An annual Phag fair is organised to herald the New Year (Chaitra-Vaishakh) as per the Hindu almanac, by the residents of Rampur in Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. This six day long festival aims to celebrate the arrival of Hindu New Year, in the last week of Phalgun month of the Hindu calendar.
Located around 130 kilometres north of Shimla, Rampur remains abuzz during Phag festival. A large number of people take part in the festival from far and wide.
Phag is derived from the Sanskrit word Phalgun or Fagun. The Phag festival showcases the cultural heritage of Himachalis (the residents of Himachal Pradesh). Fourteen deities from five districts; Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, take part in the fair that is celebrated with much devotion and cultural display.
Situated on the banks of the River Satluj, Rampur was once the capital of Bushar State. Phag fair dates back to Bushar dynasty centuries ago when a lot of shepherds used to come to the gates of the palace's along with their herds of sheep. Then the King used to host a fair for them. Today, the same tradition has been kept alive in the form of Phag festival. Every year farmers come in large groups to Rampur, carrying local deities on their heads or in religious processions.
Apart from being an auspicious fair, Phag festivities are also an occasion for the farmers to congregate and meet each other.
Legend has it that Bushar dynasty was founded by 'Pradhuman', the son of Lord Krishna. In order to marry the daughter of Banasur, the local chief of Shonitpur (Sarahan), Pradhuman is said to have come to that place. He had an encounter with Banasur in which Banasur succumbs to his death. Pradhuman became the chief of Bushar and Kinnaur regions, since Banasur had no son.
How to get there
Air: The airport at Shimla is at a distance of 23km at Jubbarhati. Direct flghts from Delhi are available on alternate days. Shimla has flights to Delhi, Chandigarh and Kullu. Taxis/buses are available from the airport to Shimla.
Rail: The closest railhead is at Shimla near bus stand and is linked with Kalka on the narrow gauge line. Kalka, near Chandigarh is the main broadguage station near Shimla and it is linked with many big cities. Kalka Mail connects Delhi-Kalka.
Road: Shimla is connected by road and is 375 km from Delhi, 116 km from Chandigarh and 89 km from Kalka. Rampur is 130km, 3 hours drive away from Shimla. From Shimla, Rampur can be reached via Hattu Pass at the altitude of 3400 meters above sea level. There are several deluxe buses in the summer months connecting Shimla with New Delhi and Manali.
Festivals - Himachal Pradesh