Exploring KR Market

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A photo-walk inside Krishna Rajendra Market (KR Market) turned out be very enlivening. The market named after Sri Krishnarajendra Wadiyar, a former Maharaja of Mysore, is the biggest and busiest market in Bangalore. Taking pictures here can be quite an experience. Even as you focus your camera on a subject and adjust your step there is every possibility that you will bump into a human, a canine or a hungry bovine. There is every chance that you will end up falling flat on your face and get up with muck all over you. At certain quiet corners of the market you could end up scaring humans and animals who till you emerged at the spot were fast asleep. Don’t be surprised too if you land on a cow’s back and the poor animal gets up and runs with you à la Captain Haddock’s cow ride in ‘Tintin in Tibet’. The space between sellers is very narrow. So when taking pictures of vegetables and vegetable sellers you have to watch your step or else you will end up trampling vegetables neatly laid out by the vendors.

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Uninterrupted announcements over the loudspeakers alerting people to watch out for laptop thieves, mobile thieves, pickpockets, chain-snatchers and female thieves drown the cries of vendors and farmers trying to sell their produce.  Amidst all this cacophony, an occasional moo from a cow, a caw from a crow, chirps of sparrows (there are plenty here 🙂 ) or a bark of a dog (quite a few vendors have Indie dogs as pets here 🙂 ) is like music to the ears.

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Thanks to the endless varieties of flowers, spices and coloured powders sold here the market is as colourful as it is noisy.  And the smells of jasmine, marigold, and roses greet you everywhere.

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The Sankranti-eve photo-walk led by eminent photographer Vivek Muthuramalingam started at 7am outside the market entrance. The theme of the walk was to capture the Makara Sankranti (harvest festival) fervour in and around the market which during the time of this festival is overcrowded thanks to the large supply of and demand for flowers, garlands, and sugarcane.

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At the entrance, a couple of lemon-sellers caught my eyes. I liked the artistic manner in which the lemons were arranged. As I walked on I noticed that arranging fruits and veggies in artistic style is a habit with most vendors here.

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This little dog was one bundle of energy. Every now and then he sprinted off like Usain Bolt only to come back seconds later to his favourite perch (a sack).

I spotted more dogs as I walked on.  Two of them were fast asleep and another was watching over the market space. One fella had cosied up inside a basket.

While the inner courtyard of the market was occupied by vegetable and spice sellers most of the fruit sellers and grocers had occupied shops inside the building. There were a lot of shops that were either not occupied or had not opened for the day.

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The fruit merchants and grocers had just started their day. One was counting money perhaps his earnings of the previous day. Another was having a cup of tea. A couple of them had just finished their prayers.

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A lot of shops were selling rangoli powder arranged in perfect mountains. As you can see making these mountains is no child’s play; it requires a lot of practice.

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Even as truckloads of flowers were being unloaded, skillful garland makers were at work. I was amazed at the speed in which their fingers and hands moved. Till I noticed these men making garlands I thought that garland-making was strictly a women’s prerogative.

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At 8.30am it was time to wind up, say goodbye to KR Market and head for breakfast.

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