Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : Shamlaji Temple, Gujarat.
Also called as : Kartik Pournima Fair
Time of the festivity : Month of Novemer.
Duration : Two weeks
The Shamlaji Mela, also called the Kartik Purnima fair is held in the month of November every year and lasts for about two weeks. It is attended by almost two hundred thousand people from adjoining districts and even from Rajasthan.
The Shamlaji Temple is a renowned Vaishnav Shrine and the deity housed here is known by various names included 'Gadadhar' (bearer of the mace) and 'Shaksi Gopal'. The temple is of great archaeological significance as it was built in the 11th century. Apart from a darshan of the deity in the temple, the pilgrims consider a bath in the river Meshwo essential.
Devotees belonging to various castes and communities including the 'Garasias' and 'Bhils' throng this festival. These pilgrims come in groups, singing devotional songs and carry religious banners to have an audience of the deity at the Shamlaji Temple.
The fair is also popular with the tribal people of the area, particularly the Bhils, who revere Shamlaji, the deity they refer to as 'Kalio Bavji', the dark divinity.