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Nanda Devi Fair

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In the hilly state of Uttarakhand, there are a large number of temples. These temples are the venues of many fairs that are held when the festivals are celebrated. The essentially religious minded people of the state celebrate the Nanda Devi Fair in remembrance of the goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. It is held in many places in Uttarakhand like Almora, Nainital, Nauti, Dandidhara, Munsyari, Ranikhet, Bhowali, Kichha and also in the small sleepy hamlets of Lohar (like Milam and Martoli) and Pindar valleys (like Wachham and Khati). The fairs at Almora and Roopkund draw the largest number of people.

History of the Nanda Devi Fair in Uttarakhand

The fair started way back in the 16th century. According to legend, the fair was initiated by Raja Kalyan Chand. This cultural carnival is of immense religious and cultural significance. The term Nanda means prosperity and well being. If the Nanda Devi Mela is held with a great deal of pomp and grandeur, it symbolizes the economic and cultural prosperity of the region. People participate in the procession which carries the dola (litter) of Nanda Devi. The goddess is devotedly worshipped in the temple.

The place bubbles with a lot of activity and appears to have gained a fresh lease of life at the time of the fair. If you visit to the fair you can get an insight into the material and cultural prosperity of the region. A lot of hand made products made by the village craftsmen are bought for sale. You can also witness some superb performances by the local artistes at all these fairs. It is a splendid chance for them to uphold their folk traditions and put up song and dance programmes.

Small school children and young college students also participate in the fair and display their talents in the functions. The varied sights and sounds create a very joyous ambience.

Time for celebrating the Nanda Devi Fair in Uttarakhand

The fair is generally held in the month of September.

Holi Celebrations in Various Parts of India

Barsana Holi

Holi celebrations in Barsana are among the most unique festivities in India. In the spirit of fun, smearing of colors, drenching in water and mock fights. According to legends, Barsana was the birthplace of Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna. As the fables narrate, the lord used to come from his home-town Nandgaon to tease Radha and the Gopis.

The tradition continues till date. Men from Nandgaon come to Barsana to play and the women greet them with sticks (lathis). The unique spectacle is known as Lathmaar holi. The abundance of sweets, bhang and the festive spirit enhance the thrill.

Holi in Rajasthan

Rajasthan, like the rest of India, dips in the celebration of Holi by welcoming the spring season. Call it the festival of love or colors the state knows how to mix ritual and other ancient traditions with a final touch of royalty. What's even unique is the way different parts of the state giving the festivities their own different vibe. While Mali and Gair Holi are distinct to Ajmer, Brij Holi to Bharatpur, Bikaner rejoices the colorful time of the year by playing Dolchi Holi.

Holi Gujarat

Gujarat celebrates Holi with a unique fervor. The most famous tradition is the breaking of the earthen pot full of buttermilk. This ritual comes from the tales where Lord Krishna used to tease and break pots of the milkmaids. A pot full of buttermilk is tied high on a rope. To get to the heights, people form a human pyramid. While the young boys form the pyramid, people throw colored water on them. There are competition among groups to win this prize. During the festival people rejoice with the play of colors, gorging on sweets while drenched in festive spirits.