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Ugadi – Festival of India
Saturday, March 29th, 2014

By Rini

The tides of time continue their cycle, irrespective of everything that changes in this world. Every year at this time comes Ugadi or New Year for the people of the Deccan plateau region. Based on the lunar calendar, the day varies from year to year. In Sanskrit, yuga means age, adi means beginning. Hence Ugadi means beginning of a fresh era. This New Year is predominantly celebrated by the states bordered by Vindhya Range and the Cauvery River, viz Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa. Ugadi 2014 is on 31st March.

Ugadi Special
Ugadi Special Dish

The mythological connection to the festival is interesting. We are believed to be currently living in Kaliyuga, or the post Lord Krishna era. Maharishi Vedavyas had described the day of Ugadi as the starting of the Yuga. The historic link is with that of the Shalivahana calendar. The Satavahana emperor, Gautamiputra Satakarni, is believed to have initiated the era. Ugadi marks the start of the Satavahana era.

In India, fiesta and food can never be mutually exclusive. You can never find any festival being celebrated without a gustatory accompaniment. There are certain dishes that are specially made as a part of Ugadi New Year Celebration.

Andhar Platter on Ugadi
The Ugadi Platter

During Ugadi, you will see people making an offering of few selected  ingredients, representing different aspects of life. In that platter, you will find bitter buds from the neem tree signifying Sadness, jaggery and banana representing Sweetness and Joy, green chilli signifying Anger, salt for Fear, tangy unripened mango, denoting Surprises of life and lastly tamarind juice, representing Sourness in the form of Disgust.

  • Ugadi Pachhadi: This is made with the 6 ingredients described above. This sauce is a symbolic reminder of the myriad facets of life. The different strong flavours mixed together leave a tangy after taste in the mouth for some time post its consumption.
  • Bhakshyalu or Bobbatlu: A filling is made of Bengal gram and jaggery (unrefined cane sugar). Flat cakes are made of dough with the filling inside. It is generally served hot with grated coconut.
  • Bellam Paramannam: It is made of jaggery, almonds and milk. It is mainly made for Sankranti, another festival but residents of Andhra Pradesh make this dish during Ugadi as well.
  • Boorelu: Traditional sweet dish of the Telugu community, this is a ball of flour that is stuffed with coconut, jaggery. Usually served hot with ghee (clarified butter).
  • Other dishes include Jantikalu, Ribbon Murukku, Raw Mango rice, Semiya Payasam, Barfi and a plethora of others.

Ugadi marks the festivity of positive energy, of joy and well wishes.

Sweets On Ugadi
One For The Sweet Tooth

Kurt Vonnegut had once said : “here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. And there is no why.” The words are so true. Else how does one explain we, celebrating Holi few days ago, are now immersed in the frenzy of another fiesta, Ugadi. I wish you all a very happy new year or as they would say Ugadi Habbada Shubhashayagallu!


Intrigued by the origins and rituals of the varied festivals of India? Drop us a line at http://www.goseekandhide.com/enquiry-form/ or at reservations@goseekandhide.com to make a customised India holiday itinerary for you.


Picture Courtesy:

Ugadi Special, India Cuisine

Ugadi Platter, Spicing your life

One For the Sweet Tooth, Srav

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The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell


My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.


While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

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