The Fairs and Festivals of Gujara
Vibrant Gujarat is known as the Colours of India. Fascinating archaeological sites, superb Jain, Hindu and Islamic architecture, exquisite crafts and rare wildlife, including the Asiatic lion are among Gujarat’s attractions. The state is famous for its fairs and festivals.
Trineteshwer Mahadev Fair
This is one of India’s picturesque traditional events. Like Pushkar in Rajasthan, Tarnetar is an ethnic fair which has attracted the attention of tourists. Believed to the site of Draupadi’s Swayambara, when Arjuna, disguised as a Brahmin, won her hand in the archery contest, Tarnetar is important due to its location by a holy river and is said to be the ancient route of the Ganga.
During the fair, women from many pastoral communities select their life partners. The men indicate their eligibility by carrying embroidered umbrellas. All suitors dress up in extremely colourful attires and ornaments. Dances, folk music, devotional hymns and contests are other cultural aspects that add to the fair’s atmosphere.
Modhera Dance Festival
Modhera dance Festival is a three day festival of Indian classical dance. One can enjoy these dance forms in the setting in which they were originally performed.
Somnath Mahadeo Fair
This fair celebrates the birth of Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva, and features stage-shows, folk dances and instrumental music in the spectacular setting of Somnath’s shore temple.
A festival organised by Gujarat’s tourism authorities to develop tourism in Kutch. The festival features folk dance, music ballads, poetry, jewellery and regional handicrafts. The fair coincides with Dhrang Mela, a Shivaratri fair at a nearby temple, with rituals, acrobatics, camel, bullockcart races, bazaars and cultural shows.
Kite Flying Festival
One of the most celebrated festivals of Gujarat, Uttarayan is a way of commemorating the arrival of the Sun to the northern tropics. Kite-flying is an integral part of the festival and the Indian fighter kite is flown in competition, the aim being to severe the other flier’s kite strings. The Gujarat Tourism Corporation organizes an International kite-flying competition and demonstration in Ahmedabad, inviting experts from Australia, Japan and other countries.
Navaratri Dance Festival
This 9 night festival is popular in Gujarat and attractive tourist attractions from villages and small towns to large cities like Ahmedabad, Baroda and Surat. The festival is celebrated with colourful Garba and Dandia Ras folk dances, ceremonial fasting and feasting. It ends with Dussehra when effigy of Ravana is burnt to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama.
Sidhapur Camel Fair
Another livestock fair celebrated by the locals, but not as colourful or attractive as Pushkar.