Location of Vautha Mela
Vautha Mela is celebrated every year at Vautha in Gujarat at the confluence of two rivers, the Sabarmati and the Vatrak. Vautha Mela site is 3 square miles in area. The site where the fair is held is also known as Saptasangam as it is also the confluence of seven rivers. The most important Shiva temple here is the temple of Siddhanath.
Attractions of Vautha Mela
Vautha is held every year in the month of Kartik as per Hindu calendar which coincides with the month of November as per the English calendar. Animals like donkey, cattle and herds of camel are brought to site to be traded. However, donkeys are the main attraction of the fair. About 4,000 donkeys are brought every year for sale, usually by Banjara Tribe or gypsy traders. The donkeys are painted in an array of colours, and decorated to suit the occasion. Camels are also well decked up and sold on the sand dunes by the river shores.
Pilgrims including farmers, labourers and others belonging to several castes and communities visit the Vautha during the fair. On the day of the full moon night, pilgrims take dips in the holy river confluence and offer their prayers. Handicraft and food stalls with tented pastoral settlements setup during the fair. Kartika Poornima is also celebrated with a camel fair at Sidhpur, a religious fair at Somnath and a tribal fair at the historic temple of Shamlaji.
The Vautha village is small and consists a population of about 2000 people but during the Vautha Mela, the population of Vautha rises to around 2, 00,000.
Mythological Story Vautha Mela
As per a legend Kartik Swami or Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva, visited the site on Kartik Purnima. It is for this reason that the fair is held during Kartika Purnima, the full moon night of the month of Kartik, corresponding to November.