The Karaga Festival in Karnataka is considered to be one of the major festivals of the State. In honour of the Goddess Shakti, this nine day festival has throngs of devotees converging at the Dharmarayaswamy temple in Bengaluru.
Held during March-end/April-beginning, the Karaga festival's main feature is the procession lead by a male devotee dressed as a female & holding the karaga (mud pot) on his head. This karaga carrier must also wear black bangles and his wife's mangalsutra, with kumkum (vermillion powder) on his forehead. Behind him follow a group of men known as Veerakumaras. They are bare-chested and carry swords, ready to pounce on the karaga carrier if he drops the holy karaga.
While this procession is primarily centered on the Dharmarayaswamy temple in Bengaluru, in other parts of Karnataka, too, it is celebrated with great fervour and devotion. In Madikeri, for example, there is not one karaga but four karagas, from the four prominent Mariyamma temples in the area. The Goddess Mariyamma is the goddess of health and rain. Unlike the nine-day festival in other parts of Karnataka, in Madikeri the festival is celebrated over 10 days and concludes on the day of Vijayadashmi. The four karagas, known as shakti devtas, wind their way around the town, visiting all the homes, with a pooja being conducted in each home.
Read more here: Dharmarayaswamy Temple Bengaluru