Straight Oota, Bengaluru: A Village Legend Shaped City Heritage
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A few centuries ago, when Bengaluru was not the city it is today, it was a cluster of many villages, of which Basavana Gudi was one, among others like Dasrahalli, Mavalli, and Gavipuram Guttahalli, which were popular for growing groundnuts. Basavana Gudi means the 'temple of the bull' or bull temple. The legend goes that the farmers from this village were troubled by a bull that would raid through the groundnut farms on every full moon day and ruin the produce, causing loss. 

One evening, the villagers, fed up with the rogue bull, decided to catch it. They pursued the bull up a hill, but it disappeared at the top and was replaced by a growing idol of Nandi, known as Basava in Kannada. To stop the idol's growth, they drove an iron peg into its head. Viewing this as a divine event, they pledged their first crops of the year to Nandi.

They constructed the Basavanagudi Bull Temple around the 15-foot-tall, 20-foot-long Nandi idol. This event led to the annual Kadalekai Parishe festival, where farmers present their first groundnut harvest every year at the bull temple. This two-day fair not only features groundnut sales but also is like a carnival that sells traditional dolls, toys, bangles, and food, supporting the local farmers’ livelihoods.

Growing up in Bengaluru, in any part of the city, one might have visited the bull temple at least once a year during the Kadlekai Parishe festival. The groundnuts are sold at throw-away prices during this festival. And most of us might remember snacking on boiled or toasted groundnuts for a week or two after having attended the Kadlekai parishe or the groundnut festival, which is one of the oldest festivals in Bengaluru.

Festival Shopping In Gandhi Bazaar

When festivals like Deepavali or Dussehra are around the corner, Gandhi Bazaar in Basavangudi is bustling with people who may be busy filling up their bags with festive essentials like fruits and flowers for offerings, vermillion, sandalwood, and many other items that may be needed for various rituals and celebrations. When we, as kids, were invited by parents to tag along and help out with the festive errands, the thought of a masala dose from Vidyarthi Bhavan, a South Indian meal at filter kaapi from Shri Lakshmi Venkateshwara Coffee Bar, or a quick stop to pick up our favourite eats at Subbamma's stores were the biggest motivating factors to set out and help with the festive chores. Although Malleswaram was a closer area to most people living in North Bengaluru, Gandhi Bazar offered a wide array of selection where one was spoilt for choices and was inclined to come back and shop in the area before every festival.

Bull Temple And Bugle Rock Picnic, Followed By Lunch At Kamat

Growing up in North Bengaluru, I visited the bull temple on a Sunday morning, followed by the Dodda Ganesha temple visit and finally the picnic and playtime at the Bugle Rock Park that is spread across 16 acres in Basavangudi. Bugle Rock is composed of granitic rocks that are estimated to be around 3,000 million years old, making it one of the oldest rock formations in Bangalore.

Bugle Rock, or Kahale Bande in Kannada, served as a natural watchtower in historical times. Its elevation provided a panoramic view of the surrounding area, making it ideal for monitoring enemy movements and safeguarding the city. Back in the 90's, we as children were very excited to visit this park, which was followed by a planatain leaf lunch of jolada rotti and jhunka at the Kamat Bugle Rock restaurant. A quick visit to a few relatives during tea time concluded a day of weekend outings in Basavangudi during many of our childhood days.

Ellu-Bella And Hurigaalu Shopping At Subbamma's Stores

At the start of the year, Sankranti is the first festival that the ready-made ellu-bella shopping year-on-year just before the Sankranti festival at Subbamma's stores is almost mandatory in most households even today. This not only helps save time on the laborious process of making ellu-bella for the festival but also on the process of making traditional sweets, as they are all available at Subbamma's stores, which are officially called Srinivasa Condiments Stores.

The store's appeal extends beyond the regulars in the neighbourhood to residents throughout the city. Due to its popularity, many of the snacks and sweets are often shipped or sent overseas by locals to their children and family members living abroad, fulfilling numerous popular requests.

Basavangudi, A Vibe Rooted In The Kannada Culture

Basavangudi is not just an age-old residential area in the city but also a commercial one, with DVG Road and Gandhi Bazaar in the vicinity. While there are many temples and other worship places like Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha, Jamia Masjid Mohammedan Block, Shankara Muth, Bull Temple, Dodda Ganesha temple and more, That's not all. It houses some of the most renowned educational and spiritual institutions, like the Indian Institute of World Culture, the Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs, the B.M.S. College of Engineering, the National College, and more.

People from all over the city and outside would have visited Basavangudi at least once if they had visited Bengaluru even once. It could have been to visit the famous temples or the educational institutions. If not for any of the above or shopping, you might have visited one eatery or at least an iconic restaurant among the many in the area to savour their most popular South Indian eats on offer.

Most people in this neighbourhood can be seen almost every day enjoying their morning cup of filter kaapi and breakfast at the nearby and iconic eateries with their friends and families after a brisk morning walk as they browse through the news papers or debate and have group discussions on the current affairs and happenings in the world.

Having said that, Basavangudi has been home to many distinguished people, like Anil Kumble, who was a former Indian cricketer and coach; K.S. Nissar Ahmed and Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, famous Kannada poets and writers; P. Lankesh, who was a Kannada journalist; and Devanahalli Venkataramanaiah Gundappa. DV Gundappa, or DVG, was a poet, writer, journalist, a scholar and philosopher who was awarded the prestigious Padmabhushan Award for his achievements.

The road where his house is situated in Basavangudi is named after him in tribute and today it is the busiest DVG street in Basavangudi. If you were to take a walk in this neighbourhood, you could not only savour a cup of good kaapi and a few plates of treats like dose, idly, bath and vade, but also a slice of history and heritage that may transport you to the memory lanes of the past infused with nostalgia. Thus, Basavangudi is not just a locality; it is a local vibe rooted in Kannada culture.

The Slurrp Basavanagudi Breakfast Food Trail will therefore not only be about the Oota of the neighbourhood, but also the stories behind the iconic places that make this neighbourhood a must-visit while you are in Bengaluru. Here are all the details you need to know about Slurrp’s Basavanagudi Breakfast Food Trail.

Date: 29 June 2024 

Timings: 7:30AM - 11:15AM 

For more information, keep an eye out on Slurrp’s website and social media pages.