Fairs and festivals of Chhattisgarh 1

Fairs and festivals of Chhattisgarh 1

Bastar Dussehra

As with the rest of India, Bastar celebrates Dassera. In fact, it is the region’s most important festival, and all the tribes participate in the 10-day event. But Dassera in Bastar is different from anywhere else. Here, instead of rejoicing over the triumphant return of Lord Rama (the hero of the epic Ramayana) to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, the tribals celebrate Dassera as a congregation of Devi Maoli ( Bastar’s native deity, revered as the “elder sister” of Devi Danteshwari, the family goddess of the ruling Kakatiya family), and all her sisters. Hundreds of priests bring flower-bedecked local deities to the Danteshwari temple in Jagdalpur, arriving with all pomp and show. Bastar Dassera is believed to have been started, in the 15th century, by Maharaj Purushottam Deo, the fourth Kakatiya ruler. This would make it a 500 year old festival. For 10 days, the king (as the high-priest of Devi Danteshwari) would temporarily abdicate office to worship Danteshwari full time. He would seek, in confidence and through a siraha (a medium “possessed” by the devi ), a report on the state. Though the ruling family was Hindu and the festival has its roots in Hinduism, it has assimilated many tribal elements and is a perfect example of the unique amalgam of traditional Hinduism and tribal traditions that make up the local culture.

Bastar Dassera is unique

Bastar is in Dandakarnya, where Lord Rama is believed to have spent the 14 years of his exile. Yet Bastar Dassera here has nothing to do with Lord Rama or the Ramayana.

•  Bastar is in Dandakarnya, where Lord Rama is believed to have spent the 14 years of his exile. Yet Bastar Dassera here has nothing to do with Lord Rama or the Ramayana.

  • Beginning with amavasya (dark moon) in the month of Shravan , Bastar Dassera spans over 75 days, ending on the thirteenth day of the bright moon in the month of Ashwin. It is thus the longest Dassera in the world.
  • Bastar Dassera involves the participation of diverse tribes and castes, each of whom is assigned a specific task, which they continue to carry out 5 decades after monarchies were abolished in India. For example, to build the two-tiered chariot, carpenters come from Beda Umargaon village; the special, massive ropes are twined by the tribals of Karanji, Kesarpal and Sonabal villages; the smaller chariot is pulled by the youth of Kachorapati and Agarwara pargana s; the larger chariot is pulled by the bison-horn marias of Killepal. Singing hymns at all rituals is the prerogative of munda s from Potanar village.
  • The festival involves rituals of extraordinary rigor like a girl swinging on a bed of thorns; a youth ( jogi ) sitting in vigil, buried shoulder-deep, for nine days; mediums, reputedly possessed by the local deities, dancing eerily on the roads.
  • The festival provides a forum for elected representatives, administrators and old-time tribal chieftains to confer on the state of Bastar at the Muria Durbar .

One of the most awaited events is the rath yatra . The massive rath (chariot) might look primitive to an outsider, but it is symbolic of the king’s desire to patronize locals instead of bringing a fancy chariot from elsewhere and tribal taboos on using sophisticated tools to make the chariot. It is hewn afresh each year, and the sight of 400 marias pulling it leaves a potent impression of tribal faith.


Bastar Lokotsav

Bastar Lokotsav is a vibrant festival of Chhattisgarh which involves the representation of the folk culture of the state. The lokotsav which occurs after the end of rainy season, attracts large number of tribal groups who come to participate in this festival from remote villages of Chhattisgarh. Handicraft items are exhibited in the Bastar Lokotsav. Connoting the festival of the folk people of Chhattisgarh, lokotsav of Bastar starts with a enticing array of cultural events.

The jagadalpur area of Chhattisgarh organizes a special programme called Basta Parab in which dance and song variations of the tribal communities can be seen.The Bastar Lokotsav is a kind of platform on which the tribal traditions and culture get a recognition. During the loktsav, people from all other adjoining districts of the state come to enjoy the charismatic charm of the occasion. Also, tribes of other states of India are found participating enthusiastically in the Bastar Lokotsav. The exquisite handicrafts which are quite rare are also sold by the tribal groups of Bastar during the festival. Sometimes, tourists from other countries are also found in the Bastar Lokotsav. This indicates the immense popularity of the lokotsav that has crossed the regional boundaries. As a colorful and historical cultural identity, Bastar Lokotsav also enhances the tourism prospects of Chhattisgarh. In the promotional campaigns and in the sightseeing portals of the state, mention of Bastar Lokotsav is found more often than not. The government of Chhattisgarh always encourages such tribal festivals in the state. Bastar Lokotsav adds a vibrnat diemnsion to the festivals of the state

Madai Festival

Madai festival is celebrated from the month of December to March and tours from one place of the state to another.The Charama and Kurna communities of Kanker district, tribes of Bastar and people of Bhanupratappur, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Pakhanjore and Antagrah celebrate the Madai Festival in the state of Chhattisgarh.

