The Minjar Fair is held in Himachal Pradesh with great pomp and fanfare. Tourists throng the Chamba region at Himachal Pradesh during the Minjar Fair. It is a fiesta that brings into notice the rich cultural heritage of India. Numerous legends are associated with the Minjar Fair in Himachal Pradesh.
History of Minjar Fair in Himachal Pradesh:
The Chamba Town in Himachal Pradesh has gained eminence because of this fair. The River Ravi used to flow in between the Champawati Temple and Hari Rai Temple. The people who visited any one of these two temples had to cross the river Ravi to go to the other. So, the Raja of Himachal Pradesh, asked a saint to make Hari Rai Temple accessible to everyone.
The saint in turn ordered the Raja and his subjects to assemble at the Champawati Temple. There a yagna or fire sacrifice was conducted for seven days. The Brahmins who were invited from Benaras prepared a cord of various colors known as Minjar.
After the yagna was over, miraculously, the Rive Ravi changed its course and people could then easily visit the temple of Hari Rai. The name Minjar emerged from the cord spun by the Brahman.
According to another legend, the Minjar Temple derives its name from the tale of the old woman who wished to meet the king of Chamba but she was so poor that she could not bring a nice gift for the king.
But she brought a Maize Flower called Minjar for the benevolent king and from here the name Minjar Fair emerged. The king was so delighted with the old woman that he declared that day to be feted as Minjar Fair.
Description of the Minjar Fair:
In the Minjar Fair people generally wear silk costumes and there is always a stalk of Minjar attached to it. They offer their prayers to the Laxmi Narayan Temple and celebrate throughout the week. The stalk of Maize symbolizes their faith in God and also indicates their expectation of a good harvest.
During the Minjar Fair, sweets, fruits and money are sent to friends and relatives. The immersion ceremony follows the Puja. This is marked by a grand procession.
In this impressive procession the Raghuvir Verman idol along with other gods and goddesses are taken in Palanquins for immersion in the river. As a mark of reminiscence a flag, known as Shahi Flag, is taken back home.
Time for the celebration of Minjar Fair:
From the last Sunday of July, the Minjar Fair commences. It continues for seven days at a stretch and is a splendid carnival of Himachal Pradesh.