Minjar Fair: Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Minjar Fair: Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Minjar Fair is an annual fare organized in the state of Himachal Pradesh. People from all around the world gather in this time to offer prayers to the Laxmi Narayan Temple and celebrate throughout the week. The main attractions of the fair are folk singing and dancing. The fair mirrors the traditions in India in a very well manner. The fair starts with the distribution of Minjar which is a silk tassel worn on front parts of the dress by men and women alike

When is Minjar Fair held?

The Minjar fair starts from the last Sunday of July and continues till one week with great grandeur in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

History Of Minjar fair:

Historically river Ravi used to flow between Champawati Temple and Hari Rai Temple, Because of which it was very difficult for people to reach the other temple if they were on either side.The then Raja of himachal Pradesh asked a saint to make the temple of Hari Rai accessible to people. The saint called the Raja and his people to the Champavati Temple and performed a Yaga in which various Sadhus from Benaras were also invited. These sadhus used a colored stick called Minjar to perform yaga. Surprisingly, as a result of this Yaga the course of river Ravi changed and people could easily access The temples. As the Yaga lasted for a week, therefore this fair lasts for a week.

Dharamshala Chamba’s famed Minjar festival, believed to have first started in the 10th century to mark the victory of King Sahila Varma over the king of Kangra.

The centuries-old traditional Hindu fair symbolizes the blossoming of maize in the historical town, located on the banks of the Ravi River. The fair is associated with the monsoon, in which the farmers pray for heavy rain for a good harvest, is scheduled from July 24 to July 31, 2022.

Minjar itself refers to silk tassles, worn by locals on their dresses that glow like maize blossoms in the sun.

The festival will begin on July 24, 2022 with a ceremonial Puja and offering of holy Minjars at the historic Laxmi Narayan and Raghuvira temples. There will be no cultural festivities and sports activities. The Chowgan (public promenade), the main venue of the fair, will remain closed for the general public. Only some local artists will sing traditional ‘Kunjri-Malhar’ at the town’s cultural hall that will be telecast live on the local cable network. “The festival will end on August 2 with the immersion of Minjars in the Ravi,” the DC added.

Later, the palanquin of lord Raghuvira, the chief deity of the region, is led around the town in colourful procession on opening and closing day.

Symbol Of Communal Unity

Minjar fair symbolizes not just the blossoming of maize, but also the close ties between Hindus and Muslims. The festival starts after a Muslim Mirja family offers the first holy Minjar at Laxmi Narayan temple. Muslims do the embroidery on the Minjars, a tradition that has been followed sine the festival began.

Manimahesh Yatra: May Also Be Symbolic

The DC added that the annual Manimahesh Yatra, scheduled from 22nd August – 02nd September, 2022, may also be organized symbolically. Lakhs of pilgrims undertake the arduous 14-km yatra to oval-shaped glacial-fed Manimahesh Lake in tribal Bharmour sub-division, to catch a glimpse of Mount Kailash, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, and offer prayers. The lake is located at a height of 13,500-feet in the Pir Panjal mountain range of Himalayas. This year, however, pilgrims may not be allowed to visit the lake.

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