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Belagavi’s Summer Special ‘Haute Stuff’

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Picture this: A bustling Saturday market in Belagavi’s vibrant Ganpat Galli, any time in the balmy months of March, April, or May. As you meander from the end of Ganpat Galli towards Kambli Khut, take a moment to breathe deeply. The air is thick with a medley of aromas that make your mouth water and your stomach rumble with anticipation.

Stroll further past Rajpurohit Dry Fruits, where the air carries whispers of delicious scents. Yes, you’ve arrived in the heart of Belagavi’s culinary haven. Here, amidst the lively chatter, women, men, and children sit along the roadside, offering the season’s finest treasures unique to this region. There are the tart Indian blackberries, or jambhuls, and the tangy cranberries, known as karvande, both in their raw green and ripe black states. You’ll find jackfruit arils, called gare, and the curious dhamne, resembling red buttons shaped like the number eight. Chare, the Buchanania fruits whose seeds are the nutty charoli or chironji used in Shrikhand, add to the array, along with the beautiful kairis—raw mangoes and gooseberries that tease your taste buds with just a mention. Fresh produce from the Yellur area also graces the stalls of Shahapur Market.

belagavi summer fruits

In the Station area, Samadevi Galli you can find cashew apples, those bright orange fruits that leave a distinct taste in your mouth. All these treats are sold in eco-friendly leaf wraps, a tradition to be proud of. Imagine these berries being sold in sterile malls, packed in airtight plastic bags—there’s no comparison to the joy of holding a leaf cone, feeling the juices trickle down, staining your clothes and coloring your mouth.

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Many remember an old lady carrying a massive cane basket on her head, her call of “Kanbargi Kavlihanne….SSSSSS” echoing through the streets. Do you miss that clarion call that roused you from lazy summer afternoons? Hand carts selling jambhuls and blackberries still roam the streets, their bells a sweet invitation to savor these seasonal delights.

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Children might lament that these vendors often appear during the hottest part of the day, when the elders nap and kids can’t buy their treats. Similarly, the baraf-ka-gola, that delightfully colorful grated ice with slurpy syrup, appears in the afternoons. Watching your mouth turn a funny shade of pink, red, or yellow from the syrup is pure joy. Even though branded ice creams are now commonplace, nothing beats the thrill of unwrapping a butter paper-clad white Femila ice cream from a push-cart that closes with a satisfying thud. And who could forget the sight of a cycle-riding vendor with a tower of candy floss, or buddhi ke baal, that melts in your mouth and brings an instant smile.

While cucumbers (kheera) and watermelons still dominate the streets, these humble treats hold a special place in our hearts, at least for now.

During summer holidays, many guests prefer these local delights over the ubiquitous pizza and Coke. You won’t find such a collection of flavors and memories in any metropolitan area. If you need more reasons to linger in Belagavi, this is it!

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16 thoughts on “Belagavi’s Summer Special ‘Haute Stuff’”

  1. Swatee,
    Wow !!! Your articles are so mesmerizing….It takes me through all those gallis. I could even hear those bells ringing and feel that April-May heat when I used to go out to buy those jambuls in the middle of my afternoon nap!!
    Thanks for such a “delicious” article!!!… It is always pleasure to read your work.. So, please keep them coming..

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  2. Swatee,
    Thanks for refreshing my brain & opening that pages of my life where I use to wander in my village with my friends for that Belgaum fruits.
    —-Sunil Kole

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  3. Excellent!!! Swatee. You have described eveything right. I could re-collect it happen just that way. We always took route to school via Ganpat Galli and would often buy the jamoon, kauli and dhamne. Saturday was just great, until the saturday market moved towards other places, Still the street has not lost much of the charm. Miss the Bombay Aliiipaaak with Besan laddo and lime juice sprinkled. The fresh bhajji and churmuri mixed with khari boondi and shenga from the Churmure Bhatti, (few exist now), The Smell of Fresh Fruit laden trucks unloading at Kadolkar Galli… the fruit sellers chant… Nagpur orange, Shimla apple etc!!! Wow! Nostalgia! Good old days of growing in Belgaum.

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  4. Keep it going girl !! Short sweet and simple writing. Please post a picture of the unique Dhamna fruit which I didn’t find anywhere in India and abroad and also the tiny brownberry.

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  5. Thanks Swatee and AAB for taking me down the memory lane. My favorite is “Nellikayi adike” or “AvaLa Supari” the ones in the photo, I soo wish I could just take them off screen. Thanks for the mouth watering article.

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  6. I remember my Summer Holidays, about 45 years back, Samadevi Galli Corner was a host of these fruits, Still now also available all of you enjoy & these bring reminscences of my childhood days, Kudos to AAB

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  7. Mouth watering eatables. A few days back we visited Belagundi with our grandson to have a feast of karavande and murute in open fields. Belagavi is unique in jambul, karavande, borikai, nellikai ಹುಣಸೆ, etc. We relish these even today. Thanks for beautiful presentation.

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  8. Swatee !

    It is shear joy to read about Belgavi, My birth place and native town, It is grown into a semi metropolitan city and going towards being a metropolitan. But back in 1975 to 1990 our child hood wow what days we never bought these things, roam around the bungalow area of camp and just climb the trees and enjoy these fruits eating with the gang. All the summer holidays same program with short picnics to Asoga-Khanapur , Rakaskop all on rented cycles whew.. these golden memories with sis, bro and friends will never vanish from the mind and heart as long as I leave. Now the situation is different now kids prefer buying and their enjoyment and dear friend is MOBILE PHONE WITH DATA…..very sad they are loosing their social life to get a social (Mobile) life.

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  9. I so very miss it we don’t get it anywhere in the world expect my ? belgaum though the city grows but it must not lose these treasures no matter what

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  10. Nostalgia….Yes ,that’s what one feels on reading this article…Oh boy ,how I miss those galli’s, my childhood antics, gooseberries and karwande et all …belgaum as it was known back then shall always be the most beautiful place to me always…Keep it coming…?

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