The annual Bangalore Karaga, one of the oldest community festivals in the city, kicks off from the Dharmarayaswamy temple in Thigalarapet towards midnight of April 24.

Karaga refers to a sacred floral pot carried by a man resplendently dressed as a woman. This year the Karaga will be carried by H.C. Lokesh for the fourth time.

The 11-day festival starts with the flag hoisting on the night of April 16, with several rituals being performed each day thereafter. The main Karaga festival, which was scheduled for April 25, has been advanced by a day due to the lunar eclipse.

Chalakary Narayanaswamy, vice-president of the Vanniyakula Kshatriya (Thigalara) Veerakumarara Sangha, told journalists here on Saturday that the unique feature of the festival was that it was led by 10,000 men called Veerakumaras.

Route

The Karaga leaves the temple located on OTC Road and goes around Cubbonpet, Ganigarapet, Doddapete, Avenue Road, Akkipet, Aralepet, Balepet, Kilari Road, Kumbarpet and Nagarathpet, before reaching the Dharmarayaswamy temple on the morning of April 25. The festival will conclude on after the Vasantotsava.