!

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Reva.

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A Reva-i in Jayanagar, Bangalore.

Wandering through Jayanagar 4th Block

While wandering through Jayanagar 4th Block in Bangalore, we came across various vendors selling these four fruits – Jamun, Panneer, Figs and Plums.

The Jamun (Syzygium cumini). also called Jambul and நாக பழம் (Naga Pazham) in Tamil is a sweet but tart fruit that has a unique taste. It also has a slight astringent effect on the throat. It is one of my favorites.

The Panneer Fruit (Syzygium jambos) also called Rose Apple in English has a smell reminiscent of rosewater.

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Jamun (dark purple, foreground), Panneer fruit (white), plums and figs.

Also being sold was jackfruit. Jackfruit is another of my favorites with its intoxicating smell and sweet, rich flavor.

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Cut jackfruit.

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Uncut jackfruit.

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Fresh vegatables.

After walking all the way to 2nd block, we briefly stopped at a Sari Exhibition being held in one of the wedding halls.

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Ornate sign in Jayanagar 2nd Block.

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Colorful saris at the sari exhibition.

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Sari exhibition.

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Colorful gate.

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Colorful compound wall.