We knew we wanted to somehow honor this holiday in celebration of the birth of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, but we weren’t quite sure how to do this. Melissa spent some time hunting online for possible events and came across the 55th Annual Bengaluru Ganesha Chaturthi, an 11-day festival downtown with different performances every night. While the information was limited, we decided to take a chance.
When we got to the National College Grounds, we saw that they’d covered the huge parade grounds with a tent. To one side at the front of the tent was a sort of temporary temple with a giant Ganesh and other symbols on the holiday, with people lining up to walk past and receive the attentions of the priests.
To the other side was a big stage with a women’s choir already singing as we arrived around 5:30.
The main event (a dramatic dance performance of Krishna’s life called Krishna Leelaavarna) was to begin at 7, but of course we’re living on India time. After the choir finished, a drum line with 30 drummers situated near the altar began to play with great gusto and for longer than we would have imagined anyone could sustain. It was incredible and projected on the screen above the stage the whole time, interspersed with shots of the candles being lit and offerings being made to Ganesh. It would have been nice to have things explained, but we still found it exciting to be a part of it all.
Exhausted from our day of walking, we didn’t make it to the main performance of the event, but the evening felt complete.