Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : Vautha, Gujarat.
Held at the confluence of : Sabarmati & Vatrak.
Significance : Major Animal Trading Fair.
Other Attraction : Siddhanath Temple
The magnificent Vautha Fair is held every year at Vautha, where two rivers, the Sabarmati and the Vatrak meet. Like most fair sites in India, this also has both mythological and contemporary religious associations.
The Vautha Mela site is 3 square miles in area. Legends hold that Kartik Swami or Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva, visited the site. This is why the fair is held during Kartika Purnima, the full moon night of the month of Kartik, corresponding with November. The site, also known as Saptasangam, is at the confluence of seven rivers. The most important Shiva temple here is the temple of Siddhanath.
What is most significant about this fair is that it is the only major animal trading fair in Gujarat and is on par with the famous camel fair at Pushkar, Rajasthan. Donkey, cattle and herds of camel are brought to the site to be traded, at the confluence of seven tributaries of the river Sabarmati. However, most of the times, the only animals traded here are donkeys. About 4,000 donkeys are brought every year for sale, usually by 'Banjara' (gypsy) traders. Vautha
The donkeys are painted in an array of colours, and decorated to suit the occasion. Camels are also well decked up and sold on the sand dunes by the river shores.
On the day of the full moon night, pilgrims take dips in the holy river confluence give offerings and pray. Handicraft and food stalls with tented pastoral settlements come up during the fair. Kartika Poornima is also celebrated with a camel fair at Sidhpur, a religious fair at Somnath and a tribal fair at the historic temple of Shamlaji.
The pilgrims who visit Vautha during the fair are from several communities and include farmers, labourers and people belonging to several castes.