With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating, the Bengaluru Karaga celebrations have been cancelled. The Karaga will be celebrated in a low-key manner with a pooja inside the Dharamarayaswamy temple.
An order to this effect was issued by J. Manjunath, Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru (Urban), on Saturday.
The historical Bengaluru Karaga is synonymous with the city’s culture and has an over-300-year history. The Karaga celebrations were to begin on April 18 and culminate with a night-long procession on April 27.
Mr. Manjunath told The Hindu that the order was in line with the Karnataka government’s decision on restricting all kinds of gatherings. “The order issued by the Chief Secretary in this regard is clear. There is no scope for any cultural or religious gathering. We have just reiterated the same thing,” he said and added that only a handful of priests will be allowed to perform the rituals.
Incidentally, the Festival Committee constituted by Mr. Manjunath had also recommended low-key celebrations. However, some members wanted to carry out some rituals at the BBMP head office and Sampige Kere.
“Given the spurt in cases, everybody is now in agreement that the procession has to be cancelled,” he said.
This is the second year in a row that the Karaga celebrations have been restricted to prayers in the temple complex. Last year, the procession was cancelled following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.