Monday, July 15, 2024

Fairs & Festivals


Adivasi Fairs

The most important of the Adivasi fairs is held at Baneshwar in the Aspur tehsil of Dungarpur district in southern Rajasthan. The site of the fair is a small delta formed by the confluence of the river Som with the Mahi. One has to wade to the fair through the Som. The word 'Baneshwar' is derived from the Siva Linga of the area. A delta is known as 'van' in Wagad (sparsely populated area). This Vaneshwar or Baneshwar means the Master of the Delta. 

The linga in the area is said to be self-born. It is small and its top is broken into five parts. The present temple w as built by Maharawal Askaran of Dungarpur. Near the temple of Baneshwar there is the temple of Vishnu built by Jankunwari, the daughter-in-law of Mavji, a highly revered saint of the area, who was supposed to be an incarnation of Vishnu. Mavji is said to have written five books called 'Chopras'. The original book is read every year at Diwali by the Goswami (priest) of the temple. Mavjis equestrain temple is the main idol of worship. After Mavji, his son succeeded him. Two disciples of Mavji built the third temple in the area which is called as the Laskshmi-Narain temple. 

The tribal fair is held from Magh Shukla Ekadashi to Magh Shukla Purnima (Feb- Mar). Only the priest is permitted to touch the idols. Most of the devotees are Bhils and every night they sing round a bonfire.