Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : Kaila in Karauli District, Rajasthan.
Reigning Deities : Mahalakshmi, Chamunda, Kaila Devi
Time of the festivity : April, lasting for a fortnight
The fair of Kaila Devi, popularly known as Mahalakshmi, (the goddess of wealth), holds an important place among the celebrated fairs of Rajasthan. The fair is held at the village Kaila in Karauli district in the month of Chaitra, starting from Chaitra Budi 12 and lasting for a fortnight.
The temple of Kaila Devi is located on the banks of the Kalisil river in the hills of Trikut, 2 kms. to the north-west of Kaila village. It houses the images of Mahalakshmi and Chamunda. Kaila Devi has been regarded as the guardian deity throughout the ages by the Khinchis, the Yadavas and the princess of Karauli.
A small temple dedicated to Bhairon is situated in the courtyard and facing the shrine of Kaila Devi is a temple of Hanuman locally called 'Languriya'. Throughout the year, there is a steady flow of devotees to this spot but during the Kaila Devi Fair, the participants number as many as 2 lakhs. There is no restriction for members of any community to visit the fair or the shrine. A large number of pilgrims from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Haryana visit the fair. Kaila Devi Fair
The devotees bring with them cash, coconuts, kajal (kohl), tikki (vermilion), sweets and bangles as offerings to the goddess.
The ritual of Kanak-Dandoti is observed by the staunch devotees. They cover a distance of 15 to 20 kms. to reach the temple, not on foot but by lying prostrate, making lines with their hands in that position, advancing upto the line drawn and repeating this procedure till they reach the temple. While some eat food and take rest during the journey, others endure the rigours of the ritual without these.
Successors of Goli Bhagat, who used to be a great devotee of Kaila Devi, come from Agra to carry out his tradition of paying homage at the shrine.
The fair is visited by a large number of traders who set up their shops and sell a variety of indigenous products. Groups of Mina tribesmen arrive in a spirit of gaiety-dancing, singing and creating a lively atmosphere. The spacious courtyard becomes the venue for dances and songs sung in praise of the deities.