On the full moon day of Kartik, a huge cattle fair is organized in Sonpur, Bihar. This is famous as Sonpur Mela. Another name of it is Harihar Kshetra Mela. The fair runs from the full moon of Kartik to the fourteenth of the month of Agrahayan. Held on the banks of river Ganges, this fair is the most read animal fair in Asia. Various types of animals are bought and sold here. The most interesting part of the fair is the elephant market. Rows and rows of elephants stand here. Many people and domestic and foreign tourists flock to see the elephant. Besides, buffalo, donkey, dog, goat, rabbit, camel, horse, mule, various kinds of birds are sold in this fair.
Legend has it that the fair has been going on since the time of Ramayana. In ancient times fairs were organized at a place called Hajipur in Vaishali district. During the Mughal period it was removed to Sonpur. The fair has been going on here since then. In the past, any trader could take part in this fair. Now, however, the sale of animals without legal documents is prohibited by law. And animals like elephants are brought to the fair only for display. Apart from animals, the fair also sells clothes, handicrafts, utensils, household items, toys, jewelery, furniture, farming implements etc.
Camels are the main attraction of the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, just as various types of animals are sold at the Sonpur Fair. It is basically a camel fair. Their owners display their pet camels here in various outfits. It is the largest camel fair in the world. The fair starts in the month of Kartik. And the end is the full moon day of Kartik. Meaning the day the Sonpur fair in Bihar starts. Tourists from many countries of the world come to this fair. Israeli tourists come here the most. This camel fair sits on the shores of Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan. It is one of the best tourist attractions here.
In addition to camels, horses and other cattle are sold and displayed here. The camels are decorated in various colors. Their form and competition are also in the fair. The owner of the most beautiful and gifted camel is rewarded. Folk music and folk dance of Rajasthan are displayed in the fair. Men’s and women’s tug-of-war is a game of pot-breaking competition. The competition is the longest mustache, camel race, lantern flying and many more. Not only as a camel fair, but also on the holy day of Kartik, Hindu pilgrims come to bathe in the holy lake Pushkar. The local economy depends a lot on this fair. Apart from animals, handicrafts, jewelery, clothes, clothes and furniture are also sold at the fair. Various cultural programs including folk music and folk dance are organized.
Hemis Cave Fair
The Hemis Cave Fair is organized at the Hemis Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Buddhist monk Padmasambhava. The fair begins on the tenth day of the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar. During this time the largest Buddhist monastery, the Hemis Cave, was erected. The fair is celebrated with fire. Torches are lit in the area adjacent to the Buddhist monastery and fair. Except for the fire, all the areas became colorful. The fair is usually held in June or July in English. The dates, however, change every year. The actual number of days of the fair is mainly two. However, the fair is expanded with tourists in mind.
The fair is held in the rectangular part in front of the Hemis Buddhist monastery. If you go to the fair grounds, you will think that you have come to Tibet, not India. A small stage was set up in the middle of the fair. It contains a sacred stick or pole. A small Tibetan design table is placed around it. It contains holy water, tarma and incense sticks made of rice, flour and butter. Artists perform folk music at the fair. Traditional dances are served. Many men and women wearing colorful clothes took part. Many lamas can be seen in the fair. Many tourists visit this colorful fair. The people of Ladakh are always ready to entertain them. At the fair, many young men and women choose their life partners. This fair is actually the meeting place of Ladakhis and Tibetans.
At the Hemis Cave Fair, guests are treated to special tea. This tea is made with butter and barley flour made from yak or chamri cow’s milk. There is no comparison of tastes. Although it is a spiritual fair, there is no shortage of shopping materials here. Woolen garments of various colors, shawls, septic items, home decor items, jewelery, precious stones etc. are sold here. There are many wonderful statues of Gautam Buddha. Different antique things are also matched in this fair.
