Horabeedu – Picnic Like the Kannadigas


It’s just a matter of time until globalization reaches your doorstep and proposes a new policy under which people are allowed to picnic in designated places. As the time is running out, let me just tell you quickly the secret of traditional Kannada picnic. This ‘one state many worlds’ has been around a while correct? Before the emperors ruled and until when Kanye West used to be sane. The people of this place have their own way of doing things. Festivals, celebrations and style.

One such thing is picnic. Karnataka is identified as a ‘Bayalu seeme’. Excluding the western ghat, the most of the East, Central and the North, where you can find huge open plains, farming lands and agricultural fields are called Bayalu seeme. The ancient people of Karnataka had nothing but the agricultural living and they tried to make the best from it. The legacy that has continued until today, maybe a little modernized, is the legacy of a traditional picnic in the farms. Not have to be exactly farms though.


Horabeedu is a traditional Kannada picnic. The word translates to ‘camping outside’. The traditional picnic culture is famous in the northern region of Karnataka like Chitradurga, Davanagere, Hubli, Haveri and others. Actually, this culture is famous all over Karnataka.

It is very common among rural folks. Even the urban ones know about it but they just call it a picnic. The idea is to cook traditional foods in the farm lands and enjoy the valuable time with your family. Even families that are widely displaced to other countries and cities will celebrate this once a year. At least try to.

Usually, the foods are cooked in the farm but you can bring it from home. This little tradition has united families, made affairs lighter and strengthened the bonding between family members since centuries. Families are seen doing their own thing like playing games, singing, dancing and just having a great time.

The traditional Horabeedu done in northern Karnataka, involves iconic traditional foods like jovar roti and brinjal curry. Even more interesting is the jovar ball. You might have heard about ragi ball right? That’s the same thing, but with jovar.

It is accompanied by a sambaar made of raw tomatoes and chilli juice and garlic juice called as ‘sappesaru’. Trust me, this is the greatest thing that will grace your taste buds. Apart from foods you can even extend Horabeedu by building a fire and camping there. Until your heart desires.

Where can you go for Horabeedu?

The Horabeedu can go on until you wish to stop. Many families own the places so they usually have farm houses built inside. The Horabeedu doesn’t have to be only in private land. What do you think God gave free will for? You can literally go on a Horabeedu any place you like. The most favorite spots will be in parks, near forests, lakes, by the river or a waterfall, near a dam or reservoir or any place you see fit for a blissful family time.

The best as I recommend is Mangroves. With winter hanging over our heads, I can see summer around the corner. Summer in the mangroves is one of the most memorable things to experience in life. The perfect spot and the perfect time for a family picnic! I promise, you will remember it for the rest of your life. If you plan it in the evening, that is the best ever. The scent of raw mangoes and the soft evening sun filtering the spaces between trees, while there you are with your family, doing your own thing. Tempting isn’t it?

If you are an introvert and get uncomfortable among people, you can always resort to music and books. Even better, start a trivia game with one of your relatives. Unable to answer what Pangaea is, they will leave you alone. You can blast some music and spend the day wandering around the farm.

You can even think of indulging and entertaining the whole family. Play an instrument or play a recreational game. I recommend playing treasure hunt. The most fun game ever. Also, some physical games like running and chasing will last the impression of the memory. Staying in an urban jungle, God knows you need it.

The idea of Horabeedu as a traditional picnic is all about keeping families together. If there are any rifts, it’s a good time to make it up to that person or finally, getting a chance to meet up. The best thing about this is it is customized.

I cannot tell you where and how. It’s completely your wish; your choice of place; your people; your time. All I would say is to make it the best and keep making it better every time…


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