The Largest Tribal Fair Taking Place From 20th Feb

The Baneshwar Fair spans five days, commencing on Shukla Ekadashi of the Magh month in the Hindu calendar. This year it is taking place from 20th Feb – 24th Feb, 2024.

This distinctive and largest tribal fair in the country, held annually in Dungarpur, Rajasthan, draws in numerous devotees.

The fair derives its name from the sacred Shiva Linga situated in the Shiv temple of Dungarpur. In the local Vagdi language, ‘Baneshwar’ translates to ‘master of delta.’Located at the delta formed by the rivers Mahi and Som, the fair extends until Shukla Purnima of the Magh month. Baneshwar is located 24 kilometres away from Aspur, within the Dungarpur district.

The Baneshwar Fair intertwines two distinct events. One fair is dedicated to honouring Lord Shiva, referred to as Baneshwar Mahadev. Simultaneously, another fair marks the completion of the Vishnu temple construction, undertaken by Jankunwar, the daughter-in-law of Saint Mavji.The Mathadish, or head priest, arrives at the fair site in a grand procession from Sabha, taking a ceremonial dip in the river. Subsequently, an aarti ceremony is conducted for the Mathadish, followed by the reenactment of Raslila during the night at the Lakshmi Narayana temple.

The predominant assembly at the fair comprises Bhils and tribal communities from Dungarpur, Udaipur, and Banswara. Renowned for its widespread popularity, the fair is organised on a grand scale. The idols’ pran-pratishtha ceremony at the temple occurred on Magh Shukla Ekadashi, and since then, an annual fair has been held to commemorate this auspicious event.

Overview and History

Initially, two separate fairs were conducted—one venerating Lord Shiva and the other Saint Mavji, perceived as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Presently, a unified fair prevails, where tribal communities, especially the Bhils, pay homage to both deities. This popular event unfolds at the delta formed by the confluence of the Som and Mahi rivers, occurring every February and spanning five days annually.

Celebration

During the festival, ritualistic practices involve applying saffron to the Shiv Linga in the morning and Bhabhut (Ash) in the evening at the Baneshwar Mahadev temple. Aarti ceremonies are conducted at both intervals, accompanied by the resonating sound of a brass gong. Devotees present offerings such as flour, wheat, salt, chillies, coconut, and other auspicious items for prayer. Additionally, a highly revered priest known as the Mathadhish bathes in the holy water, and it is believed that the touch of Mathadhish purifies the water, prompting commoners to take a dip with profound faith.

EBNW Story on Google News

Published at :

EBNW Story is managed by students of Saksham Sanchar Foundation. If you like the efforts to make #BrilliantBharat, you can encourage them through donation - Thank you