Kolayat Mela is held every year from September to October in Kolayat village of Bikaner, Rajasthan. Another name for it is Kapil Muni Mela. This is another cattle fair in Rajasthan. The fair is organized around Kolayat Lake in Bikaner. Every year a fair is held on the auspicious date of Kartik Purnima. Devotees float lamps in Kolayat Lake on a specific date. Fans gather at a total of 52 ghats, including Kapil Muni Ghat on the lake. The light of the lamp shone all around. Reminiscent of the scene of devotees floating lamps at the Ganges Ghat in Benares. And the main attraction of Kolayat Mela is the sight of this lamp floating. Fans bathe in the lake. They believe that Kapil Muni used to do austerities along this ghat. In the evening, the view of the evening arti on the edge of the ghat is very beautiful.
Camels, horses, buffaloes etc. are sold at the fair. The fair sells clothes, handicrafts, utensils, household items, toys, jewelery, furniture etc. Local music and dance artists take part in the fair. Many domestic and foreign tourists gather in the crowd.
The traditional Chandrabhaga Mela is organized every year on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River in Orissa. Another name of the fair is Magh Saptami Mela. This fair is organized on Maghi full moon. The fair lasted for seven days. On the occasion of the fair, thousands of devotees gathered on the banks of the river Chandrabhaga. The fair begins with the devotees taking a holy bath. Chandrabhaga Mela is the second largest fair in Orissa. According to the Puranas, his own son Shambha contracted leprosy due to Krishna’s curse. On the advice of the Naras, Shambha worshiped the sun for twelve consecutive days on the banks of the Chandrabhaga river. He was freed from the curse. Since then, devotees believe that bathing in the Chandrabhaga river on the full moon of Maghi brings rejuvenation. Devotees bathe in Chandrabhaga in the morning on the auspicious date and worship the sunrise. After visiting Surya Darshan, devotees visit Surya Mandir in Konark. At the fair, the shopkeepers sit in the stalls of many local handicraft items. Chandrabhaga’s arrow rises in the joy of folk music, dance, gambler’s play, shopping, eating. Many devotees from Sela visit Jagannath Darshan at Puri temple.
The country’s most popular and famous Ambubachi Mela is held in the vicinity of Kamakhya Temple in Assam. According to Hindu beliefs, the earth or mother earth becomes seasonal when the three positions of the deer vein constellation end in the month of Ashar. Ambubachi is celebrated during this time. And on this occasion a huge fair is organized there. The temple of Goddess Kamakshya is closed for a total of three days from the day of Ambubachi. No good deeds can be done in those three days. Goddess philosophy is also forbidden. On the fourth day, after the bath and worship of the goddess is completed, the idol of the goddess is allowed to be seen in the temple. Millions of fans attended the occasion. Domestic and foreign tourists flock to witness this amazing event. The chanting of the name goes around the Kamakhya temple. On the last day of Ambubachi, blood garments were given to the devotees. Devotees believe that the desire is fulfilled when the goddess wears that blood cloth on her back. Ambubachi’s fair is internationally famous. The huge fair that is organized around the fair is also worth seeing.
Every year on the Shukla Ekadashi of the month of Magh, the tribal fair of Baneshwar is held in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan. This fair is organized mainly on the occasion of worship of Devadidev Mahadev. Indigenous people of adjoining states including Rajasthan attend the fair. Held on the banks of Som and Mahi rivers in Baneshwar, this fair is called the Kumbh Mela of the Adivasis.
After bathing in the river, the Shivalinga is worshiped by the tribal priest Matadhish. Devotees also take holy bath with the priest. People of the Veel community dumped the bones of the late family members in the river. During the fair, the temple of Baneshwar Mahadev is open from 5 am to 11 pm. In the morning Shivling is bathed and hair is applied. Then there is Aarti. In the evening ashes are spread on Shivling. Devotees offer rice, pulses, flour, ghee, salt, chilli, molasses, coconut and cash to the deity. The deity is worshiped in the temple. Apart from Shivling, Lakshmi-Narayan and Brahma are also worshiped.
Indigenous people light their fire at the fair at night and perform their traditional music and dance around it. Throughout the day there are dances, songs, magic games, animal shows, wrestling competitions etc. The fair also has other entertainment arrangements including Nagardola. There are plenty of food, hospitality, clothing, furniture, jewelry, utensil shops. All in all, once you visit this ancient fair of the adivasis, you will be amazed.
We would like to give thanks to the author of this article for this awesome content
Have you ever been to these weird fairs in our country all year round?