Archive for the ‘Baneshwar Mahadev’ Category


February 10, 2009

This fair is usually held in January-February during Shivratri in Baneshwar, Rajasthan. It is primarily a tribal fair where Bhils from Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat join with their brethren in Rajasthan to worship Lord Shiva.


The fair takes place at a small delta which has been formed by Mahi and Som rivers from Magh Shukla Ekadashi to Magh Shukla Poornima during Shivratri.
During Baneshwar Fair, hundreds of Bhils from the districts of Dungarpur, Udaipur and Banswara gather at Baneshwar to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.


The temple of Baneshwar Mahadev opens very early at 5 a.m. and closes only late in the night at 11 p.m. Saffron is applied to the Shiv Linga in the morning after bathing; it followed with an aarti with incense sticks. Bahbhut or ash is put on the Linga in the evening. An aarti with wick-lamp is also performed. Pulses, wheat flour, rice, chillies, ghee, salt, jaggery, coconut and cash are offered to the Linga by the devoteeas. Traditional folk songs are performed by the Bhilsattending the Fair. Other villagers are also invited in the programmes that take place. Songs, folk dances, magic shows, and acrobatic feats are all part of the fair. Swings and merry-go-rounds add to the excitement of the villagers.
Baneshwar derives its name from the much honored Shiv Linga which is kept at Mahadev temple in Dungrapur. In the local Vagdi language, Baneshwar means ‘master of the delta’. This name was given to the Shiv Linga. This fair is actually a combination of two fairs – one which was held in honor of Baneshwar Mahadev or Lord Shiva and the other which was initiated after the construction of the Vishnu temple by daughter-in-law of Mavji, Jankunwari. Mavji was a highly honored saint regarded as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.