Bhavnath Fair: Girnar Mountain, Junagadh, Gujarat

Bhavnath Fair: Girnar Mountain, Junagadh, Gujarat

Bhavnath Fair 2022 – 01 March (Tuesday) To 05 March (Saturday)

The vibrancy and charm of Bhavnath fair attracts a multitude of tourists and devotees of Shiva and make Junagarh as their second home in their will to become a part of mammoth experience. The ancient city of Junagarh (Gujarat) is situated in the valley of Girnar Parvat & Datar hills.

Bhavnath Fair: भावनाथ मेला

Bhavnath Fair is held every year at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple near Damodar Kund, at the foot of Girnar Mountain. The fair falls on the same day as the extravagant and much famed Maha Shivratri.

Bhavnath fair is dedicated to Lord Shiva and a lot of celebrations happens in the Shiva temples. Thousands of Naga Sadhus visit here and are the main attraction that makes this fair distinct from others.

The scene there is amazing and watching them is a new rather mysterious experience.

This fair is held every year on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri from Maagha Vad (Krishna Paksha) Agiyaras to Maagha Vad Amavasya.

The Naga Sadhus are practically nude. They believe that the whole world is their home and sky is like a cover so they do not need clothes to cover their bodies as they are sky dressed. They have accepted nakedness as part of their way of life.

All the Naga babas in the vicinity gathers at the time of maha puja on the fair site. They come seated on the elephants, holding flags in their hand and blowing conch shells, tungis, and turis; the environment is echoed with their sounds. The forward movement of the procession to the temple initiates an emotive religious ceremony.

The marching of Naga babas through the darkness of late evening (after 9 p.m.) of Maha Shivratri is the grand attraction of this fair. The religious procession of Naked Sadhus features an exhibition of sword fight practices and other interesting activities. Only three akhadas (groups of sadhus) participate in the display. The procession reaches its end finally at 12.00 in midnight at Bhavnath temple’s Mrugi kund (tank) where they take bath.

It is a five day fair which concludes on the annual Maha Shivaratri day. Grand puja of lord Shiva is conducted at midnight of Maha Shivratri.

Pilgrims take 7 meter long parikrama of the holy hills of Girnar, before going to the fair. About one lakh people, mainly from Gujarat and Marwad, claded in bright colour come here every year. Special temporarily set stalls sell idols, rosaries and mouth-watering sweets.

Devotees believe that Lord Shiva himself visits the shrine on this auspicious occasion. The nine immortal nathas and eighty-four siddhas who are said to be homed at Girnar also visit the temple as invisible spirit during Maha Shivaratri.

The organizers provide free meals to visitors. The atmosphere is rhythmic. The musical notes of local folk music can be sensed in air and the view of beautiful folk dances as bhavai in colorful dresses is awesome. The handicraft & dazzling ornaments worn by devotees and tribes that come to Bhavnath Fair captures the senses of every mankind.

Richness of our culture is on display during the whole mela as it meets our self with our roots, customs, practices, ritual, belief. This fair is a real beauty, equally passionate, intense and mystic.

जूनागढ़ का इतिहास

जूनागढ़ में पूर्व हड़प्पा संस्कृति के भी निशान मिलते हैं जिनसे यह अनुमान लगाया जा रहा है कि इसका निर्माण नौवीं शताब्दी में हुआ होगा। सम्राट अशोक और चंद्रगुप्त मौर्य के शासन काल के कई शिलालेख आज भी यहां देखने को मिलते हैं।

1730 में जूनागढ़ को स्वतंत्र रियासत घोषित करने का श्रेय मोहम्मद शेर खान बाबी को जाता है। आजादी के बाद जूनागढ़ को लेकर भारत और पाकिस्तान में काफी तनाव हुआ। जूनागढ़ के तत्कालीन नवाब मुहम्मद महबत खान तृतीय जूनागढ़ का पाकिस्तान में विलय चाहते थे लेकिन सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल ने उन्हें ऐसा करने से रोक लिया। भारतीय सेना के हस्तक्षेप के बाद 25 फरवरी 1948 को जूनागढ़ रियासत का भारत में विलय हो गया।

भावनाथ मेले का महत्व

महाशिवरात्रि की चंद्रविहिन रात्रि (अमावस्या की रात) को, जब ऐसा माना जाता है कि भगवान शिव ने प्रलय से जुड़ा तांडव नृत्य किया था, उक्त मेले में एक विशेष महापूजा का आयोजन होता है। आधी रात को शुरू होने वाली इस महापूजा से पूर्व नागा साधुओं की टोली सजी धजी हाथियों पर सवार होकर शंख बजाते हुए वहां पहुंचते हैं। माना जाता है कि नौ नाथों और 84 सिद्धों की भूमि गिरनार में इनके साथ ही भगवान शिव शिवरात्रि पर स्वयं विराजमान होते हैं। मेले में कई तरह के पारंपरिक गीत और नृत्य भी देखने को मिलते हैं। इस मेले में आने से पहले कई श्रद्धालु गिरनार पर्वत की परिक्रमा भी करते हैं।

पौराणिक कथाओं के अनुसार एक बार जब भगवान शिव और माता पार्वती गिरनार पर्वत के ऊपर से आकाशमार्ग से गुजर रहे थे तभी उनका दिव्य वस्त्र नीचे मृगी कुंड में गिर गया। आज तक इस जगह पर नागा साधु महाशिवरात्रि के मौके पर निकलने वाली उनकी शोभायात्रा से पहले इसमें स्नान करते हैं।

How to Reach:

The Bhavnath Fair is held at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple near Damodar Kund, at Girnar Taleti, 8 km from Junagadh. The distance of Junagadh is just few kilometers from the fair ground at the foot of Mt. Girnar.

Junagadh has a major railway station, and is also connected by State Transport buses to cities around the state. The nearest airport is in Rajkot which is 110 km away.

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