Baneshwar Fair is a tribal celebration held in a small district of Dungarpur of Rajasthan. This fair celebrates traditional rituals, religious elements and is fun-filled. The name ‘Baneshwar’ denotes Lord Shiva of Hinduism. This name specifically denotes the Shivalinga present in Mahadev temple of the region.
Baneshwar also denotes the Delta region, which is formed by Soma River and other two rivers.
Location of the fair
As mentioned before, the fair is celebrated in Dungarpur of Rajasthan. In the district, reach the small delta, which is formed by River Mahi, River Jhakad and River Soma. Dungarpur is located 110 km away from Udaipur. From Udaipur, you need to visit Sabla and then travel to Baneshwar.
Udaipur has a domestic airport, which connects the place with numerous other cities of the country. Nearest international airport is located in Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi. You can also find train, buses and cabs from different parts of the country to Udaipur.
History of the fair
The fair first started after Jankunwari, daughter-in-law of Mavji constructed a Vishnu Temple. It is said that Mavji was a reincarnation of God himself. Baneshwar fair is a combination of two fairs. Another fair is held in Mahadev temple. The Vishnu temple is built at the spot where River Mahi and River Soma confluence. Both the temples are located right opposite to each other. Thus, you need not worry about travelling to each temple for the four days. The festival is celebrated for more than 500 years, until date.
Beauty of the fair
The mornings are filled with rituals to deity and fair or exhibition. The evenings are dedicated to feast, cultural programs and other activities.
During the fair, the priest of the temple brings 16 cm silver idol of Mavji on a horseback. The priest takes bath in the river and at this moment, the water of the river is considered to be very holy. Locals also take bath in the river, along with him. The tribal mix ashes of dead in the river, for the dead to attain salvation. Later, they get into the river and cry for their deceased relative, paying the last homage. This is fair is predominantly a fair of tribal people.
Mahadev temple fair
The fair at Mahadev temple starts after Vishnu fair, so that the pilgrims will complete the entire festival at Vishnu and get to the Mahadev temple, to enjoy the festivals. The temple opens from 5 in the morning until 11 in the night, during this festival. In the morning, the shivalinga is bathed in the costliest condiment, saffron. Later, an aarti of incense stick is waved and the idol is open for tourists and pilgrims to see. In the evening, the idol is bathed in ash and a wick lamp is waved. Pilgrims offer salt, chilies, pulses, wheat flour, jaggery, rice, coconut and cash to the temple.
On the last day of the festival, the tribal conduct a large procession, which includes cultural celebrations and religious activities. The last day of the fair is the most attractive element of the fair.
Activities to enjoy during the fair
- Enjoy local celebrations, folk performances and other activities.
- You can take part in the procession, which stretches for 5 km.
- Enjoy the rituals, take bath in the river and sing songs with the locals.
- Some camp near the temple, during the night for entertainment.
- Enjoy shopping at the exhibition stalls. Top items to buy are cosmetic items, artificial jewelry, antique replicas and others.
- Enjoy local games like archery, hokey and others. Tourists are not allowed to take part in the games, but they can watch the games.
- You can also enjoy cultural programs of the tribal, magic shows, aerobatic shows and others.