Mysore/Mysuru: Ahead of Makara Sankranti, an important harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God, people thronged the markets across the city and residential areas this morning to shop for the festival, which will be celebrated tomorrow.
Large number of buyers, particularly women were seen flooding the Devaraja Market to buy each individual ingredients of yellu-bella, a special mixture of sesame seeds to be mixed with groundnut, dry coconut (kobbari), roasted chana (hurigadale) and jaggery. Heavy rush was also seen in the market to buy fruits and vegetables, flowers, sugar candy, sugarcane and other necessary puja materials.
Traditionally, on the occasion of Makara Sankranti, after offering puja to the deities, the mixture of yellu-bella together with sugarcane and banana fruit is distributed to near and dear ones. Sugarcane stalks were seen heaped at major road junctions all across the city with each stalk selling at Rs. 15 to Rs. 30. A ready mix of yellu-bella, the composite of all ingredients was being sold at Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per kg. Individual ingredients of yellu-bella were also being sold to make a blend of personal choice.
Cost of groundnut was Rs. 140 to Rs. 150 per kg, hurigadale Rs. 100, sesame seeds Rs. 180 to Rs. 200, jaggery shreds Rs. 100, acchu bella Rs. 6 per piece, kobbari Rs. 400 to Rs. 450 and sugar candy (sakkare acchu) Rs. 100.
While Corona pandemic seems to have mellowed down to a considerable extent, unlike during many festivals celebrated last year, retail and wholesale flower shops at Devaraja Flower Market was not shifted to J.K. Grounds.
Flower and sugarcane stalk vendors were seen doing brisk business at Chamundipuram, J.P. Nagar, Mathrumandali Circle, Vivekananda Circle, Vijayanagar, Agrahara Circle, Nanjumalige Circle and other important junctions in city. Shivarampet and adjoining areas including Dufferin Clock Tower Circle, Santhepet, Devaraja Urs Road, Sayyaji Road as well as residential areas including market areas of Agrahara, Kuvempunagar, Ramakrishnanagar, Vontikoppal were swarmed by people to purchase groceries, new clothes, puja materials and other items.
Some merchants selling yellu-bella opined that this year the business is 40 percent less than last year. “Due to Corona pandemic, most of the householders seem to have decided to prepare their own mixture at home, which has adversely affected our business,” said Ramesh, a merchant selling yellu-bella near Dufferin Clock Tower Circle in Shivarampet.