When you enter, you’re greeted by loud percussion and the sight of men and women performing the ‘dollu kunita’. On display are stalls selling paintings, traditional clothes and handicraft — Ilkal saris from Bagalkot, cotton towels, the Gandhi cap, a traditional north Karnataka accessory for men — but food remains the star attraction.
Businessman Ranganath said, “I tasted the mandakki and it was a change compared to the food we eat regularly. I will try the jolada roti and brinjal curry next.”
Virupaksha B.T., whose stall, Jolaa, had a large number of visitors, said, “Our food has a lot of variety and our USP is the spiciness. It is special, yet it is like homemade food.” Of course, a wide variety of pickles and chutney powders are also a big draw.
After all that spice, you may need some sugar and karadantu, a sweet made of dryfruits, would be ideal. Mahantesh Savaligeppa Aiholli of Pooja Sweets said he was the third generation of a family that has been selling the sweet from Aminagad, Bagalkot, since 1907. He explained to a perplexed customer, “This sweet is made of cashew, badam, pista, raisins, dried coconut and jaggery procured from Belgaum.”
The Dharwad peda, kunda and peanut laddus are also there to add to your sugar rush.
However, there were some visitors who were disappointed. Kasturi Devandrakumar, an artist said, “The food stalls have hogged all the limelight. It could have been better if there was more emphasis on the art and culture of the region.”
The fair is on till August 11.
Earlier, speaking at the inauguration, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government was keen to work for the welfare of the people of the north Karnataka region. They had accepted all recommendations made by the Cabinet sub-committee on the implementation of Article 371(J) of the Constitution, providing special status to the Hyderabad Karnataka region.