DatesStart Date: 21-04-2019 End Date: 21-05-2019
Rajasthan, being the largest state in India, comes with a diverse and strong culture. The state is blessed with a topography that nurtures the people of Rajasthan and helps them form their own unique culture. The desert of Rajasthan gives birth to some great folk music and dances, some authentic and unique food that has made its way to the hearts of all Indians. The state is known for its larger than life forts and colorful cities. The cities and towns all have a distinct characteristic to them, there are certain cities famously associated with a colour since they are coloured with these particular colours, like the city of Jaipur is known as the pink city for having houses painted pink while there are certain cities known for being a home to abundance of lakes, like the city of Udaipur, which is also known as the city of lakes.
The numerous palaces of the state make the state seem very royal and the people of Rajasthan do live royally, with big havelis dominating most of the cities. If one wants to experience Indian Royalty, then one must visit Rajasthan for it has a rich history and huge palaces with wonderful welcoming people. The deserts although painted ochre with the colour of the sands still give a home to men and women wearing bright colours with mirror on their outfits.
Rajasthanis know how to celebrate and are very devoted and religious in nature. One such occasion for them to celebrate is the Banganaga festival which takes place in the Jaipur district. It is famously known as the BanganagaMela which takes place in the months of April to May every year. The festival happens in Bairath, a town in the Jaipur District. The festival started around 200 years ago with the inauguration of the Radhe-Krishna temple on the banks of the small river of Banganga. Now the river has great significance to many Hindus for it has a myth and legend attached to it.
The legend goes by that in Mahabharata, when BhishmaPitamah was severely injured in the midst of the war, he felt really thirsty, that is when Arjuna, the famous Pandava known for his archery, released his arrow and as it hit the ground water came out of the ground to create this river in the middle of the deserted state. The river gets its name from the collation of the words arrow which is Baan in Hindi and Ganga which is the holy river of Ganga. The place is visited by many pilgrims every year as they come to take a dip into the holy waters of Ganga. It is believed in Hinduism that Ganga is the purest river and cleanses one from their sins, hence taking a dip into the waters of Ganga is considered very holy in the religion.
The Banganga fair is the time when all these pilgrims come to Bairath and take a dip into the water of Banganga and enjoy in the fair that takes place besides the Radhe Krishna temple. The main attraction of the fair is the Radhe Krishna temple but there are other shrines and small temples along the banks of the river which are visited by the people after they take a dip into the waters. Pilgrims visit all these temples and make their prayers and get their blessings. The strong worshiping and chants of God make the whole area very holy in the time of the festival which makes ones soul feel at peace and purifies it.
Even if you are not a Hindu the festival is more about connecting with ones self reflecting on life and moving ahead in life and yourself which help in your further growth the environment there just contributes to encouraging you by saying that the God is with you and even if you do not believe in God there is always yourself you can believe in. The festival is a way to cleanse your thoughts and take a step towards betterment.
The festival is not just about purifying yourself but also about colours vibrancy music dance and fun altogether. There is Rajasthanis folk music resonating on the banks of Banganga. You will find women dressed in beautiful colours some wearing traditional Rajasthani outfits while men wear dhotis and pagdis. There are women dancing in one area while you will also see some kinds doing some crazy things like walking on a thread and balancing their whole weight on that thread they somehow manage to jump on these threads too. You will find magic shows and a few cattle shows too. The place has a lot to offer in terms of shopping with multiple local sellers coming from nearby towns and villages the place is a big market on the days of the festival. There are jewelry clothes paintings handicrafts and artefacts sold. The main kathputlis (puppets) of Rajasthan are on display in most of the shops. There are numerous people selling pots and some really cool miniatures. You will also find a lot of traditional and authentic jewelry of Rajasthan as well as some great traditional ghagra and choli are on sale.
The area is filled with the smell of food with ghee dominating the smell. There will be food like rotla daalbhaati pakoras kachoris and the sweets which include halvas laddus malpuhas balushahi etc. The food makes one fall in love with the culture of Rajasthan. The food although mostly veg is rich in flavour and taste there is a touch of love to anything and everything you eat in Rajasthan.
Apart from the food the place is filled with multiple rides like the merry-go-round ferris wheel and small rides which attract children and are a great way for the adults to let go and just enjoy. These artists and traders get a lot of income from this one festival as they prepare throughout the year for the days of the Banganga mela. The place blooms in the months of April and May with loud music some cool dances, delicious food and the smiles and laughter of the people of the area.
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