Shri Mahavir Ji Fair, Rajasthan
Shri Mahavir Ji Fair, Rajasthan- A Cultural Rejoicingin adoration of the Mighty Saint
Location - Chandangaon, Rajasthan
Date - March 28, 2018
Highlights - Religious and cultural extravaganza, ceremonial holy proceedings at the temple, cultural events and performances, artistic display of ethnic things, music and dance shows
When it comes to specifics, Rajasthan is usually considered the land of rich cultural and traditional heritage but it also remains a fact that the state also very much associated with religion and spirituality and so, many of its fairs and festivals have a strong religious flavor to them. Shri Mahavir Ji Fair is one such fair of the region which is primarily focused on religious devotion and is celebrated in remembrance and reverence of a 24th tirthankara or Jaini Saint. The festival is organized every year in the month of April and goes on from the Chaitra Shukla Ekadasi to the Baisakh Krishna Dwitya in the Chandangaon region.
The main action takes place at the famous Mahavirji Temple, built as a tribute to the great saint and is situated in an enclosure called ‘Katala’ and is home to a beautiful lively image of the Mahavir Swami. It is rumored and people believe in the fact that a leather worker from the nearby hillock, Devta-Ka-Tila had dug it out and is now positioned inside the temple premises. Another stunning monument of glory stands poised right in front of the temple, which is a tower of dignity called as the Man- Stambha.
A good chunk of the religious proceedings of the fair take place at this temple and it is jam-packed with thousands of devotees, believers and tourists from across the globe. The sacred temple area and surroundings are very cleanly maintained during all times, especially at the time of this fair. Each morning commences with a proper cleaning, bathing and fresh decoration of the God’s Image and all such arrangement are handled efficiently by the head priest of the temple called Bhattarak and gets the due assistance by his disciples, Brahmacharis. An elaborate puja (prayer) observing all the set rites and rituals and the ashta- argha (eight oblations) is what follows next.
Among other interesting engagements of the fair, the most relished by the visitors is the Rath Yatra or the ceremonial procession. It is the peak time on the day of the Baisakh Krishna Dwitya when the image of the deity is carried in the golden chariot, drawn by four bullocks. Being carried across the entire surroundings of the place, it is then taken to the bank of Gambhiri River in a grand fashion for the Kailash Abhishek. There are four persons seated on the rath who wave the chanvars or the fly whisks over the image amidst a joyful aura resonating with the melodious singings of the holy religious songs like ‘bhajans’ and the sporadic slogans in the praise of Shri Mahavir Ji.
The fair is definitely not devoid of the vivid social- cultural traditions of the region and extends the fun and celebratory part to entertaining folk music and dance shows, cultural shows, sports and other engaging activities, markets displaying handicrafts and Rajasthani ethnic pieces. Tourists fully enjoy the wonderful performances by the professional artists and participate enthusiastically in the other joyous events of the fair. It is a religious and cultural treat and a very different experience for all those who want to have a real taste of Indian civilization, folklore and lifestyle during their travel to the country.