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History of Shamlaji Fair

Shamlaji Fair -Gujarat

About:

Shamlaji Fair of Gujarat is known as the Kartik Purnima Fair. The fair is celebrated by all the castes and communities of Gujarat; they are Garasias and Bhils who actively take part in the event. The celebration and the fair lasts for two weeks. The tribes mainly celebrate the fair where different stalls of local handicrafts and art and artifacts gives the tourists the opportunity to buy the local products that bear the significance of the place. The main festival is referred as the worship of the black deity named ‘Kalio Bavji’.

Shamlaji Fair, Gujarat is one of the main fairs in Gujarat. The fairs of Gujarat are quite exceptional; the fairs and the festivals that come about in the state are the true examples of India’s rich heritage. The Shamlaji Fair or the Kartik Purnima Fair is one of the main events in Gujarat where all the tribes take part to make it a grand one.

Shamlaji is eminent for the Shamlaji Temple, Vaishnav Shrine. The temple bears all the traces of ancient architecture, according to the Archaeological Survey, the temple belongs to 11th century. All the fairs and festivals develop round the temple which shows the strong ethnic background of Shamlaji.Apart from the fair, the auspicious bath in the river Meshwo is considered to be essential for the tourists for purgation. Tourists from different corners of the state and from neighboring states come and visit the holy destination of religion and culture.

Location info:

Address:Shamlaji Fair,Sabarkatha,Gujarat,India
District: Sabarkantha
Nearest City:Modasa
Best time to visit: Shamlaji Fair is held on the ‘purnima’ (full moon) of the month of ‘Kartik’ according to the local calendar, which falls in November.

Climate/Weather:

The land relief in Gujarat is low in most parts of the state, resulting in a great diversity in the climate of Gujarat India. Gujarat experiences mild, pleasant and dry winters, with average daytime temperatures ranging around 83 °F(29 °C) and night temperatures around 53 °F(12 °C). The summers are very hot and dry, with day temperatures rising up to around 105 °F(41 °C) and night temperatures dropping to 85 °F(29 °C).

History:

  • According to one, Lord Brahma once embarked on a journey to find out the best tirtha (sacred site) on the earth. After seeing a number of places, he came to Shamlaji, which he liked the most and performed penance there for a thousand years. Lord Shiva, who was pleased with him, asked him to perform a yajna (ritual). At the beginning of the yajna, Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the form of Shamlaji, and was enshrined at this place.
  • Another legend has it that Vishwakarma, the architect of the Gods, constructed this temple in one night, but as it was morning by the time he completed it, he could not take it with him and had to return leaving it here.
  • According to the third story, an Adivasi found the idol of Lord Shamlaji while ploughing his land. He worshipped it by lighting a lamp everyday and was blessed for his faith by having an abundant yield in his farm. Learning of this, a Vaishnava merchant built the temple and installed the idol therein, which was later beautified by the Idar rulers. More recently, a prominent business family further renovated this temple.

Importance of festival:

Also known as the Kartik Purnima fair, the Shamlaji Melo of Gujarat is a very renowned fair and attracts tribes not only from within the state but also from the nearby state of Rajasthan. The significance of this fair is the fact that the people inspite of their differences in caste and creed celebrates this fair in great harmony.

Despite their personal differences, tribal people belonging to different regions come together and celebrate the fair with great zeal. There is an estimated gathering of about two hundred thousand people, which throng the place during the fair. It is organized near the famous Shamlaji temple of the region, a famous Vaishnav shrine dedicated to the deity called Gadadhar (mace bearer) or Shaksi Gopal. The temple architecture dates back to the 11th century and is of great archeological importance.

Method of Celebration:

Take a bath:
Those who visit Shamlaji Melo of Gujarat, must also pay a visit to River Meshwo to take a bath because the water of this river is considered to be holy. The Shamlaji Melo at Gujarat offers you a vivid and colorful picture of Gujarat’s cultural heritage. You get to see the true secular India here where people from every religion participate.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:Modasa raiway station
Nearest Airport:Ahmedabad airport
Road Transport: It is 80 kms from Ahmedabad and 32 kms from Himatnagar.,Polo Forest, Idar. Kesariaji, a Jain shrine in Rajasthan about 30 kms away from the border of Gujarat. Modasa – 29 kms

Culture of festivities:

The devotees attending the Shamlaji Melo belong to varied castes and communities, including the Garasias and Bhils. The Bhils address the deity as ‘Kalio Bavji’ i.e. Dark Divinity. The pilgrims visit river Meshwo before entering the temple, to seek the blessings of the Lord. The holy dip in the waters of this river is considered very sacred. The devotees sing devotional songs in the praise of the Lord. They shout the name of the deity and express their gratitude. One can also see colorful religious banners in the hands of the people.

Nearest Visiting places:

Khedbrahma:
This spot is renowned as the Hindu temple region and Brahma temples of India are also mingled here. Khedbrahma teerth dedicated to Bhagwan mahavir Swami is the main attraction and devotional pull to the multitude. The temple of Chaturmukh(the four headed God) is also famous spot of spiritual visit here.

Idar:
It is a historical based town located at the southern parts fo Arvalli ranges and a natural beauty of protected hill fort is here, once it was the capital of the Idar when Rathore Rajputs ruled. The ancient fort namely Iiva Durga is known to be mentioned in the epic of ‘Mahabharata’ and in the Chinese travelogue-named Hiusen-tsing. The town has its beautiful entrance of its 3 storied clock town and the huge arch in it with a semi circular dome invites people amazingly to the core of excitement over those days architectural charm. The bazaar of this town is at both the ends of the road and leads to the tower and ends up at the foothills of Idar fort. The old palace od beauty and charm is still alive even when the days pass by its carved balconies of artistic work, pillars, brackets, and foliated arches are at vicinity and challenging. Rani Talav, a huge water tank is also seen near the palace.

Gadada Shamlaji:
Located near the Dharoi Dam, a lovely landscape of hills and nature fills in here, which give a great relax from the hurry busy world. The temple of Lord Vishnu is devoted here.

Dharoi Dam:
The main water source for drinking purpose is provided from here to Ahemdabad, which is about 85 kms of distance. This unique dam of living waters was constructed in 1973 on the source of Sabarmati River. Gadada Shamlaji is the nearby touring spot.

Dhantiwada:
This is a spot of water reservoir on the gatherings of River Banas. The cool, clear waters create an enchanting location for relaxing. Nearby, you have an agriculture university. The nature and picturesque spot pulls in birds and bird watchers from various places during the winter seasons.

Vaktapur Teerth:
Vaktapur Teerth , a famous Jain temple located here is the main tourist attraction. Apart from this Shamlaji, Akshardham temple, Shri Mehsana Teerth, Hathee Singh Jain temple, Kanjariya Lake, Bhadra fort and Teen Darwaza and Calico Museum are the other attractions filled with enlightening experiences.

Nearest Petrol pumps:

IBP Petrol Pump:Gandhinagar,Gujarat,India

Relince pump:modasa,sabarkatha,Gujarat,India

Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation:

Stay-inn hotel & resort:opp modasa college ,sabarkatha,Gujarat,India,ph:09428555331

Max Industries:Plot No. 27/28, G.I.D.C.Modasa Road,Kapadvanj,Gujarat,India,ph:02691 263436

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:
Sarvajanik Hospital:Nr. Nandanvan society,Kumbharvada,Modasa,Sabarkantha,Gujarat,India,ph:02774 247468
Navjivan urosurgical hospital:Malpur Road,Opp.Govt.Guest,House,Modasa, Sabarkantha,Gujarat,India,ph:02774 247502

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