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Famous Festival of Karnataka

15 Famous Festival of Karnataka You Must Experience In 2024

India is a land of vibrant and beautiful festivals. Each state has its own set of unique festivals depicting culture, people, and history. And today, we will delve deeper to know the famous festivals in Karnataka that tell stories of Kannadigas culture, history, art and more.

Among many things that Karnataka is known for, including silk, national parks, heritage destinations, artistic hill stations, pilgrimage sites, majestic waterfalls, and a 320 km long coastline dotted with unflawed beaches, your tour is incomplete without beautiful festivals that mark unparallel treasure trove of the cultural heritage of the state.

List of 15 Festivals in Karnataka that gives you a glimpse into its cultural legacy

Karnataka lies at the convergence point of the Eastern and Western Ghats at Nilgiri Hill Complex, making it a sight to behold. The state of natural beauty, rich history and zealous festivals makes it a dream destination for travellers. Festivals in Karnataka depict the uniqueness and beautiful cultural unity in diversity, which should be on your vacation priority list.

If you want to experience the real Karnataka, the people, and the culture, this editorial will help with the right information to make your tour plan organised and memorable. Without much further ado, let’s begin our 15 Karnataka’s famous festivals that you can plan around for an experience of a lifetime.

  • Ganesh Chaturthi | A 10-Day Festival
  • Ugadi | A Prominent Festival of Karnataka Marks Onset of the Spring
  • Hampi Festival | Commemoration of Culture and Heritage of Vijayanagar Empire
  • Mysore Dasara | A 10-Day State Festival of Karnataka
  • Karnataka Rajyotsava | A Prominent State Public Holiday to Celebrate State Formation Day
  • Makar Sankranti | A Celebration of New Beginnings with Joy and Hope
  • Sri Vithappa Fair | A 200 Years Old Festival of Karnataka
  • Vairamundi Festival | A Prominent Annual Festival Dedicated to Lord Vishnu
  • Mahamastakabhiseka | A Traditional Jain Festival Held After Every 12 Years
  • Tula Sankramana | A Day to Worship Goddess Lakshmi and Take a Holy Dip
  • Kambala Festival | A Buffalo Race to Please Gods for Good Harvest
  • Karaga Festival | Celebrating Draupadi Amma as the Adishakti
  • Vara Mahalakshmi Puja | A Sacred Festival in Karnataka Performed by Women
  • Gowri Festival | Observed by Married Women
  • Pattadakal Dance Festival | An Art and Dance Extravaganza

1) Ganesha Chaturthi | A 10-Day Festival

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the main festivals of Karnataka and a perfect example of cultural and religious harmony. Lord Ganesh is believed to be fond of delicacies, with modak and karanji being his favourites. The festival includes four main rituals: Prana Pratishtha, Shodashopachara, Uttar Puja, and Ganpati Visarjan.

Ganesh Chaturthi is about worshipping God Ganesha, son of Goddess Parvati and Mahadev. This famous festival in Karnataka began as a public festival during our freedom struggle and was inaugurated by one of the greatest freedom fighters, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, at Belagavi (1906).

  • When is it celebrated? 4th day of the Shukla Chaturthi and concludes with Anant Chaturdashi in August or September
  • Presiding Deity. Lord Ganesha
  • Location: Across Karnataka and Other Parts of India

2) Ugadi | A Prominent Festival of Karnataka Marks Onset of the Spring

Celebrate new beginnings on the day of Ugadi, a prominent festival in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. It displays a cultural extravaganza, a festival of delicacies such as Moong Dal Payasam, Bevu Bella, and Holige. It is believed to be the start of the Kali Yuga when Lord Krishna left the mortal world.

Ugadi comprises two Sanskrit words, Yuga and Adi, literally translating into new beginnings. It is the start of the natural cycle for agriculture, and people believe it's auspicious to start a new venture with new hope, enthusiasm, and utmost jubilation.

  • When is it celebrated? The first day of Chaitra Month
  • Presiding Deity. Lord Brahma
  • Location. Across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Also Read - Best Tourist Places To Visit In Karnataka

3) Hampi Festival (Vijaya Utsav) | Commemoration of Culture and Heritage of Vijayanagar Empire

Hampi Festival, also known as Vijaya Utsav, dates back to the times of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. The main attractions of this main festival of Karnataka are dance, music, art performances, jumbo safari, outdoor adventure sports, cultural shows, exhibitions, and lots more.

Experience these ruins coming alive with music and celebrations during the Hampi Festival. Every year lakhs of tourists arrive to experience these spectacular cultural festivals that go back to the 14th century.

  • When is it celebrated? January
  • Presiding Deity of Hampi. Lord Virupaksha
  • Location. Hampi, Karnataka

4) Mysore Dasara | A 10-Day State Festival of Karnataka

Although Dasara is celebrated across India, Mysore Dasara is unique and makes it a main festival of Karnataka. The festival began in 1610, and it will soon be celebrating its 413th anniversary. It is the celebration of the slaying of the demon Mahisasura by Goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga). This 10-day festival is world-famous for decoration at Mysore Palace, the grand procession of Goddess Durga with an idol made of pure gold weighs about 750 kg.

  • When is it celebrated? 10th Day of the Month of Ashvin
  • Presiding Deity: Goddess Chamundeshwari
  • Location: Mysore, Karnataka

5) Karnataka Rajyotsava | A Prominent State Public Holiday to Celebrate State Formation Day

This state festival of Karnataka is also known as Kannada Day or Kannada Rajyotsava, or Karnataka Formation Day. The government of Karnataka celebrates this annual festival on 1st November since its formation in 1956, based in Kannada-speaking areas of Southern India.

Karnataka Day is the main festival of Karnataka, and Kannadigas celebrate it wherever they are across the world. The event proceedings include Rajyotsava awards, announcements, presentations, community festivals, book releases in the Kannada language, concerts, and more.

  • When is it celebrated? 1st November to commemorate the formation of Vishal Mysore State
  • Presiding Deity. N/A
  • Location: Usually at Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore

6) Makar Sankranti | A Celebration of New Beginnings with Joy and Hope

Makar Sankranti is one of the main festivals in Karnataka. It celebrates the harvest season and the sun's movement from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. People in Karnataka and other parts of India clean their homes, wear new dresses and pray to God.

Social activities on Makar Sankranti involve kite flying, singing, dancing, bonfires, rangoli, and more.

  • When is it celebrated? 14th or 15th of January every year to observe the winter solstice
  • Presiding Deity: Sun God, along with God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi
  • Location: Across Karnataka

7) Sri Vithappa Fair | A 200 Years Old Festival of Karnataka

Another festival in Karnataka reflects the rich cultural heritage of the state. Sri Vithappa Fair is a 200-year-old tradition held in Vithappa Village to honour and worship Vithappa God. This three-day festival includes puja and processions and has immense cultural and religious significance.

  • When is it celebrated? The fourteenth and fifteenth day of Ashwija month
  • Presiding Deity: Lord Vithappa
  • Location: Vithappa Village near Belagavi, Karnataka

8) Vairamundi Festival | A Prominent Annual Festival Dedicated to Lord Vishnu