Fairs of Gujarat
A number of fairs are held in the state of Gujarat imparting fun and frolic in lives of people. Bhavnath fair is organized in the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple of Girnar, Junagarh at the time of Mahashivratri in the month of February. This colourful fair continues for five days. Lord Shiva is worshipped in this fair and it is believed that Lord himself visits the shrine during this. Another important and colourful fair of Gujarat is Tarnetar fair which is held at Temple of Shiva or Trinetreshwar. The fair is associated with the 'swayamvara' of mythical character Draupadi. The fair is accompanied by exquisite folk songs and folk dances. Shamlaji Melo, also known as Kartik Purnima Fair is a two week fair held in the month of November. The fair witnesses a huge gathering of people belonging to different communities. It is organized in Shamlaji Temple which is a famous Vaishnav shrine. Another grand fair of Gujarat is Vautha fair which is organized at Vautha at the confluence of two rivers the Vatrak and the Sabarmati. The fair is one of the largest fairs of the state. Vichitra fair is organized in a village named Gunbhakhari in Sabarkantha district. It takes place after a fortnight of Holi festival. The fair is accompanied by enthusiastic celebrations with drums, folk songs and dances showcasing the cultural heritage of the state.
Fairs of Maharashtra
Great enthusiasm and spirit can also be observed in the fairs of Maharashtra. Among the important fairs of this state, Changdeo fair is one which takes place at Changdeo, a holy place. The sanctity of this place is due to the presence of Purna and Tapi rivers. This annual fair witnesses a huge gathering of pilgrims who visit it to have a holy dip in these sacred rivers. Nashik Kumbh Mela is considered as one of the most important spiritual gathering of Hindus. Kumbh Mela in fact is organized once in every three years rotating among the Indian holy cities Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar. Another fair of this state is Navaratra Mahalaxmi Fair which is held at Navaratra Mahalaxmi Temple situated in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Shrirama Rathotsava Fair is an annual fair celebrated at Shrirama Rathotsava Mandir. The temple is situated in Jalgaon district and was built during the Peshwa period. It takes place in the month of October and November.
Fair of Daman and Diu
. A grand fair is held in Daman and Diu known as Gangaji fair. Celebrated in the month of March, this fair takes place at Somnath Madadev temple located at the village of Dabhel. Myths say that owing to the requests of a true devotee of Lord Shiva, a monk, a shivlinga appeared miraculously appeared here during 19th century. The temple was however built in 1972-73 and this marked the initiation of this fair. The fair is accompanied by various religious rituals and holy baths in the sacred water of a tank.
Fairs in Western India contribute greatly in the rich cultural heritage of the country. The varied rituals and celebrations of these fairs are unique in their own way. Folk culture of western India finds amazing expressions through these fairs which also serve as a means of adding vigour to the lives of people. These fairs are not only enjoyed by the people of western India but also serve as a great attraction for the tourists of the whole country.
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