Rajasthan is a popular destination for foreign tourists. Trade fairs, exhibitions, and cultural events make it an even more interesting place. The Baneshwar Fair in Rajasthan's Dungarpur district is one such event that draws both locals and tourists. Baneshwar Fair is all set to be held from 23rd February to 27th February in 2021. It starts from Shukla ekadeshi of Magh month as per the Hindu calendar. This is the biggest tribal fair of India that draws multitudes of devotees.
History of Baneshwar Fair
The fair came into existence over 500 years ago when Jankunwari - the daughter-in-law of Mavji constructed a Vishnu Temple. Mavji is believed to be Lord Vishnu’s incarnation. Baneshwar presents a blend of two fairs. One fair is held at the Mahadev Temple and the other at the Vishnu Temple. Both the temples stand opposite to each other. So, you can enjoy the fair festivities, without the hassle of traveling.
Significance of Baneshwar Fair
Hundreds attend the Baneshwar Fair, an important fair in India, taking place in Dungarpur, Rajasthan. This fair is an integrated culture of the place. This fair is organized partly by the state’s tribal community of the Bhils. It reflects their customs and traditions, highlighting its religious significance. The name "Baneshwar" represents Lord Shiva and shivlinga in the Mahadev Temple that stands near convergence of the rivers Som, Mahi, and Jhakad. This confluence of rivers is the place where the fair is held.
The fair delight is doubled as there is a Vishnu temple in the proximity.
When and Where it is Celebrated?
Baneshwar Fair is held in the month of February. It is an annual festival celebrated in Dungarpur, Rajasthan.
Duration of the festival
The festival goes on for 5 consecutive days.
Highlights of Baneshwar Fair
The popularity of this fair is not confined alone to the state of Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat reverberate with equal enthusiasm during this fair. There are a number of stalls and shops that specialize in selling handicraft items made by the tribal group. If you want to buy some of these unique items from the fair, plan your India travel today! The items available in this exhibition reflect the varied cultural attributions of the place. Attractions of Baneshwar Fair include shows with animals, magic, puppet dance, and folk songs. Other fair highlights include –
- In the evening, devotees enjoy a bonfire with music and dance.
- The famous Rasleela performance takes place in the temple.
- Acrobatics and magic shows include other attractions.
- A huge procession in which a silver idol of Saint Mavji is carried on horseback.
- Ghoomar is also performed during the festival.
- Youngsters enjoy a merry go round ride.
- You can buy stuff from stalls of antiques, jewelry, and other local items.
Timings of the festival
5.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.
Where to Stay
There are some hotels in Dungaprpur that provide comfortable accommodation. There are hotels to suit every budget. From luxurious hotels to budget stays, there is one or the other accommodation choice for every tourist. Camps are also set up near the temple for devotees’ stay. You have to check the availability to find accommodation there.
How to Reach Dungarpur for Baneshwar Fair
By Air: The nearest airport to Dungarpur is 124 km away in Udaipur - Maharana Pratap Airport. Regular flights are not there. International visitors have to deboard their flight at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, which is 146 km from Dungarpur. From the airport, you can either board a train to Dungarpur and proceed to Baneshwar or hire a cab to reach there directly.
By Railways: Dungarpur Railway Station is at a distance of 3 km from the city. Another option to reach there by train is Kundalgarh Railway Station (146 km away). Once you reach the railway station, you can board a bus to the Sabla bus stand and cover the remaining distance to Baneshwar on foot (the distance is walkable). Alternatively, you can hire a cab to reach the fair venue.
By Roadways: Buses ply from various cities of Rajasthan and North India. The town is almost 20 km away from NH8. The fair venue stands 6.5 km away from Sabla bus stand in Sabla - a village on Udaipur-Banswara-Dungarpur bus route. Baneshwar can be easily reached on foot from Sabla. It is noteworthy that this stretch doesn’t have any mode of transport. Although, during the fair, there are carts and buses straightaway go up to River Som’s bank.
Other places to Explore near Baneshwar Fair
Deo Gaon – There is a 12th century-old Shiva temple - Deo Somnath (24 km away) that commands your visit here. This white stone temple has imposing turrets.
Galiakot - Situated on the bank of Mahi River,Galiakot village is 58 km away and attracts you to explore its charm.
Baroda Village - Once the capital of Vagad, Baroda Village is today is situated at a distance of 41 km from Dungarpur. The place has some beautiful temples. Among the most notable ones are an old Shiva temple and an ancient Jain Temple having a black wall with intricately carved images of the 24 Tirthankaras.
Bhuvaneshwar – Visit the Shiva Temple here (9 km), where a fair is held on the 5th day post Holi. The highlight of this fair is the Gair dance by the Bhils.
Poonjpur - At a distance for 37 km, Poonjpur houses a beautiful temple, dedicated to Mavji. It has preserved the manuscripts of his book - Chopra as well as a horse riding idol of Nishkalank.
Other famous places that you can explore during your Baneshwar Fair visit include Ambrai Ghat, Monsoon Palace, Lake Pichola, Jagdish Temple, Mahakal Mandir, Juna Mahal, Gaib Sagar Lake, Udai Bilas Palace, and Mataji Temple.