The festivals of Karnataka incorporate myriad elements of indigenous culture. Rich in detail and extravagant in celebrations, the Karnataka festivals attract tourists from all over India and abroad. While many festivals pertain to specific communities, the more prominent ones are celebrated across the state.
Among the Karnataka festivals, the Mysore Dasara stands out for the opulent display of pomp and pageantry. A riot of color and joyous festivities, the Mysore Dasara beckons tourists craving for a glimpse of the state's royal legacy. On the other hand, the unassuming Kambala festival is rooted in the celebration of rural life.
The Ugadi festival is celebrated all over the state as the Kannada New Year. On this day, people decorate their houses and savour delicious traditional delicacies. The Kail Poldu festival, exclusive to the Coorg region, is celebrated by the warrior race of Kodavas.
True to its rich cultural heritage, Karnataka celebrates a multitude of fairs that are marked by sacred rituals and joyous festivities. Most of these fairs center on the presiding deities of temples worshipped by local communities. During these fascinating events, pious devotees and enthusiastic tourists throng the fair sites.
The Banashankari Devi fair, Yellamma Devi fair and Sri Vithappa fair are the prominent among Karnataka fairs. While the Banashankari fair is held to honor Devi Banashankari or Parvathi, the Yellamma fair reveres Devi Yellamma or Renuka, wife if sage Jamadagni.
The Godachi fair and Sri Shidlingappa's fair are two other major fairs. Held in the month of Kartik, the Godachi fair is held in the honor of Shri Veerabhadra and is organized by the government of Karnataka. Sri Shidlingappa's fair is observed on Shivaratri and the deity is taken in a palanquin accompanied by drummers (Dollu and Majalu) from several neighboring villages.