The local tribes of the state along with other communities worship the presiding deity during the festival. In the beginning of Madai Festival, the tribal people of Chhattisgarh launch a procession on an open field where large number of devotees and general tourists gather to witness the rituals. After the end of the procession, the priest or similar figure starts worshiping the goddess. While the puja ceremony goes on, the onlookers maintain silence and also offer prayers to the feet of the deity. When the worshiping finishes, several cultural events like folk dance, drama, songs etc. starts taking place in the open space. As a huge number of villagers come to enjoy the ecstasies the occasion, so Madai Festival is always organized on a vast stretch of land. The Bastar region of Chhattisgarh marks the beginning of Madai Festival.

From Bastar the festival goes to the Kanker district of the state from where it is again shifted to Narayanpur, antagarh and Bhanupratappur. Keshkal, bhopalpattnam and Kondagaon welcome Madai Festival in the month of March when it comes to its final end. Since the Madai Festival goes from one location to another, each and every tribe and other human groups of Chhattisgarh enjoy the unique pleasures of the occasion. Derived from the old customs and traditions of the state, Madai Festival today has become a popular religious event of Chhattisgarh in particular and India in general.

Bhoramdeo Mahotsav

The enamoring state of Chattisgarh celebrates all its festivals with a great deal of fanfare. The Bhoramdeo Mahotsav Festival is no exception. This festival attracts a large number of people not only from the rest of India but also from different parts of the world.Fairs and festivals of Chhattisgarh 1

Description of the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav Festival in Chhattisgarh.

This Festival is one of the important festivals of the Chhattisgarh. It represents the religious rituals of Chhattisgarh. On the festival day people wear colourful dresses in the temple . The people wait for this festival all around the year.The socio-cultural aspects of Chhattisgarh can be easily explored by the Bhoramdeo festival.

The Bhoramdeo sanctuaries have legitimately gotten the designation of Khajuraho of Chattisgarh and in the event that you visit it when the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav is held you are certain to be entranced.

This festival is celebrated within the premises of the Bhoramdeo temples located at a distance of about 135 km from Raipur. The famous king Ramachandra of the Nag dynasty who married Princess Ambika Devi of the Haiya dynasty is credited with the construction of this temple. The temple is reflective of remarkable architectural dexterity. It is of great relevance to historians and archaeologist’s.

The impressive and magnificent temple complex bustles with a lot of activity when the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav is organized. It is indeed a beautiful sight to behold. The vibrant people clad in colorful attires witness this architectural marvel and take part in all the activities that take place.

The Bhoramdeo temples have rightfully received the epithet of Khajuraho of Chattisgarh and if you visit it when the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav is held you are sure to be fascinated.

Time for celebrating the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav Festival in Chhattisgarh.

This festival is celebrated each year in the last week of the month of March. It is best for you to plan your visit to Chattisgarh when you the Bhoramdeo Mahotsav Festival is celebrated.

Goncha Festival

The newly found state of Chhattisgarh has a fairly large tribal population. These tribes have a distinctive cultural entity of their own. Their unique culture is best manifested in the festivals that they celebrate with a great deal of pomp and grandeur.

The Goncha Festival in Chhattisgarh is one such tribal festival that is marked by a lot of joy and merry making. It also showcases the inimitable tribal culture. If you can visit the district of Bastar in Chhattisgarh at the time of the Goncha Festival you will get the unique privilege to be a part of the festival that is truly one of its kind.

The Goncha Festival is also popularly known as the Chariot Festival probably because it is celebrated at a time when the Hindus celebrate Rath Yatra. The vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment that marks the Goncha Festival in Chhattisgarh is remarkable. The zest and hearty spirit of the tribals from different parts of Bastar who participate in this festival is incredible.

There are several customs that are associated with this Chhattisgarh Festival. Goncha is actually a kind of fruit. The tribal people make a pistol using tukki or bamboo. As is evident, it is just a mock weapon that is constructed by them to follow the tradition of the tribe. The fruit Goncha is likewise used as a bullet.

They use the pistol and the bullet, actually a bamboo stick cut in the shape of a pistol and a fruit to strike each other. The intention is not to hurt each other but to just be a part of a mock encounter. It is a source of unlimited joy for them. They find it very thrilling and exciting. The fervor and gusto of the people of Chhattisgarh at the time of celebrating this festival is admirable. The celebration of Festivals like these brings to the forefront the ethnicity of this part of the country.

