Bengaluru Karaga festivities begin, main event on April 16 

As always, the Karaga will make a halt at the Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Dargah 

April 08, 2022 05:08 pm | Updated 08:02 pm IST - Bengaluru

A poster related to Karaga being released in Bengaluru on April 8.

A poster related to Karaga being released in Bengaluru on April 8. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

This year’s Bengaluru Karaga festivities began on April 8 at the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in the heart of the city. While the ‘hasi Karaga’ will be taken out on April 14, the ‘Karaga Shakyotsava’ (the main event) will be held on April 16.

The Karaga will be celebrated on a grand scale after a gap of two years. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations were restricted to within the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in 2020 and 2021.

As per the ritual, the Karaga will visit the Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan Dargah and then proceed along the traditional route. There were rumours that certain persons identifying with a few right-wing groups had objected to the Karaga visiting the dargah.

However, Chikpete MLA Uday Garudachar and MLC P.R. Ramesh stated that there would be no change in any ritual that has been practised for decades.

“The Karaga visiting the dargah is a tradition that will not be tampered with. This is symbolic of communal harmony in Bengaluru,” said Mr. Ramesh.

Mr. Garudachar claimed that no one from the ruling BJP had spoken or commented on the issue.

Members of the dargah committee had met the Karaga committee and extended all cooperation for smooth conduct of the festivities. During every Muharram, the dargah committee visits the temple and offers special prayers.

“These are part of the city’s tradition. This will continue, and rumours will have no effect on either the temple or the dargah,” said Mr. Ramesh.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has sanctioned ₹50 lakh for the Karaga. Civic Chief Gaurav Gupta said several meetings have been held with the stakeholders, including temple Karaga committee, city police, and district administration.

“Roads along the route have been repaired. Adequate lighting has been ensured and portable toilets will be placed along the route. The police department has installed additional CCTV cameras, and identified parking areas along the route,” he said.

M.N. Anucheth, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru Central), said around 460 police personnel, including senior officials, will be on duty. Additional personnel will be deputed depending on the number of footfalls between April 13 and 16. Police will issue details of traffic diversions a day ahead of the Karaga.

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