Fairs and Festivals
 

Tarnetar Fair (Aug/Sept)

The best known of Gujarat's fairs is held at the historic shrine of Tarnetar (Trineteshwar), a holy site locally believed to have been the original course of river Ganga. The fair is attended by eligible herdsmen, who sport brightly embroidered umbrellas and unmarried girls from pastoral tribes, who get to select their husbands in the old Swayamwara tradition.

The fair is said to commemorate the victory of Arjuna at the contest held for princess Draupadi in this region. A dip in the temple tank on this day is considered as auspicious as a swim at the holy bathing ghats on the River Ganges.

During the fair, the temple (said to date to the 13th century, restored by the Maharaja of Baroda in the 1800s) is the focal point of activity. The temple interior and courtyard resound with devotional music, bhajans and kirtans.

The fairgrounds near the temple are a blaze of colour. Thousands gather to participate in the fair. As betrothal is one of the purposes of the fair, men come dressed in embroidered jackets and colourful footwear called mojdis, carrying richly decorated umbrellas to advertise their elibility, and the women are equally colourfully attired.

As the music reaches a crescendo the men and women break into dances like the hudo garba. The atmosphere is exciting.

Tarnetar is about 100 km from Dasada. Rann Riders arrange stay near the fair.

Ravechi (Aug/Sept)

Ravechi Mela is one of the most important fairs for the Rabari community of Kutch. The fair takes place at the Ravechi Mata temple where the people of Kutch can be seen at their colourful best.

Rann Riders arranges camping tours to Ravechi during the fair.

Modhera Dance Festival (January)

The 11th century Sun Temple at Modhera is the backdrop for a classical dance festival in winter. The temple is beautifully illumined, and leading performers and troupes from different parts of India perform on the ocassion. Modhera is 45 km from Dasada.

 
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