The Goncha Festival is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar at the time of Rath Yatra. It generally falls in the month of July according to the Gregorian calendar. If you visit the state of Chhattisgarh at the time of the Goncha Festival, you can be a part of the festivities.

Goncha Festival the famous festival of Chhattisgarh celebrated during the occasion of Rath Yatra is Goncha Festival. Therefore it is popularly known as the Chariot Festival. The vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment is the most remarkable thing of this festival. There is an active participation among all the tribals.

The zest and the heart spirit of the tribal make the festival more beautiful. This festival is celebrated in the time of July according to the Gregorian calendar. The people will love to visit the Goncha Festival and be a part of the festivities. A number of several customs are associated with this famous festival. The name ‘Goncha’ is actually the name of a fruit. A pistol is being made by using tukki or bamboo. To follow the tradition of the tribe,the weapon is always considered as a mock weapon and the fruit as a bullet.

Champaran Mela

Festivals are an integral part of the culture and heritage of Chhattisgarh. The state has gained recognition as an independent state of India in November 2000. Formerly it was a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The population of Chhattisgarh is mainly occupied by the tribal people. They celebrate the different festivals and fairs with great pomp and show. Champaran Mela is a fair that is celebrated every year in Chhattisgarh. The festivals of Chhattisgarh are reflective of the ethnic and rustic culture of the local people of Chhatttisgarh, mainly of the tribal communities. The tribals of Chhattisgarh are simple and fun loving people. They celebrate their indigenous rituals in order to pacify their local gods and goddesses.

Champaran Mela is part of the festivals celebrated in the Raipur. Raipur is the state capital of Chhattisgarh and it is located almost in the center of the state. The city was established in the 14th century. Raipur is an industrially developed city but the traditional culture and heritage have not died out. The Champaran Mela is actually a fair that is organized at a place called Champaran. This annual fair has obtained its name from the place where it is celebrated. Champaran is situated at a distance of 56 km from the state capital of Chhattisgarh. The fair at Champaran is held on the month of Magh, that is from the January to February. This cultural fair of Champaran is very popular. It is attended by a number of people from all over the state. Mainly the followers of Vaishnav religion visit the Champaran Mela.

Hareli Festival

In Chhattisgarh, Hareli festival is one of the famous festivals celebrated with great pomp and show. The term ‘Hareli’ is derived from the Hindi word ‘Haryali’ meaning greenery. It is normally a festival celebrated in the month of Shravan by several societies of farmer. According to the Gregorian calendar Hareli festival celebration resembles with the months of July and August. The Hareli festival in Chhattisgarh is celebrated on the Sravana Amavasya or the new moon day of month. It marks the beginning of the holy month for Hindus, Shravan month. Hareli festival is a festival of crop focusing on the monsoon of a year. The Goddess ‘Kutki Dai’ is the reigning deity worshipped in this festival for getting good crops.

Among the Gond tribes, it has very importance. In this time the farmers of Chhattisgarh worship the equipment they use for the farming and cows. The theme of this festival based on the nature and the farmers pray for the good harvest. The manifestations in rituals are simple, though the prayers are keen.

The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show. The word ‘Hareli’ is derived from the Hindi word ‘Haryali’ meaning greenery. It is mainly a festival celebrated by the various communities of farmer in the month of Shravan. The celebration of the Hareli festival corresponds with the months of July and August in the Gregorian calendar. The Hareli festival in Chhattisgarh is celebrated on the new moon day of the month or the Sravana Amavasya. It is an old traditional festival of Chhattisgarh that marks the beginning of Shravan month, the holy month for Hindus. Hareli festival is actually a festival of harvest focusing on the monsoon of a year. The Goddess ‘Kutki Dai’ is the presiding deity worshiped during this festival for good crops.

Hareli festival is of special importance among the Gond tribes. During this time the farmers of Chhattisgarh worship their equipments used for farming and cows. The farmers pray for a good harvest and the basic theme of this festival is manly nature centric. The manifestations in rituals are simple, though the prayers are ardent.

During the Hareli festival the people of Chhattisgarh place branches of Bhelwa tree on their respective fields. They also hand branches of Neem tree on the entrance of their houses. Neem has medicinal properties that prevent diseases as well as insects. The Baiga Tribe or the traditional medical practitioners of Chhattisgarh teach and appraise their students. The Hareli festival of Chhattisgarh is also marked by playing ‘Gedi’. It is a play where small children mount on bamboo sticks and walk round the fields. At some places they also take part in a “gedi” race.


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