Oora Habba, Chickamavalli.
The people of Chickamavalli, that borders Lalbagh, near the West Gate, prefer to retain the social structure of the village that it has been for centuries. They have a small and well-knit community surrounded by the urban jungle called Bangalore. And this week, they are celebrating their togetherness with The Chickamavalli Oora Habba or the Chickamavalli Village Festival.
All the men have taken the day off from work to lend a hand in arranging the festivities. To cook, to manage the various pujas, decorations and crowd at the little shrines that dot the clean, narrow lanes of the 'village'. The children have skipped school and are waiting to play on the swing next to the main shrine. The women have pulled out their best clothes and are doing the rounds of the different shrines with thaali-full of offerings. And more than a few women are parading their daughter-in-laws wrapped in silk sarees and covered in gold, while policemen on duty snore in their patrol vans.
Each Galli in the village seems to have its own character. The Grama Devate Road (Village Goddess Street) is cordoned off with pandals and spicy chicken curry is being prepared. The Venkataswamy lane is where the rice and the vegetable dishes are being cooked. And at the central Susheela Road, the tables have been laid out for the big lunch where the entire village will be served.
The most popular shrine seems to be the one dedicated to Bisilu (Sunshine) Maramma that's on the main road, opposite the Kempe Gowda statue. And can there be a better time than now to have the habba, now that summer is over?
Chicken being prepared for the feast.
Dressed in fresh flowers, silk, gold and stones, the Bisilu Maramma on her chariot.