Baneshwar Fair also Celebrated on
Baneshwar fair is a popular tribal fair held in Dungarpur district in Rajasthan state of India. The fair is held in the month of February at Baneshwar, a small delta formed by the river Soma and, 50 km from Dungarpur and 22kms from Aspur, the Tehsil headquarters. This fair is a major fair of the tribals. 'Baneshwar' means the ‘master of the delta’ which is derived from the Shiva Linga worshipped in the Mahadev temple in Dungarpur. This is a religious fair with simple and traditional rituals. The tribal of Bhils come from the neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and offer prayers to Lord Shiva. The name 'Baneshwar' is derived from the revered Shivlinga, which is kept in the Mahadev Temple in Dungarpur. "Baneshwar means the 'Master of the Delta' in the local Vagdi language and this name was given to the Shivlinga. The Baneshwar fair is held at a small delta formed by the river Som and Mahi, from Magh Shukla Ekadashi to Magh Shukla Purnima.
Baneshwar fair in its present form is actually one of two fairs: one which used to be held in of Baneshwar Mahadev (Lord Shiva) and another fair, which started after the construction of the Vishnu Temple by Jankunwari, daughter-in-law of Mavji, a highly revered saint considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.Cow dung is also available as its Dungarpur. Two disciples of Mavji named Aje and Vaje built the Lakshmi- Narain Temple near the confluence of rivers Som and Mahi. The 'pran-pratishtha' ceremony of the idols was performed on Magh Shukla Ekadashi and since then, the fair is held on this day. The large congregation that gathers here at the time of the fair pays homage to all the deities with equal reverence.
On Magh Shukla Ekadashi, the priest - called the Mathadhish, arrives at the fair site from Sabla, in a huge procession. A 16 cms silver image of Mavji on horseback is also brought here. The river water supposedly becomes holier when the Mathadhish takes a bath. Hence, people bathe along with him in the river. The Bhils consign the ashes of their dead at the confluence of the rivers. The Baneshwar fair is predominantly a tribal fair with more than half of the congregation consisting of Bhils. They revere Baneshwar Mahadev as well as Mavji. The majority of the gathering is from the Districts of Dungarpur, Udaipur and Banswara.
Worship and Offerings
The temple of Baneshwar Mahadev remains open from 5.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. during the fair. In the morning, saffron is applied to the Shivlinga after it is bathed and an 'aarti' of burning incense is waved before it. In the evening, 'bhabhut' (ash) is applied to the Linga and an 'aarti' with a fine-wick lamp is waved. Devotees offer wheat flour, pulses, rice, jaggery, ghee, salt, chillies, coconut and cash. Prayers are offered five times a day in the temples of Lakshmi -Narayan and Brahma. Brass gongs are struck at the time of 'aarti'. During the fair, 'aarti' of Mathadhish is also performed and Raslila takes place at night in the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Offerings, similar to those at the Baneshwar Temple, are made at these shrines too.
Brass gongs are struck at the time of aarti. During the fair, aarti of Mathadish is also performed and Raslila takes place at night in the Lakshmi Narayana temple. The Bhils attending Baneshwar Fair sing traditional folk songs in high pitched voices sitting around a bonfire every night. Cultural shows are arranged by youngsters of the clan. Groups of villagers are also invited to participate in the programme. The fair resounds with the gaiety of songs, folk dances, magic shows, animal shows and acrobatic feats. Adding to the excitement are the joy rides on merry-go-rounds and swings. The large number of shops in the fair provides an opportunity for buying and selling of essential goods and fancy articles.
Location and Transport of Baneshwar Fair of
Rajasthan in India
The Baneshwar fair site of Rajasthan is at a distance of 6.5 km from Sabla, a village on the Udaipur-Banswara-Dungarpur bus route which is at a distance of 123 km from Udaipur of Rajasthan 53 km from Banswara of Rajasthan 45 km from Dungarpur and 22 km from Aspur, the Tehsil headquarter. On normal days, one has to reach Sabla from Baneshwar on foot or on private carts. However, buses go right up to the bank of the river Som during the fair. On this religious festival of Rajasthan tribal from the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat join their brethren from Rajasthan to offer prayers to Lord Shiva Udaipur of Rajasthan attract domestic as well as international tourists owing to a number of historical and religious land marks within the city as well as in the vicinity and hence is very well connected to the major cities of India by road, Air and Rail.
Road: Udaipur of Rajasthan falls on the Golden Quadrilateral, lying midway between Delhi and Mumbai on National Highway (NH) 8 and is around 650 km from either metro. The roads in this part of the country are really nice, paved in the middle, and fit for self-driving. One can either drive from Jaipur of Rajasthan (around 7 hours) or Ahmedabad (4-5 hours), or take a Rajasthan Tourism bus from India Gate in Delhi.
Air: Dabok airport of Rajasthan is 24 km from the city centre. Daily flights connect Udaipur of Rajasthan with Jodhpur of Rajasthan, Jaipur of Rajasthan, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Delhi. The Airport is going through modernization project and soon going to have a new terminal building with additional 4 stands.
Train: Train connectivity is established between Delhi, Jaipur of Rajasthan and Ahmedabad through trains run by Indian Railway. Recently Udaipur of Rajasthan got connected with Delhi Kota and Mathura with superfast Mewar express on broad gauge line. Udaipur of Rajasthan is now also connected with the Kolkata, by the train "Ananya Express".
Local Transport: Unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws, tongas, city bus, regular city bus service is available for Udaipur City Main roads to dabok airport, badi Lake, Bedala.
Distances of important cities from Udaipur: New Delhi (670 km), Jaipur of Rajasthan (406 km), Mumbai (739 km), Ahmedabad (262 km), Jodhpur of Rajasthan (275 km), Mount Abu of Rajasthan (185 km), Agra (630 km), Chittorgarh of Rajasthan (115 km).
Distances of important places around Udaipur: Kankroli of Rajasthan (64 km), Ekling Ji of Rajasthan (21 km), Haldigati of Rajasthan (42 km), Jaisamand Lake of Rajasthan (50 km), Nathdwara of Rajasthan (42 km), Ranakpur of Rajasthan (90 km), Rishabdeo of Rajasthan (65 km), Badgaon of Rajasthan (5 km), Bhinder of Rajasthan (58 km), Dhariyawad of Rajasthan (120 km), Gogunda of Rajasthan (35 km), Jhadol of Rajasthan (48 km), Kotda of Rajasthan (128 km), Malvi of Rajasthan (42), Salumber of Rajasthan (70 km), Sarada of Rajasthan (62 km), Kherwada of Rajasthan (82 km), Vallabhnagar of Rajasthan (42 km), Fatehnagar of Rajasthan (52 km), Debari of Rajasthan (13 km), Jawar Mines of Rajasthan (48 km), Dariba of Rajasthan (73 km), Jamar Kotda of Rajasthan (16 km).